Concrete road barriers constructed using rubber crumb from end-of-life tyres have proved their safety value in world-first full-scale test
The new product, quite literally part of the circular economy, has been developed by the University of Melbourne’s Advanced Protective Technologies of Engineering Structures (APTES) Research Group and Saferoads with funding from Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA).
The 100 km/hour crash test of the new concrete safety barrier, Rubber T-Lok, was conducted at Victoria’s Lardner Park facility and showed that this new product will decrease the severity of impact.
What’s more it is a viable use of end-of-life tyres that would otherwise go to landfill or stockpiles.
TSA CEO Lina Goodman said the concrete barriers offered enhanced safety benefits and a longer lifespan, making it a cost-effective solution for a range of industries including engineering and construction.
The developers are now calling on regulators to expand infrastructure specifications to include the new product.
“The faster regulators do this, the faster our economy will benefit from commercial opportunities and job growth, particularly in regional, rural and remote areas,” Ms Goodman said.
“[This is] taking us another step closer to meeting the government’s target of an 80% recovery rate from all waste streams by 2030.
Saferoads CEO, Darren Hotchkin, revealed Rubber T-Lok will enable Australia to recover 115 tonnes of used tyres for every 10 kilometres of the new type of concrete safety barrier produced.