The construction industry would benefit from increasing its use of tire shreds as a lightweighting material, especially since the use of virgin materials as ballast is expected to becomes more restricted and more expensive in the future, according to a Tana blog post.
Tire derived aggregates (TDA) have been used as a lightweighting material in constructing roads, embankments, noise barriers, building foundations and bridge and road banks on soft grounds. Tire shreds are commonly used to landscape closed landfills, to stop road banks from sinking and to build noise barriers on areas with lots of underground pipelines.
Tire shreds can be used in lieu of as much as 50 percent of traditionally used excavation materials like recycled concrete or virgin rock. Shredded tire material is approximately 60 percent lighter per cubic ton than fine sand and about 70 percent lighter per cubic ton than gravel.
Tire-derived materials are excellent as lightweight in shallows or other areas that are prone to flooding because they do not absorb water or float. Water has no harmful effects on the structures.
Studies show that the best particle size to use in civil engineering applications is 50×50 mm. Larger shreds result in more sag. Smaller particle sizes result in practically zero sag after the compaction. No environmentally harmful issues have been found.
In order to increase the use of tire shreds as lightweighting material in the construction industry, the appropriate sales and distribution channels must be established and more must be done to educate the industry about their use and environmental impact.
Lightweighting is not the only application for used tires. Timberland and tire manufacturer and distributor Omni United have created tires designed to be recycled into footwear outsoles at the end of their life on the road.
Photo: shredded tire pile via Shutterstock.