- TSA has funded 9 projects to a total of around $1.2 million in the first year of the Tyre Stewardship Research Fund.
- These are summarised below, but are broken down into the following areas:
- 4 from the recent competitive round
- 1 scholarship (with another soon to be signed)
- 4 from the ‘negotiated projects’ announces previously
- They operate in a diverse project areas including explosives manufacturing, road, rail, building infrastructure and carbon composite material research.
- There are a number of different organisations and partnerships funded including tyre recyclers, universities, road agencies, state government authorities.
- The Fund will be open again for Round 2
New Project Summary
Green lightweight composite panel system using recycled tyres: This project will look at the use of tyres as a low density aggregate in lightweight concrete sandwich panels for construction. This will look to replace foam concrete (which can falter structurally) with rubberised concrete that may increase potential load bearing while still maintaining beneficial properties in relation to weight and insulation as required for pre-fab housing purposes.
This is a strong proposal with good financial support from industry, a new innovative use with a good potential market, a strong project team and alignment with pre-existing, developed & funded project in PrefabAUS.
Performance of recycled rubber inclusions for improved stability of railway: Identify opportunities to use rubber mats manufactured using TDP to improve rail ballast performance and replace costlier geo-synthetic materials currently in use.
A strong proposal with good backing from other research agencies and a specific possible market to be capitalised upon
High speed polymer coating of rubber crumb fuelled explosives: Develop a high speed method for using rubber in on-site production of explosives at mines, quarries and construction projects
This can open a new market and consume large amounts of TDP (purported to be 30,000 tons by the applicant).
Recycled tyres in permeable pavement: Investigate the suitability of using a 60% waste tyre mix in permeate pavement applications as a new storm-water management solution
An innovative application in a growing industry (water sensitive urban design) with strong partnerships and a Tasmanian based industry partner.
Developing Graphene Integrated Super-composite materials using ELT’s: This project will develop graphene-integrated metal composites (super composites) using ELTs to create a new, durable metal strengthening composite using carbon atoms from waste tyres.
This project involves laboratory testing on the use of crumb rubber (at different sizes) in road sub-base applications. The aim of the project is to test whether crumb rubber can be applied at low levels (less than 3%) with crushed concrete. Whilst this will increase the overall cost of the sub-base mix, it is hypothesised that the addition of crumb rubber will provide greater flexibility and less cracking and thus offer a longer pavement life to offset the cost. Mixing crumb rubber with recycled concrete also allows further sustainability credentials for sub-base products which is now a significant focus of VicRoads procurement policy. TyreCycle is providing all material for the testing.
The project has the support of end user VicRoads who will look to promote uptake of the product if testing is successful. This is a market ready project with one major manufacturer of road base product (asphalt) showing significant interest in producing a commercial product if the testing is successful. Swinburne is a Tier 1 geotechnical engineering school and has undertaken a large number of similar projects with VicRoads and other organisations.
SV has been working with ARRB for more than 12 months on a project related to crumb rubber asphalt (CRA) applications. The first part of the project was to undertake a market analysis on key barriers to uptake (attached for reference) and then use that information to target research and development work. The focus on the next phase of work for which funding has been requested is to develop a suitable evidence base that would allow VicRoads to update its specification and to identify economically viable applications for CRA in Victoria. The project involves cost benefit analysis on various applications in structural layers, followed by laboratory assessment on performance on these options to determine the most appropriate “recipe”.
The approach taken in this project is very rational with cost benefit work done up front to ensure commercial viability prior to testing. This allows “gateways” to be introduced and minimise risk to TSA and Vic Gov. VicRoads is highly engaged with this project with new CEO John Merritt signalling his intent to ensure more roads are using recycled content than ever before. ARRB has clearly articulated the linkages with the QLD project, which was missing from the original proposal, and the national linkages with Ausroads.
Along similar lines to Victorian project outlined above, QLD Gov is working closely with ARRB to determine optimal uses for crumb rubber modified binder in asphalt and spray seals. Year 2 of the project for which funding is being requested focuses on updates to TMR specifications and laboratory testing and supplementary controlled demonstration trials on working roads.
The project continues to build a web of interconnected arrangements between different jurisdictional road authorities. ARRB and Ausroads have the potential, with TSA, to continue to push these outcomes across Australia and tailor specific research on the back of the outcomes.
Building on a significant amount of work undertaken in rail engineering, this project looks at using the EcoFlex system of tyre casings as a rubber based energy absorbing layer to maximise the lifespan of rail ballast and support the underlying foundations. University of Wollongong has direct access to the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Rail Innovation which offers a direct line to rail procurement and could facilitate fast uptake of any proven systems post testing and design. Professor Buddhima Indraratna has more than 25 years experience delivering rail-engineering projects.
This is a stand out project due to its innovation, the professionalism of University of Wollongong staff and the direct linkages with industry. There is minimal investment for TSA and the project brings together a number of key partners. There is scope for a considerable number of projects working with UoW and the CRC for Rail Innovation that could stem from the funding.