TSA’s First R&D First Funding Round Already Supporting New Programs
TSA’s first R&D funding round closed in late December 2015, now the over $1.5 million earmarked for sole TSA funded or cooperative projects has begun to generate new activity.
In the last few weeks TSA has announced two major cooperative projects looking at both the immediate practical application of a tyre-derived civil engineering product and at ways to get rubberised asphalt laid down as the high-tech, new road surface of choice throughout the country.
A research project by the University of Wollongong, in conjunction with industry partner Ecoflex, funded together with the New South Wales Environmental Trust, is looking at a solution to upgrade rail tracks for larger, heavier and faster trains.
A new Rubber based Energy Absorbing Layer (REAL) is being studied as an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional compacted gravel capping layer for new tracks. The study will look at the opportunity for this material to be used to improve track stability and therefore operational efficiency.
The research project is expected to yield information that could help develop a valuable domestic market for recycled end-of-life tyre material.
In Victoria and Queensland TSA is working with State Governments and the Australian Road Research Board, to look at ways to increase the use of tyre-derived products in the construction and maintenance of Australian Roads.
Rubberised asphalt has been in use for many years in the USA, principally in Arizona, California, Florida, Texas and South Carolina. The surface can offer superior performance in terms of noise, drainage and durability. A number of trials have already been conducted in Australia.
The TSA- ARRB- VIC and QLD State Government projects will look at how to address barriers to the greater use of rubberised asphalt in each state. The projects are part of a more collaborative and integrated Australia-wide approach to achieving the dual objectives of improved road surfaces and the use of recycled tyre raw material.
Both projects indicate that TSA’s competitive funding rounds will form a key element of the TSA’s core objectives in tackling the Australian end-of-life tyre challenge. Further competitive funding rounds will be announced in future.