21 November 2022
November 2022 – The results are in from the world’s first full-scale test of concrete road safety barriers constructed with rubber crumb from end-of-life tyres; and a new, innovative Australian public safety product has passed the ‘crash test’ and is now on track to go to market.
The product – called Rubber T-Lok – has been developed by Saferoads and researchers from the University of Melbourne’s Advanced Protective Technologies of Engineering Structures (APTES) Research Group, with funding and support from Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA).
The crash test at Victoria’s Lardner Park facility in September demonstrated that rubberised concrete road barriers will decrease impact severity and are a viable use of end-of-life tyres that would otherwise go to waste.
With enhanced safety benefits and a longer lifespan, it offers a cost-effective solution for a variety of industry sectors that make and use safety barriers, such as: manufacturing, engineering, construction, mining, outdoor event management and government road safety programs, especially in regional, rural and remote areas.
The intellectual property (IP) around the manufacturing process is also of value to global markets.
“We have already invested $8 million in 56 projects such as this, that increase consumption of the 140,000 tonnes of used tyres that go to waste in stockpiles and landfill each year.
“They are Australian designed, developed and built solutions that are increasing tyre resource recovery and decreasing the burden of waste for future generations.
“It’s not just about funding. It’s vital that Australian innovators are supported throughout the innovation process, which can take years.
“The next step for us now is to support the team from the University of Melbourne and Saferoads, in calling on regulators to expand infrastructure specifications to include this 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; taking us another step closer to meeting the government’s target of an 80% recovery rate from all waste streams by 2030.”
The successful test demonstrated:
“Road users are the winners here. The test showed that designed rubberised concrete road barriers will help reduce the force of impact thereby reducing the likelihood of injury and death, as well as being less damaging to the barrier itself. Debris emanating from shattered concrete road barriers, which may create another safety hazard after a crash takes place, is substantially reduced.
“We are very passionate about our work in this area and very keen to share outcomes that can save lives, increase road safety, and use recycled materials in a cost-effective manner.”
Watch the full crash test on video here.
See media release here.
Media contact for TSA: Tolga Huseyin, 0499 270 038, firstname.lastname@example.org