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Ground Rubber Applications

Asphalt Rubber | Athletic and Recreational Applications | Other Uses

The market for ground rubber, also referred to as sized-reduced rubber or crumb rubber, has been growing over the past several years. In the ground rubber market there are two classes of particle sizes: “ground” rubber (10 mesh and smaller) and “coarse” rubber (larger than 10 mesh, with a maximum size of one-half inch).

Asphalt Rubber

Street in Modesto, California covered with rubberized asphalt.

Asphalt rubber is the largest single market for ground rubber, consuming an estimated 220 million pounds, or approximately 12 million tires. California and Arizona use the most asphalt rubber in highway construction (over 80% of asphalt rubber utilized). Florida is the next largest user.

Ground tire rubber can be blended with asphalt to beneficially modify the properties of the asphalt in highway construction. Size-reduced scrap tire rubber can be used either as part of the asphalt rubber binder (alao known as, asphalt rubber), seal coat, cap seal spray or joint and crack sealant, or as an aggregate substitution (rubber modified asphalt concrete).

Benefits of using asphalt rubber include:

Asphalt rubber is being used in greater amounts by state Departments of Transportation. Arizona and Florida have been leaders in asphalt rubber utilization. Texas and Nebraska are currently using greater amounts of asphalt rubber. South Carolina is also pursuing utilization of asphalt rubber in county and state roads. Other states that have studied and/or used rubberized asphalt include New York and New Mexico.

For additional information, see:

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Athletic and Recreational Applications

Rubber mulch at a public playground in Pennsylvania.

Examples and benefits of using scrap tires in this market segment include:

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For Additional Information

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection: Risk Assessment of Artificial Turf Fields Exit EPA – results of a two-year comprehensive evaluation of the health and environmental impacts associated with artificial turf fields containing crumb rubber infill.

A Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds (PDF) (123pp, 7.2MB, about PDF) – limited EPA study finds low level of concern in samples of recycled tires from ballfield and playground surfaces

Evaluation of Health Effects of Recycled Waste Tires in Playground and Track Products Exit EPA – developed for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Study Finds Crumb Rubber Turf Poses No Significant Threat To Air/Water Quality: Tests Show No Health Concerns at Synthetic Turf Fields Exit EPA

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Other Uses

Other uses for ground rubber include:

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