Paving the Way to Quality

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Courtesy of Granutech-Saturn Systems

State Rubber & Environmental Solutions upgrades its processing equipment to produce recycled rubber that is suitable for rubberized asphalt.

Quality counts, particularly in rubberized asphalt applications that use recycled rubber. The ability to provide a fine, high-quality terminal blend material opens the door to marketing to a range of highway engineers who require something better than the typical site blend.

State Rubber & Environmental Solutions recently upgraded its processing system to allow it to produce high-volume, highquality recycled crumb rubber for use in terminal blend rubberized asphalt (RA). In doing so, the company has broadened its footprint.

“One of State Rubber’s strengths is the ability to custom manufacture specific crumb rubber blends for the various asphalt design mixes used by most states, as well as several other products’ specifications,” says Jerry Woosley, vice president of the Denver City, Texas, company.

State Rubber was born of the need of tire dealers in west Texas and eastern New Mexico to dispose of scrap tires. Today, about 90 percent of the plant’s production goes to RA. With the price of oil being low, Woosley says he expects the demand for rubber modified asphalt products to increase accordingly.

“State agencies will want to take advantage of cheaper asphalt prices,” he says.

Texas and New Mexico currently are using rubber-modified asphalt in various applications in the states’ highways. A New Mexico task force studying RA in 2009 strongly recommended that a scrap tire processing operation be developed in the state. It pointed to the benefits of eliminating the growing stockpiles of tires dumped or landfilled.

It encouraged assistance from the New Mexico Economic Development Department in this endeavor.

New Mexico developed specifications for several tire-rubber-modified asphalt products for use in its roads.

Texas has used crumb-rubber-modified asphalt in terminal blend and wet process applications, including chip seal, fog seal, crack seal and hot-mix, for many years.

State Rubber has been expanding its production capabilities over the past five years. That expansion is projected to culminate in a doubling of the plant’s original production capacity over the next three years, according to the company.

“Our plan is to increase the capacity of the plant to meet a slow but steady increase in crumb rubber sales,” Woosley says.

State Rubber has two main seasons. In the winter months, the company accumulates material. In the summer months, prime highway construction season, State Rubber ships its crumb rubber for RA like there is no tomorrow. Its challenge is to accumulate enough material from roughly November until April to allow it to keep up with demand through the summer months.

Most systems to produce crumb rubber from used tires are either three-stage or four-stage plants. State Rubber uses a four-stage process that allows the company to produce a consistent, high-quality product of the size required for terminal blend, which is less than 40 mesh.

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