We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Rubberized Asphalt?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Rubberized asphalt is a mixture of asphalt concrete and finely ground scrap rubber tire material that is used as a road surfacing material. It has proved to be a superior product to regular asphalt in several areas including its overall wear characteristics, resistance to reflection cracking, and traffic noise reduction. It also offers an attractive alternative to dumping scrap tires in landfills. The rubberized asphalt production process involves grinding scrap tires into a fine aggregate and removing all fabric and steel fibers, mixing the clarified aggregate with a binder prior to addition to a conventional asphalt cement mix. The resultant mixture is then applied in the same fashion as regular asphalt surfacing material.

As robust and durable as it may be, the asphalt used for road surfacing does degrade over time, forming potholes, cracks, and ridges. In an attempt to address road surface degradation in 1971, the City of Phoenix applied rubberized asphalt commonly used as a chip seal layer to a section of road as a temporary measure. Notwithstanding pessimistic expectations, the quick fix proved to be extraordinarily successful and the road was not resurfaced for 20 years. This led to the specific development of rubberized asphalt as a dedicated road surface agent.

The production of rubberized asphalt begins with scrap tires being stripped of all fabric and steel reinforcing, and ground into an aggregate with the approximate consistency of ground coffee. The crumb rubber, as it is known, is then bagged and transferred to the relevant contractors asphalt production facility. On arrival, the crumb rubber is mixed with a specially-formulated binder and transported to the hot asphalt facility where it is mixed with conventional hot asphalt cement mix consisting of asphalt and an aggregate of fine stone or sand. This final mix is then applied to the road surface using standard resurfacing techniques.

The use of rubber-treated asphalt offers several distinct benefits over standard mixes. Roads surfaced with the product tend to age better than conventional surfaces due to the inherent flexibility of the rubber and the antioxidants found in tire materials. Rubberized asphalt surfaces also resist rutting, or the formation of ridges, better than untreated asphalt surfaces. In addition, the skid resistance of the rubber-treated asphalt surfaces is superior, making for safer driving conditions.

Roads re-surfaced with rubberized asphalt are also less prone to reflective cracking, which is a phenomenon where new surfaces develop cracks that mirror those in the old surface. Rubber-treated asphalt surfaces also produce significantly less road noise, in some cases returning up to a 12 decibel reduction with averages between four and five decibels. Perhaps one of the more significant benefits of the use of rubberized asphalt is the positive environmental impact it has, with between 500 and 2,000 scrap tires going into each lane mile of road surface. This means that less tires end up creating environmental issues in landfills, further enhancing the value of the process.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.