IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) – Researchers at Michigan Tech are working with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the Dickinson County Road Commission to test a new type of asphalt.
Zhanping You, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech helped to secure a $650,000 grant which was partially funded by the Michigan EGLE – formerly the DEQ.
It all starts at the asphalt plant, where they’re using the exact same asphalt various aggregates, petroleum and heat. However, there’s one crucial difference. They also add powdered rubber tires. They crush used tires up into a fine powder and through it in the fire.
“We prepared the lab designs for example how much gravel, how much sand, how much rubber and how much asphalt,” Professor You explained. They’ve also determined precisely how thick each layer should be for maximized performance.