Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt

Project Title

Evaluation of Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt Pavement Technologies

Research Team


- Current Researchers: M. Emin Kutay (PI), Salih Kocak, Anas Jamrah, Sudhir Varma

- Former Researchers: Hande I. Ozturk, Gerrit Littrup, Berkay Tascioglu


Ingham County Department of Roads (ICDR):

- Dan Troia

- Bob Peterson

- Bill Conklin



Disposal of scrap tires in stockpiles is one of the most significant environmental problems in the U.S. In order to reduce the negative effects of the scrap tires, tire management programs have been developed by different states. One method of beneficially re-using the scrap tires is the construction of crumb rubber (CR) modified asphalt pavements. This project is a multi-phase project funded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Scrap Tire Market Development Grant. Primary goal of this project is to evaluate different crumb rubber modified asphalt technologies to maximize the usage of crumb rubber while achieving improved long-term asphalt pavement performance. In this project, the Michigan State University (MSU) and the Ingham County Department of Roads (ICDR) have been working together. The researchers in MSU’s Advanced Asphalt Characterization Laboratory (AACL), which is an AASHTO accredited laboratory, has been performing research to optimize the usage of scrap tire rubber in asphalt pavements. The laboratory portion of the study includes trials of different mix designs and performance tests (such as fatigue and low temperature cracking, rutting) and determining candidate mix designs that are expected to perform well in the field. Then these designs are specified by ICDR in the construction of several field test sections. Different phases and corresponding roadway test sections are listed below:


       Phase 1: Waverly Road (2011):  Crumb Rubber Terminal Blend (CRTB)

       Phase 2: Haslett Road (2012):  Wet Process (CRWet)

       Phase 3: Cornell Road (2013):  Hybrid: CRTB + Dry

       Phase 4: Bennett Road/Kinawa Dr. (2014):   CRTB + High Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP)


Graph, Photos, etc.


This project is anticipated to increase the market demand for scrap tire usage in Michigan. The design specifications for CR modified asphalt pavements as well as their performance data that will be obtained in this research will encourage design engineers to utilize CR modified asphalt pavements, which are shown in other States to work better and cost less. Some of the advantages of crumb rubber modified asphalt include: (i) Improved cracking and rutting resistance,  (ii) reduced aging (oxidation) because of the anti-oxidants in the scrap tire rubber, (iii) improved skid resistance, (iv) decreased tire/pavement noise levels and (v) beneficial reuse of 1000-2000 scrap tires per lane mile (depending on the technology).



Kutay, M. E., Ozturk, H., (2012) “Internal structure characteristics of crumb rubber modified asphalt binders: An analysis using 3D X-ray Microtomography Imaging”, Asphalt Rubber 2012 Conference, 23-25 October 2012, Munich, Germany.

Ozturk, H., Tascioglu, B., Kutay, M. E. and Littrup, G. (2012) “Impact of Crumb Rubber Modified Binder Preparation Process on Hot Mix Asphalt Performance”, 5th Eurasphalt & Eurobitume Congress, 2012, Istanbul, Turkey.        

Ozturk, H.I. and Kutay, M.E. (2013) (in Turkish) “Lastik Modifiyeli Bitümlerin Sicak Karişimlarda Kullanim Potansiyelleri (Potential Use of Crumb Rubber Modified Bitumens in Hot Mix Asphalt)” 6. Ulusal Asfalt Sempozyumu (6th National Asphalt Symposium), 26-27 November 2013, Ankara, Turkey.

Mogawer, W., Austerman, A., Mohammed, L., and Kutay, M. E. (2013) “Evaluation of High RAP-WMA Asphalt Rubber Mixtures”, Road Materials and Pavement Design, Special Issue: Papers from the 88th Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists' Annual Meeting, Vol. 14, Supl. 2, pp. 129-147.

Tascioglu, B (2013) “Performance And Sustainability – Based Analysis Of Different Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt Mixtures, M.S. Thesis, Michigan State University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.



Funding for this project has been provided by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Scrap Tire Market Development Grant. This support is greatly appreciated. 

© M. Emin Kutay 2016