The Viability of Using Recycled Rubber for Load Bearing Structures

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The objective of this research project was to investigate the feasibility of using recycled rubber as a component of load bearing structures. There have been several studies into using recycled rubber as an aggregate in concrete, which shows promising results. Additionally, a team of students at Oakland University researched and tested if crumb rubber can be used to make a rail tie. Multiple design variations were configured with two different binder ratios (11% and 12%) and different insert shapes, which were tested to find what combination performs the best and can handle actual railway loads based on American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) standards. A variety of potential structural applications where recycled rubber can be used were investigated and a determination of best practices was recorded.



Crumb rubber, load bearing structures, engineering, rail ties, recycled rubber, mechanical engineering