Rubber-Modified Asphalt for Roads

Rubber-modified asphalt (RMA) is a growing application for MRPs, both in the United States and around the world. RMA is already being used by a number of states, including Georgia, California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. The benefits of modifying asphalt with rubber powders include:

  • Increased durability. Using RMA makes roads more durable, improving rutting and crack resistance, which means less maintenance.
  • Increased safety. Some studies have shown that using RMA boosts traction and reduces the risk of skidding.
  • More cost-effective. Asphalt is an oil-derived product. Using a RMA in road maintenance reduces reliance on oil-based materials, keeping costs stable and affordable. RMA also helps maintain a blacker surface—which retains heat better--lowering salt and sand use in winter months.
  • Reduced traffic noise. Studies have shown that roads made with RMA are significantly quieter than those made with regular asphalt surfaces.
  • Reduced environmental footprint. Using MRP in a productive and beneficial way reduces use of virgin materials and diverts end-of-life tires and post-industrial rubber from landfills.

For more information on the benefits of using RMA in roads, visit the Rubberized Asphalt Foundation website.

MRP: An easy-to-use Solution

Manufacturing an easy-to-use MRP with consistent particle size and good flowability is essential for RMA performance, and it provides highway contractions with an easy to handle material. Lehigh works with asphalt manufacturers and contractors to ensure their asphalt cement formulas meet stringent Department of Transportation specifications. Our Application and Development Center is working on additives to further improve RMA performance, and equally important-ease of use for the contractor.


Leading the Way in Research

While RMAs have been around for years, MRP’s effect on performance and chemistry in asphalt systems was previously unclear. To better understand the interaction between MRP and asphalt, Lehigh Technologies embarked on two studies with the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). The results from these studies can be found on the right-hand side of this page. 

          Rubber is a product that            provides long-term supply. [Using RMA] is a more cost-effective and competitive way to modify asphalt, and it provides an outlay for scrap tires that may otherwise end up in landfills."

Peter Wu, bureau chief of technical assistance at the office of Materials and Research for the Georgia Department of Transportation


Lehigh partnered with the National Center for Asphalt Technology to perform research to better understand the interaction between MRP and asphalt. This partnership resulted in two published studies:

Effect of Ground Tire Rubber Particles on Open-Graded Mixture Performance, December 2013.

Effect on Ground Tire Rubber Particle Size and Grinding Method on Asphalt Binder properties, October 2012.