TORONTO-Polyphalt Inc. has licensed Polymer Asphalt Products of St. Louis to use its process for mixing waste plastics and tires in road-paving asphalt, and is pursuing projects to boost the use of waste materials in paving. John Mead, project development manager, said Toronto-based Polyphalt expects the market to grow for modified asphalt in the next few years as new specifications are introduced.
He said his firm spent 15 years researching ways to stabilize polyethylene and scrap tire rubber in asphalt. The breakthrough came in 1991, when University of Toronto scientists developed a workable additive combination.
He acknowledges the polymer asphalt product costs more than unmodified asphalt, but said it is more flexible, less likely to crack or form ruts and has a higher tolerance for cold weather.
The company has used the material in projects in California, Ontario and Australia.
Polymer Asphalt Products plans to use the Polyphalt process in paving projects in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.