This technical report is a state-of-the-art literature review regarding tyre shreds as a construction material for published material in English, Swedish and Norwegian languages. The main focus is to present the technical and environmental properties of tyre shreds focusing on the use of the material as unbound aggregates in foundation and geotechnical engineering applications. The technical properties of tyre shreds are relatively well investigated. In general, methods for determining technical properties for soils have been used in the studies. Compared to conventional soil materials like sand and gravel, tyre shreds are considered to be a lightweight material, bulk density 500-900 kg/m3 depending on compaction and overlaying pressure. The low thermal conductivity, 0.15-0.30 W/m,K, makes the material interesting for thermal insulation. The permeability is high,about 0.01 m/s, at overlaying pressures up to at least 200 kPa. Tyre shreds is a relatively weak material, Young’s modulus is approximately 1 MPa depending on overlaying pressure. Poisson’s ratio is typically 0.3. The stress-strain relationship is non- linear and the material becomes stiffer as the stress increases. The shear strength is high at large strains, effective cohesion intercept 0-82 kPa and effective friction angle 15–36º at 20 % strain, and low at smaller strains, effective cohesion intercept 0-12 kPa and effective friction angle 19-38º at 10 % strain. The durability of tyre shreds seems not to be a problem in applications where the material is not exposed to UV-radiation or heat. The environmental implications of using tyre shreds in ground engineering applications have here been studied by dividing the results into three different categories; chemical content, leachability and environmental response. Tyre shreds contain compounds that have a pollution potential, e.g. PAH, phenols and zinc. The leachability of most compounds is low under normal conditions in civil engineering applications, i.e. for pH 5-8 and water as a leaching agent. Ecotoxicological studies show that tyre leachate causes response in these tests. Compared to the European Unions classification for chemicals these responses are below hazardous limits. However, some other species studied are sensitive to tyre leachate. Field experiences of using tyre shreds shows, up to know, no measurable negative effects in surrounding environment. Tyre shreds have beneficial properties, e.g. low density, high hydraulic conductivity, low thermal conductivity and high shear strength at large strains. There are properties of tyre shreds which differs from soil materials like sand and gravel that must be especially considered in design, e.g. the elastic properties. There are several successful examples of use of tyre shreds in civil engineering applications, e.g. in road embankments, as thermal insulation layer, in lightweight embankments and as draining layers in landfills. There are also examples of not successful projects resulting in useful experiences in design work and limitations of the material. The environmental effects of using tyre shreds needs to be considered. Before use a site-specific evaluation is recommended where both the construction and surrounding environment are considered. Based on today’s knowledge the use of tyre shreds should be limited to above the ground-water table and, if high percolation is expected, to non-sensitive recipients where the potential accumulation of pollutants may not be a problem.
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2004. , 88 p.