|Rubber Pavements Asociation History
RPA is a 501(c) 6, non-profit association. It is the successor of the Asphalt Rubber Producers Group founded in 1985.The association is dedicated to
the promotion of greater usage of high quality, cost effective asphalt pavements containing recycled scrap tire rubber. RPA is based in the
state of Arizona in the United States because the most widely used and nationally accepted material containing recycled scrap tires, Asphalt-Rubber, was
developed in the state and all the major components of the industry are readily available. Arizona also has Asphalt-Rubber pavements that have been in
service for many years.
RPA carries out its mission through technology transfer and maintains the largest library of Asphalt-Rubber research documents in the world. The main
technology transfer activities include workshops, seminars and conferences, the publication of a weekly e-newsletter and other informational materials.
Since 1997 the association has conducted over 100 workshops for federal, state and local agencies. The association also maintains a website that has
been visited by thousands of individuals, agencies and countries.
The membership of the association is comprised of User (contractors) and Producer (crumb rubber processors) members as well as non-voting Associate,
Affiliate, and Individual classifications. A Board of Directors, representing its member companies located throughout the world, governs the association.
The association funds a Technical Advisory Board (TAB), made up of engineers from governmental agencies, academia and the private sector. George
Way, P.E., retired from the Arizona Department of Transportation, currently chairs the 25 member TAB. The purpose of the TAB is to provide technical and
policy directin to the association. Their mission statement is: Advance engineering technology and implementation of Asphalt-Rubber .They have set
five goals to accomplish their mission. (1) Provide policy and technical counsel to the RPA Board of Directors. (2) Provide technical insight and direction. (3)
Assist in establishing technical merits and values of Asphalt-Rubber. (4) Identify, formulate and monitor research and development activities. (5) Leasd
development and delivery of training programs. The TAB is actively engaged with the development of ASTM and AASHTO standards for Asphalt-Rubber
The association is funded by its member companies through assessments on the sale or purchase of crumb rubber used in asphalt applications. Since
2003, the RPA has expended substantial monies for research and education. The association has sponsored several significant research projects. Among
the projects: Life Cycle Cost Analysis by Dr. Gary Hicks, Dr. Jon Epps and Dr. Jim Lundy; Quality Control and Quality Assurance by Hicks and Epps;
Development of a Mechanistic Overlay Design Method Based on Reflective Cracking Concepts by Dr. Jorge Sousa and Dick Stubstad, Consulpav
International and Field Aging Effects on the Fatigue of Asphalt Concrete and Asphalt- Rubber Concrete by Dr. Lutfi Raad, University of Alaska.
RPA has also commissioned field performance reviews in the states of Arizona and Texas.
The association partners with many national and international associations such as the International Tire and Rubber Association, the European Tyre
Recycling Association; the Scrap Tire Management Council; the National Asphalt Paving Association; the Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Technology
Centers in Los Angeles and Sacramento counties, California; the Asphalt Rubber Training Service at Clemson University, SC and the University of New
Hampshire’s Recycled Materials Resource Center. It also has a number of agencies and universities as affiliate members. The Universities include Arizona
State University; Clemson University in SC; the University of Denver in Colorado, the University of Nevada Reno and the University of Veszprem in Hungary.
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Over 40 year ago, Charlie McDonald, an engineer for the City of Phoenix, developed ad time/temperature formula for
mixing scrap tire material and asphalt to develop a material that would make the asphalt behave much like tire rubber. His
motivation started earlier when he was with the Bureau of Highways (now FHWA) and traveled extensively in State Parks in
California, living in a small trailer with a leaky roof and he needed a flexible material to patch and seal the roof so the rather
primitive roadways would not continue to cause cracking.
After he joined the City of Phoenix, he continued his experiments, first in his kitchen and later in the engineering laboratory.
When he was satisfied he had achieved the right formula, he took the material to the street s where he covered potholes.
Application methods were primitive, but the binder he created started a whole new paving industry.
Asphalt-Rubber has been used in forty states in the U.S. and over 25 countries worldwide. Many projects have performed
beyond engineering expectations. The reason is that his formula provided a binder with 20% tire rubber contents or higher.
The tire rubber is not dissolved and has been fully saturated in with the oil in asphalt cement. Properly designed
asphalt-rubber pavements have lasted fifteen years or more in significantly reduced pavement thickness.
Today, the most beneficial applications are the thin friction course surfacing of Portland Cement Concrete pavements and
aged asphalt pavements to provide quieter and safer ride characteristics for the traveling public or the spray applied
membranes used as inter-layers or surface treatments.
Manufacturers, contractors and engineers have joined the Rubber Pavements Association to develop and expand the
technology to provide paving agencies with the longest lasting asphalt pavements possible. The RPA has focused upon
technology transfer to provide every city, county, state and country the opportunity to capture the superior engineering
characteristics of scrap tire rubber in their pavements. The Asphalt-Rubber conferences, begun in 1999, are technology
transfer opportunities for every country to learn how to provide their people with the highest quality asphalt pavements made
from recycled tire rubber.