American Society of Civil Engineers

Testing and Evaluation of Used Automobile Tires and Recycled Tire-Derived Materials for Low-Cost Crash Cushions

by Mustaque Hossain, M.ASCE, (Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506.) and Daniel T. Nabors, (Transportation Engineer, Bellemo-McGee, Inc., 8330 Boone Blvd., Suite 700, Vienna, VA 22182.)

Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 1, January/February 2005, pp. 36-44, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Approximately 30% of all vehicle related fatalities that occur each year are caused by a single vehicle leaving the road and striking a fixed object; the most common objects struck being trees, guardrails, and utility poles. In many cases, current crash cushion systems are too expensive to be installed on such hazards and may also require recurring maintenance. This makes the development of a less expensive crash cushion a necessity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the material properties of used tires and recycled tire-derived materials (TDMs) for use in low-cost, reusable crash cushions. The used tires and TDMs were tested statically and dynamically to evaluate their suitability as crash cushion materials. The test specimens were able to sustain high loads and proved to be durable, making them good candidates for use in a crash cushion.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Dynamic loads
Material properties
Static loads
Tire recycling
Traffic safety