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MSU engineer studies where the rubber meets the road

M. Emin Kutay photo
Kevin Lavery
Dr. M. Emin Kutay studies asphalt blends he and his team created in a laboratory in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University.

MSU researcher Dr. Emin Kutay is looking for ways to use rubber from scrap tires in asphalt. Will his work lead to better roads in Michigan?

Earlier this month, the state of Michigan issued nearly $3-million in grants to study ways to create new uses for scrap tires. Michigan State University is using its funding to create stronger asphalt that will help our roads last longer. They’re developing a blend that’s already showing early signs of promise.

Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with Dr. Emin Kutay, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MSU. He and his team are experimenting with old scrap tires. Tests indicate that when you grind up rubber from old tires and mix it into the asphalt, it can prevent or at least slow road deterioration caused by traffic and weather. Dr. Kutay calls this substance “crumb rubber.”

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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