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Scrap Tires Used to Boost Masonry Blocks

Scrap tires could gain a new purpose as ingredients for construction materials, thanks to research at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Discarded tires are a big problem. Landfills are teeming with them and they can harbor disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents. Stockpiles of old tires also burn easily — creating fires that can quickly get out of control and may burn for months or even years.

But the longevity and resilience of scrap tires also makes them ideal for other uses.

Dr. Mohamed A. ElGawady, a researcher at Missouri S&T, is currently testing new masonry blocks made with ground tires.

“Rubber has a lot of benefits in addition to its sustainability,” says ElGawady, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering. “It’s very durable and provides good insulation. Among their many potential benefits, these new blocks could cut heating bills by 50 percent.”

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