By LEE TANGLERENANABYLEK and HANNAH MACKENZIENABETKA, FAIRFAX NZ The same asphalt compounds found in most roads are found in all tyres, according to a new study.
Read more The results are published in the journal Transport Research Letters.
The researchers used high-resolution computer modelling to determine the chemical makeup of a range of asphalt compounds, from hydrocarbons such as sulphur and nitrogen to petrol oils.
They found that the chemical composition of a wide range of the compounds varied from one type of asphalt to another.
The findings are consistent with previous studies showing that different asphalt types are more resistant to the ravages of climate change than petrol and diesel tyres.
But the scientists say the results are not necessarily relevant to how tyres will be used in the future.
The researchers also analysed the properties of various compounds in the asphalt and found they could be used as a way to predict how they will perform in a variety of conditions.
In particular, they found that hydrocarb compounds, like sulphur, were more resilient than other compounds.
The research team says it has not identified a specific type of rubber that is particularly resistant to environmental degradation, but suggests that it could be possible to identify the most suitable compounds.
It is not known whether any particular compounds would actually be the best choice for a tyre, but it is likely that one of the most common compounds in our everyday rubber would be the one most commonly used.
The team says the compounds studied are likely to be similar in the compounds’ biological structure and chemical composition, but that the research does not suggest the same compounds could be more or less suitable for all applications.