On November 16, 2017, H.E. Chuan Leekpai, former Prime Minister and Advisor to Prince of Songkla University Council, presided over the Opening Ceremony of the Rubber Road at Prince of Songkla University, Surat Thani Campus, together with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chusak Limsakul, President of Prince of Songkla University, and other university administrators.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Charoen Nakason, Vice President for Surat Thani Campus, talked about the research and development project of rubber road, mentioning that it is the research result of a team of researchers from many campuses of Prince of Songkla University. The research was carried out by using rubber on two roads with different proportions of the mixture: rubber and asphalt concrete.
The Benjaparawithi road has a mixture of 5 percent rubber and the Tossaparawithi road has a mixture of 10 percent rubber, being the first road in Thailand to use the most rubber in the mixture. The purpose of this research is to compare the quality of the rubber road by using different proportions of the mixture.
Currently, many roads are built with rubber and asphalt concrete mixture, which generally do not contain more than 5 percent rubber, which also is in the form of latex. The PSU experts’ team, extensively researched and worked on rubber, and studied new ingredients by adding the dry rubber as a mixture instead of the liquid latex. They used a new technology that can add 5 percent more rubber in the mixture than before. The results from the actual trial show that the road with more rubber admixture will soften the driving and shorten the braking distance. The durability and other features are topics on which PSU researchers will continue investigating.
The study’s results showed that using dry rubber instead of latex is better because the liquid latex is more difficult to use in the rubber and asphalt mixing process. Mixing dry rubber with asphalt is the best way to connect the polymers with similar properties by only using the heat. Actually, in the admixture can be used more than 10 percent of dry rubber, but PSU researchers must find out the right amount for maintaining a good quality of the road. This research also adds more value to the rubber in the current situation when the rubber prices are decreasing.