Using Scrap Tires to Save up to 100 Million Dollars Per Year by Mitigating Bridge Flood Damage

EPA Contract Number: 68D70026
Title: Using Scrap Tires to Save up to 100 Million Dollars Per Year by Mitigating Bridge Flood Damage
Investigators: Bilanin, Alan J.
Small Business: Continuum Dynamics Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1997 through March 1, 1998
Project Amount: $69,931
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


This Phase I project will investigate using scrap tires to form a protective system for mitigating local scour around bridge piers. Local scour is the erosion of the riverbed around bridge piers, which is induced by the recirculating juncture flow at the intersection of the pier and the riverbed. Bridge failure caused by this phenomenon has long been an important issue with respect to both public safety and maintenance costs. Average total losses from the resulting damage can run up to $100 million annually. Nearly half a million bridges nationwide are potentially affected by local scour. A honeycomb structure of scrap tires can mitigate local scour by modifying the vortical flow in the vicinity of the pier and riverbed. Moreover, this design is judged to be a highly desirable supplement to traditional methods of recycling scrap tires with the potential of recycling billions of tires. A complete scaling analysis will be conducted to determine the important parameters for experimental investigation. Subscale scouring experiments will be run and results will be used to compile a general design model for the implementation of the honeycomb device.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, engineering, recycling., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Municipal, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and Materials Science, Environmental Engineering, mitigating bridge flood damage, tires, scrap tires

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final