Perpetual Road Life

Roads are a major asset, probably the major asset, of every council, so ‘doing different’ here can make a real impact. So, following on from our earlier post (Feb 6) by Rebecca Brown, here is another angle on road recyling, this time by Con Rimpass, Pavement Analysis, who looks at not just partial use but 100% recycling of roads with cold asphalt, improving on the ‘cradle to grave’ notion, by extending it to perpetual life!  Both authors are presenting their work at the 2018 IPWEA State Conference, Perth, March 21st to 23rd.

Con says: There is nothing new about cold mixed recycled asphalts, they have been around, particularl in France, since the mid 1970s and known as cold mix asphalt & grave-emulsion and they have been manufactured from either new or recycled material or a combination. Cold mixed asphalt and bitumen stabilisation are used in the renewal of both pavement structures (bases) as well as for surface wearing courses and have proven economic, environmental and safety benefits.

As Perth has grown in population so too has its length of roads and these aging roads now have to withstand heavier traffic with large loads on high tech tyres pumped to very high pressures, creating a huge increase in strain on the pavement structure. Perth has a network of road pavements that have had two or more asphalt overlays without any structural improvement to support layers and there is evidence that some money is being wasted on rehabilitations that are not providing satisfactory lives.

It is not possible, or economical, to continue to just resurface road pavements for ever without stiffening the support and it is important to try and recycle as much of the existing pavement materials as possible. The government is aware of this and are encouraging the use of recycled materials.

Asphaltech, in partnership with Pavement Analysis and collaboration and support from French experts have developed a process which makes it possible to 100% recycle and strengthen pavements with minimal disruption to traffic and exposure of workers to the safety aspects of working on live roads.

For those unable to hear Con at the conference, please enter your questions in the comments section (click the ‘add a comment’ tag in the menu above) and he will be happy to respond.



3 Thoughts on “Perpetual Road Life

  1. Con, given that our needs change over time, would it be possible to modify your technique to remove both the pavement and seal from a road no longer needed and re-use the material in a new location?

    • Con Rimpas on February 27, 2018 at 2:43 pm said:

      Hi Penny,
      Absolutely, as the process is one where the road materials are taken away from site for conditioning and addition of bitumen. We can even use recycled building products such as crushed concrete. However, the cost is greater as the road materials will always have a percentage of reclaimed asphalt (RAP) which will have bitumen in it that is rejuvenated in the process thereby the ability to reduce the amount of added bitumen. Whereas the building material will require a greater quantity of added bitumen and thereby cost.

  2. Congratulations, you literally wrote one of the best posts about asphalt paving I’ve seen in forever. If your blog isn’t already taking off, it definitely will if you keep sharing posts like this one.

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