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Rheology and chemistry of asphalt binders and biobinders: tools to the comprehension of mechanical behavior, aging and deterioration of pavements

Abstract

The present research plan proposes a chemical and rheological approach to the analysis of asphalt binders and bio-binders used for pavement surface courses, especially involving the recycling of these materials. The project is divided into five major steps, the first of them being the definition of a methodology for the rheological characterization of the binders and bio-binders, in order to qualify them and rank their properties. The second step covers the quantification of the blending that occurs between virgin binder and the aged binder present in the reclaimed material (removed from damaged asphalt pavements) using staged binder extraction and recovery. The third focuses on assessing the role of rejuvenating agents, especially regarding bio-oils, and their content used to achieve more durable recycled mixtures, by means of restoring the original properties of the aged binder. The fourth step will evaluate the potentials and eventual difficulties of using bio-binders as a pillar for sustainability in the paving industry. Finally, the fifth step will bring an assessment of multiple recycling processes and addition of new binders, considering that this is an imminent concern for pavement engineering, with the increase of recycling and re-recycling of pavements around the world. Those five steps of the research project are interrelated. The main contribution of the proposal is based on the heredity of the asphalt mixtures mechanical properties and on the chemical and rheological properties of the binders. It also contributes to the subject of blending between aged and new binders in the recycling and multiple recycling processes, which is still not well addressed internationally, besides the use of biotechnology in the asphalt paving scenario. (AU)

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