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Multi-scale characterization of recycled asphalt mixtures for sustainable roads

Grant number: 19/08883-5
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2019 - August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Civil Engineering - Transportation Infrastructure
Cooperation agreement: Texas A&M University
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal researcher:Kamilla Vasconcelos Savasini
Grantee:Kamilla Vasconcelos Savasini
Principal researcher abroad: Amy Epps Martin
Institution abroad: Texas A&M University, United States
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Edith Arámbula Mercado ; Eyad Masad ; Liedi Legi Bariani Bernucci
Associated research grant:17/25708-7 - Rheology and chemistry of asphalt binders and biobinders: tools to the comprehension of mechanical behavior, aging and deterioration of pavements, AP.JP


Environmental sustainability and economic benefits motivate maximum use of recycled asphalt materials in asphalt mixtures. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), the United States saved approximately $2.2 billion, in 2017, by replacing virgin materials with 76.2 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and 1 million tons recycled asphalt shingles (RAS). In Brazil, these numbers are still unknown. It is important to recognize that RAP and RAS materials are important assets, and their use has environmental and economic benefits especially for the large road networks in Brazil and United States. However, these benefits can be most fully realized through better understanding of the fundamental, mutli-scale properties of these materials as well as their impact on the short-term and long-term performance of the road infrastructure to ensure that each materials combination is engineered to provide adequate cracking resistance when stiff, brittle, aged recycled materials are incorporated in recycled asphalt mixtures.This proposal builds on current USP and TAMU research programs, including the Young Investigator Award (FAPESP File Number 2017/25708-7), and aims to open new horizons for the use of these recycled materials and recycling agents based on fundamental understanding of their properties to improve pavement performance. Specifically, the degree of blending between recycled and virgin binders and multiple recycling processes will be examined at various length scales: macro, micro, and nanoscale. Advanced characterization tools including Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) will be used to analyze the changes in the microstructure of binder blends with different virgin binders, recycling agents, aging stages, and recycled material content and engineer an optimum blend. The microstructural properties of the binder blends will be compared with rheological and chemical macro-properties. (AU)

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