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Development of a recycled polymer modified binder for use in stone mastic asphalt

Resources Conservation and Recycling
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2008.06.002
  • Polymer Modified Binder
  • Recycled Plastic
  • Road Construction


Abstract The number of commercial vehicles using Irish roads has increased considerably in recent years, leading to higher demands being placed on pavement materials and increased use of polymer modified bitumens. This has also coincided with significant changes in Governmental policy which has produced large increases in Irish recycling rates. Improved recycling levels are set to provide Ireland with a new challenge: to find potential uses for the large quantities of recycled polymer that are becoming available. Towards this end, the potential of developing a recycled polymer modified binder was investigated. The polymers most commonly recycled in Ireland were identified and sourced from industry. Fundamental bitumen tests were conducted to assess the effect of the recycled polymer and a mixing methodology developed. It was found that the addition of 4% recycled HDPE into a pen grade binder produced the most promising results, and the mixing process was then optimised with respect to mixing parameters and binder additives. A developmental recycled binder was produced and compared in performance tests to binders currently used in road construction practice. Results obtained from wheel track and fatigue tests show that although the binder does not deliver equivalent performance levels to a proprietary polymer modified binder, it does out-perform traditional binders used in stone mastic asphalt. Recommendations are offered on the further development of the recycled polymer modified binder to achieve the standards currently required.

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