VALENCIA, Spain—A more durable and sustainable asphalt mix has been created by the Technological Institute of Plastics in Spain using old tires and plastic waste.
AIMPLAS, in collaboration with Acciona Infraestructuras, the Road General Directorate of Madrid Community and coordinated by the University of Cantabria, has produced the new asphalt.
The institute said it used the original waste, "end of use tires," "polypropylene (mainly) caps," polyethylene packages and polystyrene hangers to pave a two kilometer M-300 section road at access points to Alcala de Henares, near Madrid.
After studying the performance of the asphalted section road over the last 18 months, the project's partners have concluded that new asphalt mixes comply with requirements established in the technical specifications to build roads, and they say that mixes including polymeric wastes in their compositions are more resistant to plastic deformation than traditional mixes. This allows mixes to perform much better when cracks appear, especially with high temperatures and slow moving traffic.
A general increased rigidity is produced without compromising or even improving the fatigue of the mixes, as in the case of end of use tires. That allows the mix to withstand higher traffic loads and improves the structural capacity of pavement.
All the polymeric materials tested show "very good" results in the technical and economic viability study, project officials say.
AIMPLAS, located in Valencia, is a non-profit research association that acts as a "technological partner with companies in all sectors related to plastics, customizing integral and personalized solutions through the coordination of projects and technological services."