Recycled waste plastic for extending and modifying asphalt binders

Plastic drink bottles, single-use plastic bags and other waste plastics have a significant impact on the environment. Consequently, there is global interest in recycling and reuse of waste plastics. Significant progress has been made towards the incorporation of waste plastics into building and construction materials, although this has focussed mainly on cement and concrete applications. This paper assesses the use of three commercially available recycled plastic products for bituminous binder extension and modification in asphalt mixtures. Using a dry-mixing process, shredded and pelletised recycled waste plastics replace 6% of the binder volume. Comparative laboratory testing of two typical UK asphalt mixtures indicated that asphalt containing the recycled waste plastic products showed improved deformation resistance and fracture resistance compared to conventional 40/60 penetration grade binder. The viability of imported recycled plastic waste use in Australian asphalt mixtures was also evaluated. One of the three recycled plastic products is expected to be a cost effective alternate to M1000 or A35P and another is expected to be a viable alternate to A20E, at a significant cost saving. Partial replacement, without performance enhancement, of C320 bitumen is not viable due to the high cost of recycled waste plastic importation. However, partial C320 replacement may become viable with the introduction of local recycled plastic processing in the future. The findings of this research require validation by objective comparison to Australian asphalt mixtures produced with common Australian asphalt binders, as well as confirmation of likely importation costs. Verification of consistent product digestion and distribution through drum-based asphalt production plants is also required.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 12p
  • Monograph Title: Symposium on Pavement Surface Characteristics (SURF), May 2-4, 2018, Brisbane, Queensland

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01678441
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2018 2:37PM