Performance Evaluation of Asphalt Mixtures Modified with Recycled Polyethylene via the Wet Process

Recycling waste plastics in asphalt has gained increasing interests in both the plastics and asphalt pavement industries due to potential environmental benefits. One approach to incorporating recycled plastics in asphalt is the wet process, which requires mechanical blending of recycled plastics into the asphalt binder as polymer modifiers. This study was aimed to explore the use of recycled polyethylene (rPE) and a reactive elastomeric terpolymer (RET), which was used as a potential compatibilizer to rPE, for asphalt modification. Moreover, the study evaluated the impact of both modifiers on the bond strength characteristics of asphalt-aggregate systems as well as on the rutting and cracking resistance of asphalt mixtures. To this end, a battery of laboratory performance tests was conducted on asphalt mixtures containing a neat, two rPE modified, and an SBS modified binders. One rPE modified binder was formulated by adding 3% rPE to a PG 58-28 neat binder, while the other one was modified with 3% rPE, RET, and polyphosphoric acid. Test results indicated that the rPE-plus-RET modified binder yielded an asphalt-aggregate system with enhanced moisture resistance, before and after oxidative aging. When compared to the control mixture, using rPE alone or rPE plus RET for asphalt modification significantly improved the rutting resistance. However, the rPE and rPE-plus-RET modified mixtures were found more susceptible to intermediate-temperature fatigue cracking at both short-term and long-term aging conditions. Finally, adding rPE or rPE plus RET did not have a significant impact on the mixture reflective cracking and thermal cracking resistance after long-term aging.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763648
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01744
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:08AM