Modern road pavements: latest updates
The RE-PLAN city life project attended a conference on Modern road pavements, and we are ready to share the experience with you. "MODERN ROAD PAVEMENTS - Recycling in road pavement structures" 2023 was held on the 18th of October in Poland, in Warsaw.
The Conference is an excellent opportunity for all manufacturers and professionals in the field of road infrastructure, that's why it was attended by more than 100 participants from industry, Universities, Research Organisations, and Public Bodies. Among the discussed topics were asphalt mixtures with recycled materials, road pavement structures, pavement rehabilitation, and how to make components more ecological.
Why is recycling becoming a necessity for infrastructure projects in the construction industry? The circular economy forces manufacturers to reduce the consumption of natural resources, and recycling in road construction is a game-changer in this case. It's not only eco-friendly but also a smart way to save materials and energy. The consumption of materials (e.g., aggregates) is significant, and the production, transportation, and construction processes require a lot of energy.
The application of recycling is highly beneficial in constructing new roads and in repairs and reconstruction. It even helps repurpose waste from other industries. Moreover, recycling can potentially be applied to the subbase and lower and upper pavement structural layers.
However, making it happen depends on regulations and technical requirements. Researchers and construction companies must get creative, research, and assess the economic and environmental aspects. That's why disseminating knowledge to all participants in the construction process is the key to success.
RE-PLAN CITY LIFE project aims to raise awareness about the Circular Economy opportunities for tyre recycling materials on roads, especially in rubberised asphalts. That's why ETRA was kindly invited to attend, make a presentation, and share many years of experience with the RE-PLAN CITY LIFE project.
Why is this profitable method still rare among contractors?
Rubberised asphalt has been demonstrated as technically viable and more sustainable through experiences and demonstrations in many countries, confirming their feasibility and benefits. Recycled rubber plays a crucial role in enhancing the performance and durability of road asphalts. It can be incorporated in two primary methods: the wet method, involving adding powdered recycled rubber to hot bitumen, and the dry method, where rubber granulate is directly mixed with aggregates. The specific approach chosen depends on the process and mix design, allowing for the optimization of various performance aspects.
The first documented application of this technique dates back to the 1950s in the United States. This pioneering method has continued to gain momentum due to its significant success in enhancing performance. In contrast, Europe has slowly embraced these innovations and moved beyond demonstration projects. Nevertheless, initial efforts to introduce this technology in the 1980s have played a pivotal role in raising awareness and cultivating technical expertise in various European countries.
Collaborating with RECYKL
Despite the promising potential of these applications, they have not yet gained widespread implementation as they should, mainly due to persistent resistance and various obstacles.
RE-PLAN CITY LIFE conducted an analysis to identify the main obstacles to using Recycled Tyre Materials (RTMs) in Roads and Transport Infrastructures as well as solutions to be promoted and implemented through the project. We described them in detail, clearly showing the current situation and future scenarios. The presentation also included recent innovation developments by the company RECYKL about using recycled textile in road applications in Poland.
For the first time, waste textile resulting from tire recycling has transformed into a professional-grade product for road construction as a stabilizer and dispersed reinforcing additive. This development marks the completion of the ELT recycling cycle, enabling nearly 100% tyre recycling.
Large-scale production has started in Chełm, Poland, with support from the Engineering Procurement Contracting and Commissioning (EPCC) company Zeppelin. Any player worldwide has the opportunity to establish such a factory and provide standardized products to road construction companies.
The product enhances resistance to rutting, fatigue, and cracking, as well as water and temperature effects. During the event, the poster session was held, where Ir. Zaprzalski from RECYKL elaborated on the advantages of incorporating textiles in road construction.
In this context, the diverse opportunities and innovations already developed and tried within the sector were observed. However, these advancements often appear fresh and unverified because of limited information and networking among key market participants. RE-PLAN CITY LIFE is committed to breaking this cycle by disseminating valuable insights and increased awareness about recycled tyre materials.
SAIE is the Italian exhibition that represents the largest community of companies, professionals and associations in the construction sector. This year SAIE recorded the highest numbers ever: 407 companies on display , +64% compared to 2021, and 25,527 visiting professionals (+35%).
SAIE is a strong commercial multiplier for the market, a moment of reflection and comparison for the sector and the reference appointment with the operators of the sector to discover the excellence of the entire construction supply chain, through paths dedicated to the key themes of sustainability, innovation, energy efficiency and digital transformation. The event garnered significant attention with 123 training conferences and 25 special initiatives, as well as the support of 75 trade associations.
In this context, ETRA, in collaboration with ANTEL, organized the workshop: “Circular Economy in Construction for environmental sustainability, research, strategies, innovations and experiences on the reuse of recycled materials”. This national event addressed technicians of both the private and public sector.
The presentations were focused on building application of Recycled Tyre Materials (RTMs), spanning from rubber, steel, and textile ion concrete to thermal and noise insulating products and applications done with the rubber and textile. Also Urban and Sports applications were described as the Fair attracts a really wide spectrum of interests. The workshop was supported by some speakers and partners from the
One of the topics covered during the session was: The use of RTMs in cement-based mortars and in the precast concrete industry. In particular, it was also discussed how to manage new cement-based composites. Prof. Alessandro Fantilli from Politecnico of Turin (partner of Replan) provided insights into the process and revealed valuable findings, such as the increase in strength reduction factor with presence of recycled carbon fibers.
Prof. Dora Foti shared knowledge on the topic of Innovative and eco-sustainable concrete produced from the reuse of waste materials for circular construction. It addressed the challenges, explained also by Fantilli, of the depletion of natural aggregates and need to find replacement. She worked on plastic recycling, with a specific focus on Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). An Experimental Campaign was conducted to discover best practices for incorporation PET recycled materials into construction products. The tests showed that the inclusion of PET fibers in concrete enhances its ductility. Moreover, PET bars can be employed as alternatives to welded or reinforcing steel links in conditions with high humidity and steel corrosion issues.
Prof Bruno Marabotto revealed the topic of the use of recycled rubber in sports facilities and artificial grass fields, potential and contradictions, which is a common concern. Dr. Ettore Musacchi continued the discussion with another promising application: panels for thermo-acoustic insulation with recycled textile fibers. The growing need for isolation presents new challenges, and using recycled textile fibers from tyres is one of the solutions. Various products and their technical characteristics were described, along with applications of rubber mortar for these purposes, accompanied by examples and works carried out.
This enlightening session provided a platform for specialists and manufacturers in the industry to not only share valuable knowledge but also to discuss practical experiments, tests, and working solutions while considering all the associated advantages and challenges.
Among the speakers there was also Dr. Sergio Saporetti, an Officer of the Italian Ministry of the Environment committed to the preparation of the Green Public Procurement for the building sector. They analyzed the mandatory criteria and contractual clauses of the Minimum Environmental Criteria for constructions.
The workshops allowed a lively interaction among speakers and participants who shared their experience and willingness to cooperate on expanding best practices. The RE-PLAN CITY project was also presented, as it combines many discussed topics revealed at SAIE and aims to use recycled tyre materials in diverse areas of the city's infrastructure.
More information about the event: https://www.saiebari.it/en/
On the 26thApril 2023 the EU member states voted to support a revised REACH Restriction proposal on intentionally added microplastics, which includes a ban of recycled rubber infill materials used in synthetic turf surfaces after a transition period of eight years, before the placing on the market of polymeric infill materials become prohibited.
The ban makes no sense, as it increases the releases of rubber crumbs from turfs instead of reducing it over the next 20 years and does not stimulate a more responsible management and use of Artificial pitches.
Furthermore the decision does not address the problem of other releases of microplastics actually micro and spread in environment in huge quantities:
Ø The main source of micro-plastics from tyres is represented by the tyre wearing particles, which are more impacting either for the quantity released or the dimension = 900 g / person (0 – 0,01 mm)
Ø Micro-plastics releases from Artificial turf in comparison are negligible = between 3 and 30 g/ person (1 – 2,5 mm)
Ø Tyre wearing in Agricultural sector is the one more dangerous for the concentration and the direct impact in the fields cultivated for foods crops = 62 g / person (0 – 0,01 mm)
Ø Polymer for seeds and fertilizers incapsulation in Agriculture (ECHA Report) which have also a strong concentration and direct impact in the crops fields = 44 g / person (0 – 0.01)
As there are no benefits deriving from the ban of rubber infill for the environment, nor for the recyclers, as well as for citizens and players, the question arises spontaneously: who will benefit from it ?
How A.I. think that micro-plastics issues should be handled.
Who are you?
I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question that is rooted in truth, I will give you the answer. If you ask me a question that is nonsense, trickery, or has no clear answer, I will respond with "Unknown".
What is your opinion on Microplastics ?
… see the full interview in the attachment or through this link:
The recycled rubber infill material is again under threaten owing to the Microplastics issue which could lead to a ban of the use of rubber granulate infill material, creating major problems to turf sector and compromising the whole tyre recycling value chain.
The Working Group on Sport of RE-PLAN CITY LIFE has been working on this topic to counter the ban, making evident that it would be useless and counterproductive, instead supporting the adoption of containment measures and a responsible use of artificial turf.
RE-PLAN CITY LIFE Working Group will meet you in Brussels on 29th March 2023 during the ETRA Conference to propose others and more sophisticated method of analysis and discuss further together the possible solutions to adopt.