ISTC team receives award for high-impact research project

BK SharmaMarch 16, 2018

A research team at the Illinois Sustainability Technology Center (ISTC) has been awarded the Illinois Center for Transportation/Illinois Department of Transportation’s 2018 High Impact Research award for their ongoing study of using recycled asphalt on Illinois roads to save money on roadway projects.

Recycled materials such as reclaimed asphalt pavement and recycled asphalt shingles are commonly used with new pavement to cut costs. However, the recycled materials tend to become brittle faster, cracking and aging more quickly than when all new materials are used.

Determining how much recycled material to use, yet still applying asphalt materials with a high performance and longevity, is the goal of the ISTC research project, which is now in phase 2.

“In phase 1, we studied how long the asphalt with recycled materials will last,” said Brajendra K. Sharma, senior research engineer at ISTC at the University of Illinois. “In phase 2, we will determine how much recycled material can be safely used without affecting performance. By simulating conditions in the field, we can provide recommendations on how much recycled materials to use and what modifiers to use for decreased costs and increased sustainability.”

Co-authors on the study include Hasan Ozer, Imad Al-Qadi, Jing Ma, Bidhya Kunwar, Punit Singhvi, and Nandakishore Rajagopalan. The award was presented on Feb. 28 during the Transportation and Highway Engineering Annual Conference on the University of Illinois campus.

Contact: B.K. Sharma