Advancing Use of Recycled Material in Asphalt

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.

ISTC researchers led by B.K. Sharma are collaborating with the U of I Center for Transportation to determine how much recycled material can be used in asphalt materials while maintaining high performance and longevity. The research team for Phase I received the Illinois Center for Transportation/IDOT’s 2018 High Impact Research Award for their work in determining how long the asphalt with recycled materials would last.

In Phase II, they will determine how much recycled material can be safely used without affecting the performance of the asphalt. By simulating conditions in the field, they can provide recommendations on how much recycled materials and what modifiers to use to decrease costs and increased sustainability. Phase II is funded by IDOT.