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Benefits of Cold Mix Technology over Hot Mix Technology

in Sustainable Road Network

* **
Gauri R Mahajan , SS Goliya

Today there is an increase in environmental pollution due to the vast fuel

consumption in hot mix technology during road construction. This leads to
various harmful effects on environment and human health and thereby also
poses loss to country’s economy. So, measures should be taken for
improving this situation. Therefore this article mainly focuses on the
improvements which can be made to tackle this situation by adopting the
cold mix technology over hot mix technology in road construction.

Keywords: Cold mix technology, Hot mix technology, Road construction.

Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is used predominantly as a paving mix from many decades in road construction.
In India almost 90 percent road network is occupied by bituminous pavements only. Certain limitations
associated with HMA use are like emission of greenhouse gases from hot mix plant, shut down of plants
during rainy season, problems in maintaining the paving temperature when hauling distances are more,

The emissions from hot plant mixes create pollution and thus degrade the environment. The
different layers of road construction require a higher temperature range for production, laying the
mix, rolling; etc. Therefore bituminous road construction with conventional paving grades bitumen
is sometimes not feasible or even not desirable in high rainfall areas as intermittent rain
throughout the year affect production and laying of mixes. In snow-bond areas at high attitude, hot
mixes get solidified quickly and looser their binding due to existing cold pavement surface. Use of
emulsified cold mixes would eliminate the emissions and also reduce the fuel requirement at the
mixing plant as energy conservation.

Hot Mix Technology-An Overview

1. Heating of bitumen at 170°C.

2. Heating of aggregates at 155°C for hot mix.
3. Production of hot mix at 150°C.
4. Laying of hot mix at 135°C and compaction of hot mix at 125°C.

M. E., Transportation Engineering, Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Assistant Professor, Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Correspondence to: Mr. S.S. Goliya, Transportation Engineering, Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha,
Madhya Pradesh, India. E-mail Id:

© ADR Journals 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Mahajan GR et al. J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2)

Figure 1.Emissions in Hot Mix Process

Disadvantages of Hot Mix Technology What is Cold Mix?

1. Noise and air pollution. Cold mix is bituminous mixture containing

2. High energy consumption. mineral aggregate, water and binder
3. Limited working season- No work during (bitumen emulsion) prepared by a suitable
rains and cold winters. device like concrete mixer or cold mix plant
4. Sensitive to temperature control during or a modified hot mix plant.
entire process.
5. Unsafe to workers and their health. Method for Design of Cold Mixes
6. Thermal oxidation of bitumen due to Presently, a standard design procedure is not
need of heating.
available for design of cold mixed BM or SDBC.
7. Hazardous for public in general.
The cold mix design procedure involves
optimization of water as well as content of
Why Cold Mix technology? bitumen emulsion for the aggregates in the
mix. The aggregates are made moist with
Cold Mix technology is field application of
water to wet its surface and then coated with
mix design based on cold mix binders with
cationic bitumen emulsion. The different sizes
the available IRC recommended
of aggregates are blended in proportions to
aggregates through modified HMP plant or
achieve the best standard gradation of BM or
site mixing without need of any heating in
SDBC. The following steps are necessary to
an environment-friendly manner.
design cold mixed BM or SDBC with cationic
It is not simply supply of ordinary bitumen
bitumen emulsion.
emulsions but it is the entire value chain of
technology from laboratory mix designs, Testing of Aggregate: The aggregates
supply of tailor made cold mix binder and supplied are subjected to sieve analysis and
overseeing the entire mixing, laying & other physical tests for determining the
rolling activities through technical support properties such as specific gravity, aggregate
and supervision services. impact value, water absorption and sand
equivalent value.

J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2) Mahajan GR et al.

Testing of Bitumen Emulsion: The samples C = Percent aggregate passing on 90 micron

of slow setting bitumen emulsion (SS-2) to sieve
be used for construction of BM shall be Different samples of aggregates and
tested as per IS: 8887. The coating test of emulsion mixes are prepared keeping the
aggregates shall also be carried out as per quantity of bitumen emulsion constant (as
ASTM D 2397 or AASHTOM 208. determined from Equation 1) and varying
the water content.
Determination of Premixing Water Content:
For determination of optimum water The coated aggregates are then visually
content for premixing, the quantity of observed for coated area of the aggregate by
bitumen emulsion is first determined using the binder. The optimum water content is the
the following equation. water content at which maximum coating of
aggregate occur. This water content is taken as
P = 0.05A+0.1B+0.5C ... (1)
premixed water content in designing the cold
mixed BM or cold mixed SDBC. The optimum
P = Quantity of bitumen emulsion (%) water content for BM or SDBC is normally
A = Percent aggregate retained on 2.36 mm found to be 2 to 3 percent by weight of
sieve aggregate. However, this quantity may vary
B = Percent aggregate passing 2.36 mm sieve depending on the weather condition
and retained on 90 micron sieve (temperature, humidity and wind velocity) and
properties of aggregates.

Figure 2.Preparation of Cold Mix

Mahajan GR et al. J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2)

Application Cold Mix Technology for B. Factors favouring Cold Mix Technologies
Rural Roads
i. Availability of a variety of emulsion types
i. Surface dressing which have led to development of new
ii. Premix carpet formulations and improved laboratory
iii. Mix seal surfacing procedures in order to satisfy the design
iv. Patch work and construction requirements.
v. Pothole repair ii. The ability to use cold materials at
remote sites.
Advantages iii. The applicability of emulsions for use in
preventive maintenance so as to
i. 2-3 times faster progress: using existing
increase the service life of existing
facilities at site without any extra
distressed pavements.
investment in capacity building or
iv. Health of construction workers.
ii. Green Technology: Non-polluting C. Tests of Aggregates
process, no heating, saves fuel and 90%
energy efficient. i. Sand equivalent value test
iii. Highly durable: contains anti-stripping ii. Methylene blue test
properties, performing better than Hot iii. Shape test
Mix roads. iv. Gradation test
iv. All weather construction: during v. Soundness test
monsoons and cold winters on dry days. vi. Aggregate impact value test
vii. Water absorption test
viii. Stripping test
Benefits to India
D. Technology Level
i. Social
i. The technology falls under existing
a. No adverse effect on health.
technology that is required for larger
b. Friendly to local construction workers.
implementation, i.e. it can be used
ii. Economical 100% in DPRs.
ii. It can be used both in new as well as
a. Higher progress, faster connectivity, on going works, even in World Bank
avoids escalations. funded projects.
b. Eradicates need of subsidized fuel iii. It can be used in all applications like
equivalent to 3375 million INR. BM/SDBC, OGPC and MSS.
iv. IRC specifications IRC: SP: 100
A. Environmental
published in 2014.
1,500 litre per Km means annually v. 2500 km in different States viz. Assam,
programme of 30,000 km can save the Tripura, Meghalaya, Maharashtra,
nation 45 million litre and 145.35 million Karnataka, West Bengal, Himachal
kg carbon footprints. Pradesh in last 5 years.

J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2) Mahajan GR et al.

Figure 3.Modification of Hot Mix Plant Setup into Cold Mix Plant Setup

Figure 4.Energy Input and Emission Chart

Mahajan GR et al. J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2)

Table 1.Comparison of Fuel and Material Consumption for Cold Mix and Hot Mix Technology (1 Km
rural road construction)
Specification Cold mix (alternative) Hot mix (Conventional )
Bitumen (MT) Fuel (L) Bitumen (MT) Fuel (L)
PMC 7.31 90 8.03 1790
MSS 6.82 88 7.13 1589

Table 2.Energy Consumption in Hot Mix and Cold Mix Technology

Specifications Energy kilo cal *10
Hot Mix Technology Cold Mix Technology
Mix-seal surfacing 1.16 0.92
Premix surfacing 1.02 0.90

Conclusions 3. Hicks RG, Moulthrop J, Daleiden J.

Selecting a preventive maintenance
It was concluded that cold mix technology is treatment for flexible pavements.
good for health of construction workers as it Transportation Research Record: Journal
prevents burns, occurrence of diseases like of the Transportation Research Board
asthma, cancer and frequent vomiting, etc. 1999; 1680: 1-12.
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Asphalt Paving Technology 2000; 69: 92-
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achieved. Highway Engineering. Khanna Publishers
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as it greatly reduces the fuel consumption.
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