This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Are you involved in rehabilitation of existing roads; two-laning of single-lane roads; four-laning of two-lane roads; or six-laning of 4-lane roads? If so, most likely you are losing the “black gold” (that is, the very very expensive bitumen) on such projects by not resorting to recycling of existing asphalt pavement. In many cases, we are either just dumping the RAP (recycled asphalt pavement) material on the road side or mixing it with granular subbase (GSB) or Wet Mix Macadam (WMM). Both are examples of sheer waste and loss of bitumen, which is the costliest ingredient in asphalt pavement. Hot mix recycling is economically lucrative when existing bituminous pavements get buried while constructing vehicle under passes, public under passes, and flyovers. This is happening on many national highways in India when six-laning of existing four–lane highways is done. In such cases, the existing bituminous pavement usually consisting of Dense Bituminous Macadam (DBM) and Bituminous Concrete (BC), can be milled off and RAP transported to hot mix plant for recycling. A hypothetical case is given here. An existing four-lane highway with a total length of 120 km is to be made a six lane highway. Due to construction of numerous under passes and flyovers during six-laning, about 30 km of existing four-laned highway will get buried if not reclaimed. The total tonnage of bitumen in existing 115 mm thick DBM and 40 mm thick BC is estimated to be 7,119 tons, which has a value of Rupees 22.1 crores, considering the cost of bitumen at Rs. 31,000 per ton. The total tonnage of aggregate which can be reclaimed from RAP is 165,238 tons, which has a value of Rs. 6.1 crores considering its cost of Rs. 370 per ton. Therefore, the gross savings from reusing the bitumen and aggregate from RAP amounts to Rs. 28.2 crores. It is estimated that cold milling and transport of RAP to a hot mix plant would cost about Rs. 8.2 crores. Therefore, a net saving of Rs. 20 crores can be realized on this sixlaning project if hot mix recycling is implemented. Cold in-place recycling should have been implemented in India many years ago when 2-laning and 4-laning of highways was begun. Most of the existing bituminous pavements were constructed in several stages in the past using different (sometimes unknown) types of bituminous mixes or surface treatments. These pavements can be converted into a uniform and stable base course through cold in-place recycling. An existing one-lane road can also be widened into a 2-lane road simultaneously by incorporating extra virgin aggregate and asphalt binder during the same recycling operation. If the bituminous crust of the existing road is thin, cold in-place recycling can include the underlying water bound macadam (WBM) or wet mix macadam (WMM). The rejuvenated, uniform, stable base can be provided with bituminous overlay(s). This recycling/widening process has been done successfully in the US. This is far better than strengthening the existing singe lane road with questionable pavement courses and widening it to two lanes with dissimilar paving materials. In case of four-laning of a two-lane highway, the existing two lanes can be strengthened by cold in-place recycling as described above. It is about time cold inplace recycling is encouraged and implemented in India. Savings of as much as 30% can result when cold in-place recycling is adopted in lieu of total reconstruction.
Hot in-place recycling (HIPR) is most suited for removing surface distresses such as ravelling and cracking in the top 50 mm of asphalt pavement, thereby renewing the asphalt wearing course. Whereas recycling of asphalt pavements has become a standard practice in many countries of the world for the last 30 years, we in India have missed the boat. How long are we going to wait? It is high time the major contractors take lead and start using appropriate recycling techniques not only to reutilize the “black gold” to save money and energy but also to reduce the carbon footprint in India. This is quite possible on many major highway projects where the contractors have the option of designing the project. Is recycling of asphalt pavements a “rocket science”? No, it is not. Several publications are available on this subject. I (together with Dr. Rajib Mallick) had the privilege of developing detailed, easy to understand, guidelines for recycling asphalt pavements; the project was funded by the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This manual was used by us to conduct field workshops throughout the US to train highway engineers of state and local governments, contractors, and consultants. Twelve workshops were conducted by us in different parts of the US to train engineers of all 50 states. This comprehensive manual addresses all issues related to recycling such as performance of recycled mixes; selection of appropriate type of recycling; economics of recycling; and structural design of recycled pavements. Four types of recycling have been described in detail: Hot mix recycling; Hot in-place recycling; Cold asphalt recycling (both central plant and in-place); and Full depth reclamation. Each recycling method has been described in terms of construction methods & equipment; materials & mix design; and case histories and QC/QA (quality control/quality assurance). You can download and print these guidelines “free” from the internet links, which are provided below. I sincerely hope engineers involved in major highway projects would take initiative and implement recycling techniques appropriate for their projects. I sincerely hope that the Indian Roads Congress will develop specifications for all types of asphalt recycling as soon as possible to facilitate the implementation of recycling by specifying agencies. Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal 21 January 2011 Homepage: www.eng.auburn.edu/users/kandhps “American roads are not good because America is rich, but America is rich because American roads are good.” - John F. Kennedy “Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Kandhal, Prithvi S. and Rajib B. Mallick. Pavement Recycling
Guidelines for State and Local Governments. Federal Highway Administration Report FHWA-SA-98-042, December 1997.
The reader can download any or all of the following chapters by clicking on URL given under each chapter (or CTRL plus click or copy and paste in URL). For example, if the reader is interested in cold in-place recycling only, then Chapters 13, 14, and 15 would be appropriate. Use the main reference above if any material is quoted from any chapter. The copyright of this manual is held solely by the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The full manual can be downloaded and printed free at the following URL: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042 Individual chapters can be downloaded and printed free at the following URLs: 1. Introduction to Pavement Recycling http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_01.pdf
2. Performance Data of Recycled Mixtures http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_02.pdf
3. Selection of Pavement for Recycling and Recycling Strategies http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_03.pdf
4. Economics of Recycling http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_04.pdf
5. Hot Mix Asphalt Recycling - Batch Plant (Construction Methods and Equipment) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_05.pdf
6. Hot Mix Asphalt Recycling - Drum Plant (Construction Methods and Equipment) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_06.pdf
7. Hot Mix Asphalt Recycling (Materials and Mix Design) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_07.pdf
8. Hot Mix Asphalt Recycling (Case Histories and QC/QA) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_08.pdf
9. Hot In-Place Recycling (Construction Methods and Equipment) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_09.pdf
10. Hot In-Place Recycling (Materials and Mix Design) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_10.pdf
11. Hot In-Place Recycling (Case History and QC/QA) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_11.pdf
12. Cold-Mix Asphalt Recycling - Central Plant (Construction Methods and Equipment) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_12.pdf
13. Cold In-Place Recycling (Construction Methods and Equipment) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_13.pdf
14. Cold-Mix Asphalt Recycling (Materials and Mix Design) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_14.pdf
15. Cold-Mix Asphalt Recycling (Case Histories and QC/QA) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_15.pdf
16. Full Depth Reclamation (Construction Methods and Equipment) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_16.pdf
17. Full Depth Reclamation (Case Histories and QC/QA) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_17.pdf
18. Structural Design of Recycled Pavements http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/recycling/98042/CHPT_18.pdf