Today, high-performance requirements for asphalt pavements demand enhanced properties for bitumen to withstand the environmental condition and traffic demand. On the other hand, the rapid growth in population and economy results in a continuously increased material consumption, and subsequently waste generation. Among various waste materials, rubber and plastic, including high-density polyethylene (HDPE), constitute some part of the non-biodegradable solid wastes worldwide. Because of the great difficulties in managing the non-biodegradable wastes and the required volume of bitumen, the idea of using plastic and rubber as bitumen modifier in new asphalt mixtures appears to be an effective and meaningful utilization of these materials. As binder plays an important role in the final performance of the asphalt mixture, an understanding of modified binder properties is essential in designing an asphalt mixture. To this point, since compatibility of asphalt mixture with polymer is the most important factor in the blend of polymers and asphalt, the properties of the waste polymers were evaluated in this ongoing research by means of advanced thermal analysis and scanning electron microscope (SEM). This chapter presents the results of this experimental study to evaluate the properties of polymers as potential modifier for virgin bitumen in asphalt mixture.
Part of the book: Modified Asphalt