Asphalt producers continue to make significant use of energy-saving hot mix asphalt technologies, with more than 99 percent recycled asphalt pavement recycled.
In 2017, 147.4 million tonnes of hot mix asphalt was produced at reduced temperatures. This is almost 39% of total asphalt production and a whopping 777% increase since 2009.
Almost 79 million tons of recycled materials, including shingles, were used in the asphalt pavements.
This is according to the 2018 Survey of the US Asphalt Pavement Mixing Industry by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). The survey was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.
“Through engineering, performance-based specifications and RAP processing, manufacturing equipment and improved procedures, we are creating asphalt pavement mixes that successfully incorporate reclaimed and recycled materials,” says Mike, president of NAPA. Acott.
NAPA President Mike Acott
NAPA President Mike Acott
“However, there is still room for improvement and we are supporting research and education efforts to keep the use of these economical and environmentally friendly asphalt mixes growing.”
Asphalt mix producers from all 50 states completed the 2017 construction season survey, with 238 companies and 1,158 manufacturing plants represented.
Since it began in 2009, the survey has documented increases in the use of recycled materials and hot mix asphalt, although the rapid rate of increase has slowed since 2013, annual surveys show.
“Asphalt Paving Industry Survey results for the 2017 construction season show that asphalt mix manufacturers have a strong track record of using sustainable practices and continue to increase the use of recycled materials and hot mixed asphalt ( WMA), “says the survey.
“Using recycled materials, especially Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) and Reclaimed Asphalt Shingles (RAS), conserves raw materials and reduces overall asphalt mixing costs, allowing road owners to get more activities maintenance and construction of roads with limited budgets.
“WMA technologies can improve compaction at reduced temperatures, ensuring pavement performance and long life; save energy; reduce emissions from manufacturing and paving operations; and improve the conditions of workers. ”
The report found that WMA technologies were introduced to lower the production and compaction temperatures of asphalt mixes, reducing the energy required and emissions associated with producing the mix.
Additional benefits include better low-temperature compaction of asphalt mixtures leading to better pavement performance, as well as a longer pavement season.
The report says that WMA was selected for accelerated rollout on federal highways, the Department of Transportation, and local highways as part of FHWA’s Every Day Counts 2010 initiative.
“The asphalt industry remains the most diligent recycler in the country, with more than 99 percent of recycled asphalt pavement being reused,” the survey report said.
“The average percentage of RAP used in asphalt mixes increased from 15.6% in 2009 to 20.1% in 2017.
“In 2017, the estimated tonnage of RAP used in asphalt mixes was 76.2 million tons. This represents more than 3.8 million tons (21.5 million barrels) of preserved asphalt binder, along with the replacement of more than 72 million tons of virgin aggregate.
“Likewise, the use of RAS in asphalt pavement mixtures has increased from 701,000 tons in 2009 to around 944,000 tons in 2017; however, the use of RAS decreased significantly (32%) from 2016 to 2017, “the report indicates.
According to report authors Brett A. Williams, Audrey Copeland and T. Carter Ross of NAPA, the combined asphalt and aggregate binder savings from the use of RAP and RAS in asphalt mixes is estimated at more than $ 2.2 thousand millions,