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Our vision is to be the Institute of Choice for Highway Engineers. Our mission is to provide professional development opportunities, support and leadership for individuals to achieve and maintain professional recognition.

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IHE comments on using plastics in asphalt report

  • Thursday November 28, 2019

Austroads Ltd have published a report on 24th October 2019 called the ‘Viability of Using Recycled Plastics in Asphalt and Sprayed Sealing Applications’.

This technical report examines the viability of using recycled plastics in asphalt and sprayed seals by Australian and New Zealand road authorities.

IHE CEO Richard Hayes commented on the report:

“It was found that waste plastic can act as a partial aggregate replacement in bituminous mixes, and a binder extender without having any significant influence on the properties of the asphalt mix. However, not all recycled plastics are suitable for bitumen modification at high temperatures. For example, heating Poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) at high temperatures can result in dangerous chloride emissions and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has a high potential for its own reuse. It is important to note that most of the laboratory testing was not performed in accordance with Australian bitumen standards and specification.

“Whilst there may be environmental benefits associated with the use of recycled plastic, there are concerns regarding the potential health and safety hazards that road workers might be exposed to while handling these materials, sustainability impacts, and impacts on the surrounding environment. One of the recommendations in the report is the need for the development of a governance framework on the use of plastics in road construction.”

To view the full report visit: https://austroads.com.au/publications/pavement/ap-t351-19

Join the Institute of Choice for Highway Engineers

IHE membership formally recognises your qualifications and industry experience. Join us and demonstrate your technical skills, qualifications and expertise to clients and employers.