Proof of concept study on the crack-healing of asphalt concrete modified with recycled metallic waste

Grant: Project Seed Money SMG 1801

Leading House for the Latin American Region, University of St. Gallen (CLS HSG), Switzerland

Principal Investigators: Martin Arraigada (EMPA) & Jose Norambuena-Contreras (UBB)

Co-principal Investigators: Lily Poulikakos & Alvaro Gonzalez

Project duration: 2018 to 2019 (12 months)

This project aims to explore the feasibility of using electromagnetic radiation/energy to increase the temperature in asphalt concrete pavements modified with waste metallic additives, triggering crack-healing to extend the lifespan of the road. The benefit of this research approach is twofold: on the one hand, it expands the research on asphalt healing considering new types of metallic additives obtained from industrial waste. On the other hand, it helps to reduce the amount of waste disposal, finding new applications for waste from the construction industry. To that end, microwave and induction technologies will be used as feasible radiation energy sources. Furthermore, asphalt mixtures will be modified with two types of recycled materials: steel fibres recovered from scrap tyres and steel shavings from manufacturing processes. This eco-innovative effort will contribute to the global objective of improving the performance of asphalt pavements and reducing the impact of human activities on the environment.