Performance Evaluation of Recycled Asphalt Shingles (RAS) in Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA): An Ontario Perspective
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Today, a large quantity of waste is generated from the replacement of residential and commercial roofs. Many of the roofs being upgraded with previously constructed from asphalt shingles. Recycled Asphalt Shingles (RAS) contain nearly 30% of asphalt cement by mass, which can be a useful additive to asphalt pavements. In addition, shingles can offer significant potential savings through recycling and recovery as a construction material in flexible pavement. Currently, one and a half million tons of roofing shingle waste is generated each year in Canada related to the replacement of residential and commercial roofs and 90% of this valuable material is sent to landfills. If engineered properly, the addition of RAS into Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) can provide significant benefits. The University of Waterloo’s Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT) is committed to working with public and private sector partners to develop sustainable technologies for the pavement industry. Using RAS in HMA can lead to economical, environmental and social benefits. Examples of which are reduced waste going to landfills and a reduction in the quantity of virgin material required. This research has involved the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and Miller Paving Limited. It was conducted to evaluate the performance of HMA containing RAS in both field and laboratory tests. A varying percentage of RAS was added to six common Ontario surface and binder layer of asphalt mixes. The intent was to determine if RAS could be added to improve performance and provide longer term cost savings. Laboratory testing was performed to evaluate the mix behavior. The elastic properties, fatigue life and resistance to thermal cracking were all evaluated at the CPATT laboratory. The characteristics of the mixes were evaluated by carrying out Dynamic Modulus, Resilient Modulus, Flexural Fatigue and Thermal Stress Restrained Specimen Test (TSRST) tests following American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Field test sections were constructed from HMA containing RAS to monitor the pavement behavior under natural environmental and traffic loading conditions. Evaluation of the field sites was performed using a Portable Falling Weight Deflectometer (PFWD) and carrying out distress surveys following the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) guidelines. The results to date show the sections performing very well with minimal to no distress developing. The results of the laboratory testing and field performance evaluations have shown encouraging results for the future use of RAS in HMA. If RAS can properly be engineered into HMA it can be a useful additive in both the surface and binder layers of the flexible pavement structure. Ultimately, the use of RAS in HMA can provide both an environmentally friendly and cost effective solution to the Ontario paving industry.