How Recycled Materials Can Enhance Asphalt Performance

How Recycled Materials Can Enhance Asphalt Performance

There are a lot of benefits to using recycled asphalt millings (RAP), including the potential for enhanced asphalt performance. RAP can also save you money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recycled asphalt millings are made from previously used roads or other asphalt projects that have been torn up. Instead of shipping these materials to a landfill, we can reuse the materials to make a new mix of asphalt—known as recycled asphalt millings. Researchers have found that recycled asphalt millings are just as durable and long lasting as their virgin counterparts. In some cases, they are even more durable.

5 Noteworthy Benefits of Recycled Asphalt Millings

Same Quality as Virgin Asphalt 

Quality of recycled asphalt materials does not decrease in comparison to virgin asphalt materials. Some experts believe recycled asphalt is better in terms of durability and strength.

Preserves Limited Resources

The aggregates used to make asphalt (sand, gravel, stone, etc.) are considered limited resources. Reusing what we have available helps reduce stress on limited natural resources.

Reduces Landfill Waste

When materials end up reused as new asphalt, they avoid winding up in overcrowded landfills.

Money-Saving Advantages

According to the National Asphalt Paving Association, American taxpayers save a combined total of up to $1.8 million dollars per year, all thanks to the use of recycled asphalt. Recycled asphalt is cheaper to manufacture and source all-around, saving everyone involved a pretty penny.

Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Recycled asphalt millings remove the massive amounts of fuel required to obtain and process raw materials, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

These are the words we are taught to live by if we want to see this planet through another 1,000+ years. Construction is an environmentally taxing industry, yes, but it’s also a necessity. Therefore, it’s crucial that we find unique ways to reduce the negative impact construction has on the planet. That’s the great thing about recycled asphalt millings—they are recycled, and therefore eco-friendlier.

Could Concrete Make the Shift to the Recycled Side?

While recycled asphalt millings are largely accepted and applied in the construction industry today, concrete made from recycled materials is still in its first stages.

“We’re seeing that concrete made with recycled materials lasts just as long if not longer than concrete made with 100% virgin materials,” said Matthew P. Adams, an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He and his team have been researching the long-term durability of more sustainable forms of concrete.

Concrete is incredibly popular, in fact it is the most commonly used construction material in the world. Concrete and the cement that holds it together require an energy-intensive process that emits around 80% of its material weight in carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the production of concrete accounts for around 5% of total carbon dioxide produced by humans each year.

Researchers have been paying close attention to alternative ways to enhance the performance of concrete while also reducing its negative impact on the environment. Assistant professor Matthew P. Adams has found recycled concrete can be used as a replacement for natural aggregate—similarly to how recycled asphalt is produced. As a result, this offers a more environmentally sustainable alternative that conserves natural resources while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And, perhaps most importantly, does not impact the quality, durability, or longevity of concrete. 

Interested in Using Recycled Asphalt Millings for Your Next Project?

We welcome you to enjoy all the benefits that come with using recycled asphalt millings. As an industry leader in commercial construction, we can help you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more or get a quote.