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Asphalt Pavement

Hot Mix Recycling of


Asphalt P avements
Pavements
It’s Long Overdue in India!

Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal, Associate Director Emeritus, National Center for Asphalt Technology
Auburn University, Alabama USA.

Introduction In-Place Recycling; and (5) Full made a six-laned highway. Due to
Depth Reclamation. Only hot construction of under passes and
Recycling of existing asphalt
recycling of asphalt pavements at a flyovers a total of about 30 km of
pavement materials to produce new
central plant will be discussed in the existing four lanes of bituminous
pavement materials results in
this article in the context of 4-laning pavement will get buried if not
considerable savings of material,
and 6-laning of India’s state reclaimed and recycled. The total
money, and energy. The specific
highways and national highways tonnage of bitumen, which will be
benefits of recycling can be
wherein road paving bitumen worth buried, is estimated to be about
summarized as follows: (a)
crores of rupees is being buried 7,000 tons which has a value of
substantial savings over the use of
rather than recycled. The cost of more than 22 crore rupees. The
new materials, (b) conservation of
bitumen is about the same as total tonnage of aggregate in the
natural resources, (c) performance
sugar that is: `30-35 per kg. Will bituminous pavement, which will
equal or even better than new
we bury sugar under our highways? also get buried, is estimated to be
materials, (d) pavement geometrics
The “burial” of bitumen which about 165,000 tons which has a
is maintained, and (e) saving of
is our country’s “dharohar” value of over 6 crore rupees. So we
considerable amount of energy
(property) is being done will have a gross savings of over
compared to conventional
indiscriminately on some of our 28 crore rupees. The estimated cost
construction techniques. The last
highways, which are being six-laned of cold milling and transport of RAP
benefit is very important due to the
from the existing four lanes. Existing to hot mix plant for recycling is
recent urgent need for reducing
four lanes of bituminous pavement about 8 crores. Therefore, a net
greenhouse gases that is, reducing
get buried while constructing vehicle savings of rupees 20 crores can
carbon footprint thereby earning
under passes, public under passes, be realized on this six-laning project
carbon credits for India.
and flyovers. In such cases, the if hot mix recycling is implemented
Over the years, recycling has
existing bituminous pavement by the National Highway Authority of
become one of the most attractive
usually consisting of dense India (NHAI). There are many
pavement rehabilitation alternatives
bituminous macadam (DBM) and projects of this nature which can
in developed countries.
bituminous concrete (BC) can be save us hundreds of crores. The
Unfortunately, asphalt pavement
milled off and the reclaimed asphalt one-time cost of modifying an
recycling is yet to take off in India
pavement (RAP) transported to hot existing asphalt batch plant to do
despite the current ambitious road
mix plant for recycling on service hot mix recycling in India is only 20
building programme underway.
roads and/or main line. Asphalt lakhs rupees.
The Asphalt Recycling and
pavement is 100% recyclable. Besides huge savings in cost
Reclaiming Association define five
Here is an example. An existing and earning carbon credits, we will
different types of recycling methods:
four-lane national highway with a also have to obtain less virgin
(1) Cold Planing; (2) Hot Recycling;
total length of 120 km is to be aggregate from our stone quarries
(3) Hot In Place Recycling; (4) Cold

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and also will have to import less burial. Moreover, inclusion of QC/QA (quality control/quality
crude oil to produce the paving discrete particles of RAP in GSB assurance). This manual can be
bitumen. In some states such as is detrimental to its function as downloaded free at the following
Punjab and Haryana where stone drainage layer in the pavement. internet link:
quarries are prohibited, aggregate Inclusion of discrete sub rounded h t t p : / / w w w. s c r i b d . c o m / d o c /
is transported from the neighboring particles of RAP in WMM 47299513/Pavement-Recycling-
states covering over 150 km that interferes with the interlocking Guidelines-for-State-and-Local-
makes the aggregate very characteristic of the WMM. Governments-Federal-Highway-
expensive. Besides, the cost of bitumen is Administration-Publication-No-
hardly realized from this burial.] FHWA-SA-98-042-December-1997
Common Arguments 4. We do not have an Indian Roads However, training of NHAI
Congress (IRC) specification for engineers, contractors, and
Against Recycling of hot asphalt recycling. [As a consultants in hot mix recycling is
Asphalt Pavements member of the IRC Flexible still needed. The writer is currently
The following arguments are Pavement Committee, last year based in Jaipur and can assist in
commonly encountered as to why the writer had submitted two draft conducting such training workshops.
NHAI should not mandate hot specifications to IRC for adoption Hot mix recycling cannot be
recycling of asphalt pavements. The to facilitate hot recycling. One implemented in India until NHAI
writer’s response is given in specification is for cold milling mandates its use on all major
parenthesis. and the other for hot mix recycling. projects. Such a circular should be
1. It is a new technology that we NHAI can use these two draft issued as soon as possible before
cannot implement as we do not standards immediately without the highway fraternity of India is
have the relevant experience. [Hot waiting for IRC’s final approval blamed for squandering our
recycling of asphalt pavements because time is of essence. country’s “dharohar” by burying it
has become a standard, proven These two draft standards can under our national highways. By
practice in many countries of the be downloaded at the following Just issuing a circular to encourage
world in the last 30 years. It is link: recycling is not good enough any
not a US technology but global h t t p : / / w w w. s c r i b d . c o m / d o c / more. Recycling should also be
and not a “rocket science.” We 77469016/Open-Letter-to-the- allowed in existing contracts with
can implement it right away on Chairman-of-the-NHAI-About-Hot- immediate effect.
major NH projects without any Recycling-18-November-2011
experience or experimental field 5. NHAI engineers, contractors, and Hot Mix Asphalt
consultants are not trained in hot
trials just like NHAI has
mix recycling. [The writer had
Recycling
commendably implemented the
use of robust stone matrix asphalt the privilege of developing Technology
(SMA) mix recently on national detailed, easy to understand, Two processes which are essential
highways without any problem.] guidelines for recycling asphalt for carrying out recycling of existing
2. Recycled hot asphalt mix may be pavements; the project was asphalt pavements are (a) cold
inferior in performance to 100% funded by the US Federal milling of existing road and (b) hot
virgin asphalt mix. [Numerous Highway Administration (FHWA). mix recycling at asphalt plant. These
field studies in the developed This manual was used by the are discussed here:
countries have shown time and writer and his associate Dr. Rajib
again that the performance of hot Mallick to conduct field workshops Cold Milling
recycled asphalt mix is equal to throughout the US to train highway Cold milling is described as an
or better than 100% virgin mix. engineers of state and local automatic method of removing
This is because the specification governments, contractors, and asphalt pavement to a desired
requirements are generally the consultants. Twelve workshops depth and restoration of the surface
same for both.] were conducted in different parts to a desired grade and slope and
3. We are already recycling the of the US to train engineers from free of humps, ruts and other
milled RAP in the granular sub all 50 states. This comprehensive distresses. This method can also
base (GSB) and/or wet mix maca- manual addresses all issues be used for the roughening or
dam (WMM) on some national related to recycling such as texturing of a pavement to improve
highway projects. [Use of RAP in construction methods & frictional resistance. Cold milling is
GSB or WMM cannot be called equipment; materials & mix performed with a self-propelled
recycling; it is still a wasteful design; and case histories and rotary drum cold milling machine

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Asphalt Pavement

produce hot mix asphalt (HMA)


mixtures. Both batch and drum type
hot mix plants are used to produce
recycled mix. The RAP material can
be obtained by milling or ripping
and crushing operation.

Batch Plant
Batch type hot mix plants are quite
common in India. Some
modifications are required in the
batch plant to recycle RAP since
attempts to introduce RAP directly
with the virgin aggregates result in
excessive smoke and material
build-up problems in the dryer, hot
elevator, screens and hot aggregate
bins. The most widely used method
Figure 1: Milling machine loading RAP on truck for transport to hot mix asphalt plant
for batch plant recycling is the
“Maplewood Method.” Figure 2
with the reclaimed asphalt hour in India, where streets in
shows the schematic of this
pavement (RAP) transferred to metropolitan areas have reduced
method.
trucks for removal from the job site curb heights due to repeated
The cold pre-screened RAP
(Figure 1). The rotary drum is fitted overlays. “Mill and fill” should be a
(95% should pass 50 mm sieve) is
with tungsten carbide teeth, which common practice in urban India.
stored in a steep-sided bin. RAP is
can bite through hard rock particles.
Hot Mix Asphalt conveyed from this bin directly into
The resulting pavement can be
the weigh hopper of the batch
used immediately by regular traffic
and overlaid at some future time or
Recycling at Asphalt tower (or to another RAP bin
besides hot bins) through an
left as a textured surface. Plant inclined conveyor having automatic
Cold milling has become a Hot recycling or hot mix recycling is plant control. Superheated
common practice in developed the process in which reclaimed aggregate is discharged first in the
countries in the so-called “mill and asphalt pavement (RAP) material is weigh hopper followed by RAP at
fill” method of resurfacing/ combined with new materials ambient temperature. Since heat
rehabilitating asphalt pavements. (asphalt binder and aggregate) to rises, superheated aggregate heats
For example, it is quite
up the RAP. More heat
common in the US to mill off
transfer takes place during
the top 40-mm asphalt
dry mixing and wet mixing in
wearing course which is
the pugmill. Figure 3 shows
exhibiting surface distress
a batch plant with RAP bin
such as raveling, cracking
and RAP conveyor.
and rutting, and then replace
Generally, 30% RAP in
(fill) it with a new recycled
the recycled mix is
asphalt wearing course. It is
considered to be practical
done on interstate (national)
limit for this type of recycling
highways which are
technique.
otherwise structurally
Therefore, major
adequate so that the paved
modifications to batch plant
shoulders need not be
consist of a separate bin for
upgraded in elevation. It is
RAP and an automated
especially useful and
conveyor system for taking
necessary for urban streets
the RAP from the bin to
where overlay after overlay
weigh hopper. If desired a
would decrease the height
RAP bin can also be
of the roadside curb. This Figure 2: Schematic of hot mix asphalt recycling in a provided near the hot bins
latter use is the need of the batch plant and RAP discharged from

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Asphalt Pavement

(when recycling about 50% RAP). It


then drops through the wall of the
drum and meets the RAP in the
annular space. Since the outer shell
does not rotate, easy access is
available to add virgin asphalt
binder and/or rejuvenating agents.
In this method, the RAP material is
not exposed to the hot gases.

Grade of Virgin
Bitumen Used in
Recycling
Since RAP typically contains hard,
aged asphalt binder (bitumen), the
grade of virgin asphalt binder to be
used in hot mix recycling depends
upon the amount of RAP in the
recycled mix. A study completed by
Figure 3: Typical batch plant with RAP bin and RAP conveyor Kandhal and Foo indicated that the
evaluation of recycled mixture should
that bin to the weigh hopper with a heats up the RAP by conduction be based on a three-tier process.
chute. These modifications can be before mixing with virgin bitumen. Tier 1 included up to 20% RAP and
done easily to existing HMA batch Generally, 50% RAP material is would not require any change in
plants. As mentioned earlier, the considered to be the practical limit the grade of standard bitumen. Tier
estimated one-time cost of such for this type of recycling technique. 2 included from 21 to 30% RAP
modifications is about `20 lakhs in A schematic of the center entry and required that the new bitumen
India. method used in a conventional grade should be softer by one
drum plant is shown in Figure 4. grade. Tier 3 included more than
Drum Plant
A double barrel drum mix plant 30% RAP and required that the
The center entry method is the most
is ideally suited for hot mix asphalt bitumen be recovered from the RAP
widely used method for hot mix
recycling. A schematic of the double and blended with the proposed
recycling in a drum mix plant. In
barrel drum is shown in Figure 5. virgin soft bitumen to produce
this method, RAP is introduced with
The shell of the drum is used as blended bitumen with the desired
a special drum collar into the
the shaft of the coater. The virgin properties of standard bitumen.
downstream of the burner flame to
aggregate is dried in the inner drum Current guidelines for Superpave
mix with superheated virgin (new)
and superheated to 315-340 C mix design are similar to those
aggregate. The hot virgin aggregate

Figure 4: Schematic of hot mix recycling in a drum plant by the Figure 5: Schematic of hot mix recycling in a double barrel
central entry method drum plant

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recommended by Kandhal and Foo. structural improvement, equal or board, Transportation Research
Since viscosity grading was better performance compared to Record 2051, 2008.
adopted in India in 2006, the above conventional HMA, and capability to
About The Author
recommendations mean that VG- correct most surface defects,
Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal is
30 can be used when the RAP is deformation, and cracking.
20% or less. If RAP is 21 – 30%, a
References
softer viscosity grade, that is, VG-
♦ Kandhal, Prithvi S. and Rajib B. Mallick.
20 should be used. Over 30% RAP,
Pavement Recycling Guidelines for
blend of aged and virgin binder State and Local Governments. Federal
should be analyzed. It is quite Highway Administration Publication No.
possible VG-10 may have to be FHWA-SA-98-042, December 1997.
used. ♦ Kandhal, P.S. Open Letter to Chairman,
High RAP mixes are being National Highway Authority of India
developed to further reduce the on Hot Mix Recycling, 18 November
2011. http://www.scribd.com/doc/
carbon footprint as well as
77469016/Open-Letter-to-the-
economize construction. Such Associate Director Emeritus of the
Chairman-of-the-NHAI-About-Hot-
mixes have been made possible National Center for Asphalt
Recycling-18-November-2011
by separating RAP materials ♦ Newcomb, D.E., E.R. Brown, and J.A. Technology (NCAT) based at Auburn
according to size and/or new Epps. Designing HMA Mixtures with University, Alabama, U.S.A. NCAT is
designs of drum mix plants. Warm High RAP Content – A Practical Guide. the largest asphalt (bitumen) road
mix asphalt (WMA) technologies National Asphalt Pavement technology center in the world. Prior
also offer potential for using high Association, Quality Improvement to joining NCAT in 1988, Kandhal
Series 124, March 2007. served as Chief Asphalt Engineer
RAP contents.
♦ Kandhal, P.S., S.S. Rao and B. Young.
of the Pennsylvania Department of
Performance of Recycled Mixtures in
Summary State of Georgia. Federal Highway
Transportation for 17 years. He is
Hot mix recycling should be Administration Report No. FHWA-GA- the first person born outside North
implemented in India especially by 94-9209, 1994. America, who has held the following
NHAI ASAP because besides ♦ Kandhal, P.S. Recycling of Asphalt three very prestigious positions in
reducing carbon footprint, it has Pavements: An Overview. Proceedings the asphalt technology area:
significant economical advantages of the Association of Asphalt Paving ♦ President, Association of Asphalt
Technologists, Vol. 66, 1997. Paving Technologists (with
by reusing very costly asphalt binder
♦ Roberts, F.L., P.S. Kandhal, E.R.
(bitumen) and aggregates. If “mill members from all continents in
Brown, D. Lee and T.W. Kennedy.
and fill” method is adopted in the world)
Hot Mix Asphalt Materials, Mix Design
metropolitan India, hot mix recycling and Construction. HMA Textbook, ♦ Chairman, American Society for
becomes necessary so that surplus Second Edition, NAPA Education Testing and Materials (ASTM)
RAP is not discarded but recycled Foundation, Lanham, MD 1996. International Committee on Road
back on the road. ♦ Kandhal, P.S. and K.Y. Foo. Hot Mix Paving Standards (responsible for
Hot mix recycling is Recycling Design Using Superpave over 200 highway standards used
Technology. ASTM, Special Technical worldwide)
economically lucrative when existing
Publication 1322, 1997.
bituminous pavements get buried ♦ Chairman, Transportation
♦ McDaniel, R. and Anderson R.M.
while constructing vehicle under Research Board Committee on
Recommended Use of Reclaimed
passes, public under passes, and Asphalt Asphalt Roads, U.S. National
flyovers. This is happening on many ♦ Pavement in the Superpave Mix Academy of Sciences
national highways in India when Design Method: Technicians Manual. Prof. Kandhal has published
six-laning of existing four-lane Transportation Research Board. over 120 technical papers and has
highways is done. In such cases, NCHRP Report 452, 2001. co-authored the first ever textbook
♦ Kandhal, P.S. An Overview of the on asphalt road technology, which
the existing bituminous pavement
Viscosity Grading System Adopted in
usually consisting of Dense is used by more than 25
India for Paving Bitumen. Indian Roads
Bituminous Macadam (DBM) and universities in the U.S. He has
Congress, Indian Highways, April
Bituminous Concrete (BC), can be 2007. traveled to various countries in
milled off and RAP transported to ♦ Mallick, R., P. S. Kandhal, and R. South America, Europe, Middle East,
hot mix plant for recycling and reuse Bradbury. Using Warm Mix Asphalt China, Vietnam, Japan, and
on service roads and the main line. Technology to Incorporate High Australia to provide training and
Besides cost savings, the Percentage of Reclaimed Asphalt consulting services in asphalt
Pavement (RAP) Material in Asphalt (bitumen) technology.
advantages of hot mix asphalt
Mixtures. Transportation Research
recycling include significant

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