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Open AccessArticle

Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Low Noise Pavements: Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Reclaimed Asphalt and Crumb Rubber Based Warm Mix Technologies

Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56126 Pisa, Italy
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Coatings 2019, 9(5), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9050343
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 26 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pavement Surface Coatings)
Increasing environmental awareness is pushing towards sustainable approaches to the design and management of transport infrastructures. A life cycle assessment of low noise pavements is carried out here, with the aim to evaluate and compare the use of warm mix asphalts containing crumb rubber (CR) from end-of-life tires (ELTs) and reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). Different scenarios have been considered, taking into account production, construction, maintenance activities, and end-of-life of the pavement, according to a cradle to grave approach. Hot mix asphalt (HMA) was used as a reference wearing course. Results show that the simultaneous implementation of warm asphalt technologies and recycled materials can lead to a 50% reduction of the environmental burdens, compared to the standard scenario. The difference is mainly ascribed to the material depletion, the energy consumption, and the emissions associated with the frequency of maintenance of the wearing course. The use of asphalt rubber is environmentally advantageous, if compared to polymer modified binders (PMB); moreover, rubberized open-graded mixtures require the lowest bitumen content and maintenance. The findings of this research support the use of recycled materials and warm technologies as a way to improve the environmental sustainability of low noise pavements. View Full-Text
Keywords: LCA; asphalt mixture; road; WMA; impact assessment LCA; asphalt mixture; road; WMA; impact assessment
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Puccini, M.; Leandri, P.; Tasca, A.L.; Pistonesi, L.; Losa, M. Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Low Noise Pavements: Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Reclaimed Asphalt and Crumb Rubber Based Warm Mix Technologies. Coatings 2019, 9, 343.

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