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Special Issue "Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. William G. Buttlar

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: smart pavement infrastructure; sustainable pavements; asphalt durability; pavement and civil infrastructure materials; tire rubber and waste plastic recycling
Guest Editor
Prof. Jo E. Sias

Professor and Director of UNH Center for Infrastructure Resilience to Climate, University of New Hampshire Durham, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Durham, NH 03824, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: characterization of asphalt concrete materials; pavement fatigue and fracture; recycled materials; aging of asphalt materials; impact of climate change and sea level rise on pavement structures and infrastructure systems; and adaptation alternatives for resilient infrastructure

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is an increasing societal demand and need for sustainable practices to be incorporated into our daily lives and surroundings. Built infrastructure is a large part of our society and a key to the prosperity of individuals and regions. There is a significant opportunity to incorporate sustainability into the planning, construction, and maintenance of built infrastructure. Surface transportation facilities, e.g., pavements, provide a substantial opportunity as they require a significant volume of material that must be quarried or recycled, processed, transported, and constructed. There have been considerable advances in technology related to the design and construction of pavements as well as the materials that are used. The incorporation of recycled materials—from recycled pavements and aggregates to construction and demolition waste, roofing shingles, rubber tires, plastics, and glass—has become increasingly common. In addition, technologies such as warm-mix asphalt (WMA) have been used to decrease emissions and energy requirements and/or to enhance construction quality under a range of conditions. Fracture-resistant concrete, built with coarse reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), has been used to create multi-layered, functionally graded pavement systems with enhanced sustainability. If designed and executed properly, these modern approaches to pavement materials and design provide economic, environmental, and, often, duty-cycle extension benefits.

Approaches to evaluate the impact of various pavement materials on the environment, e.g., life cycle assessment (LCA) methods and tools, have been developed and refined in recent years as well. The improved understanding of the contribution of pavement construction, maintenance, and operation to climate change has led to industry-wide changes in practices. Recent research has begun to explore the impact of climate change on pavement assets. Accordingly, approaches have been developed to assess vulnerabilities and to evaluate adaptation alternatives towards more resilient infrastructure in response to climate change.

The sustainability of pavements is clearly a hot topic of interest to researchers, practitioners, and agencies/owners of these assets. This Special Issue will include some of the exciting cutting-edge work that is being done by leading researchers around the world on sustainability issues related to pavement materials and technologies as well as on the assessment and evaluation of sustainability in regard to the impacts of pavements on and resulting from a changing climate.

Prof. William G. Buttlar
Prof. Jo E. Sias
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable
  • pavement
  • life cycle assessment
  • LCA
  • recycling
  • RAP
  • RAS
  • WMA
  • asphalt
  • concrete
  • climate change
  • resilient
  • LCCA

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprint Estimation in Road Construction: La Abundancia–Florencia Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082276
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
The environmental impact of road construction and rehabilitation can be associated with the increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are highly related to climate change. Consequently, departments of transportation have recently focused on the development and implementation of tools to evaluate the [...] Read more.
The environmental impact of road construction and rehabilitation can be associated with the increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are highly related to climate change. Consequently, departments of transportation have recently focused on the development and implementation of tools to evaluate the performance of projects and minimize GHG emissions. An example is the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) to analyze and quantify the environmental impact of a product, system, or process, from cradle to grave. In this regard, the present case study quantifies the carbon footprint associated with the construction of the La Abundancia–Florencia highway, located in the province of San Carlos in Costa Rica. The analysis is also intended to generate consciousness both in the public and private sectors on the environmental impacts of road construction. After an LCA study, it was determined that the construction of the hot mix asphalt (HMA) layer generates a carbon footprint of 65.8 kg of CO2e per km of road. In addition, it was evident that HMA production generates the greatest environmental impact, among all the considered LCA production and construction stages, with a GHG contribution of 38% to 39% from bitumen only. Consequently, special attention to HMA production is required in order to minimize GHG emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Analysis of Asphalt Mixtures Modified with Ground Tire Rubber Modifiers and Recycled Materials
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061792
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
The usage of Ground Tire Rubber (GTR) in asphalt pavements has gained renewed interest due to its potential sustainability, economic, and performance benefits. This study focuses on asphalt mixtures designed with three different rubber modifier products including (1) a terminal-blend GTR, (2) a [...] Read more.
The usage of Ground Tire Rubber (GTR) in asphalt pavements has gained renewed interest due to its potential sustainability, economic, and performance benefits. This study focuses on asphalt mixtures designed with three different rubber modifier products including (1) a terminal-blend GTR, (2) a dry-process, chemically processed rubber product, and (3) a terminal-blend rubber-polymer hybrid product. The modifications were incorporated into Illinois Tollway’s approved Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA) designs using (1) a base binder (PG 58-28), (2) a softer binder (PG 46-34), and (3) a softer binder with higher recycled content. Disk-shaped Compact Tension (DC(T)) test, Hamburg Wheel Tracking Test (HWTT) and Acoustic Emission (AE) tests were performed to characterize the mixtures. The fracture energy for most mixtures met the stringent criteria of 690 J/m2 and the rut depths measured were less than 6 mm at 20,000 wheel passes. A Hamburg-DC(T) plot suggests that higher amounts of RAP/RAS (RAP: Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement; RAS: Reusable Asphalt Shingles) can be successfully used if a suitably soft base binder is employed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of Bitumen Modified with Pyrolytic Carbon Black from Scrap Tires
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061631
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Pyrolytic carbon black (CBp) from scrap tire pyrolysis is a potential modifier for the bitumen industry. Binders containing different contents of CBp were prepared and experimentally investigated to examine the effects of CBp on the electrical and thermal conductivity, [...] Read more.
Pyrolytic carbon black (CBp) from scrap tire pyrolysis is a potential modifier for the bitumen industry. Binders containing different contents of CBp were prepared and experimentally investigated to examine the effects of CBp on the electrical and thermal conductivity, conventional physical properties, rheological properties, high-temperature antirutting performance, aging resistance, and storage stability. Laboratory test results indicated that the incorporation of CBp effectively improves the electrothermal properties, rheological properties, high-temperature rutting resistance, and aging resistance. It also increases the viscosity and decreases the storage stability of bitumen. The study confirms that CBp-modified bitumen with proper selection of content can be a multifunctional paving material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Improvement Effect of Limestone Powder Waste in the Stabilization of Swelling Clayey Soil
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030679
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
The natural stone industry generates large amounts of industrial waste every year. Limestone powder produced by the activity of this industry is dumped into landfills, generating an environmental impact that could be reduced by using this waste as a binder in building materials. [...] Read more.
The natural stone industry generates large amounts of industrial waste every year. Limestone powder produced by the activity of this industry is dumped into landfills, generating an environmental impact that could be reduced by using this waste as a binder in building materials. In the present work, the use of this by-product as an addition for soil improvement of clayey soils has been studied. The tested natural soil is a soft clay from southeastern Spain, which has been mixed by adding 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25% of dry limestone dust by total dry weight of the soil. The natural soil and the additive have been characterized, in addition to the common geotechnical tests, by means of X-Ray diffraction and X-Ray Fluorescence. The improvement of the geotechnical properties of the mixed soil has been evaluated by means of the change in the Atterberg limits, free swell index, unconfined compressive strength, and one-dimensional consolidation test. The change in the microstructure of the mixed soil has been studied by scanning electron microscopy. In general, the results obtained show an increase in the strength of the soil and a reduction of its deformability when limestone powder is added. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Reclaimed Polymers as Asphalt Binder Modifiers for More Sustainable Roads: A Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030646
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of polymer-modified binders in asphalt mixtures has become more widespread due to their reduced thermal susceptibility and improved rutting and fatigue resistance. Nevertheless, their high cost limits their application, thus making the use of reclaimed polymers (RP) an interesting alternative for [...] Read more.
The use of polymer-modified binders in asphalt mixtures has become more widespread due to their reduced thermal susceptibility and improved rutting and fatigue resistance. Nevertheless, their high cost limits their application, thus making the use of reclaimed polymers (RP) an interesting alternative for both reducing price and extending the service life of pavements. This paper; therefore, presents a comparative review of the recycled polymers most commonly studied as bitumen modifiers: polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), and ground tire rubber (GTR), in order to facilitate their selection and extend the use of the bitumen. The differences in terms of melting point, mixing conditions, and maximum quantity of added polymer are analyzed. Moreover, their effect on the mechanical behavior of the asphalt binders and their stability with and without the use of additives is presented. According to the literature revision, the performance of the new binder is more influenced by the kind of polymer that was incorporated and the mixing conditions than by the base bitumen that was chosen, although rheological evaluation is needed to fully understand the modification mechanisms of the modified binder. In general terms, plastomers have a stronger effect in terms of increasing the stiffness of the bitumen in comparison with crumb rubber (elastomers), thus providing an improved rutting resistance. The joint use of polyethylene (plastomer) and crumb rubber (elastomer) can be an interesting option for its recycling potential and mechanical performance, although further study is needed to achieve stable bitumen across the entire range of temperatures; additives, such as maleic anhydride (MA), are commonly employed to improve the stability of the binder and enhance its characteristics, but their use could limit the economic benefits of using recycled materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle A Sustainability Perspective for Unbound Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) as a Pavement Base Material
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010078
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 9 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 24 December 2018
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Abstract
The present study aims to investigate reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) materials for utilization for a pavement base layer material with the goal towards increasing the reutilization of materials and the movement towards increased pavement sustainability. Reduced cost for materials and transportation of materials, [...] Read more.
The present study aims to investigate reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) materials for utilization for a pavement base layer material with the goal towards increasing the reutilization of materials and the movement towards increased pavement sustainability. Reduced cost for materials and transportation of materials, overall environmental benefits and many other advantages have led to increased interests in utilizing RAP in pavements including as base materials for highway/roadway construction projects. The potential advantages of utilizing RAP as an unbound base material are known; however, its overall application is still limited partially due to the lack of systematic evaluation studies for the parameterization of RAPs mechanical behavior in pavement design. With this in mind, the current investigation focuses on the resilient modulus (Mr) properties of RAP aggregates in terms of a material’s elastic response. Experimental data from tri-axial stress tests on specimens consisting of RAP, aggregates and a mixture of both materials are investigated. A number of constitutive models for the description of mechanical behavior of RAP materials are investigated. The required procedures for determining the constitutive constants of the constitutive models is outlined for the aforementioned materials. A comparative analysis is applied, and the related results are evaluated. The main conclusion is that RAP materials can be utilized as a base material in the framework of pavement sustainability, as its behavior under loading conditions are similar to virgin aggregate (VA) materials and can be simulated by using appropriate constitutive models for pavement design processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Influences of Clay Brick Particles on the Performance of Cement Stabilized Recycled Aggregate as Pavement Base
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3505; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103505
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents an investigation on the influences of clay brick particles on the performance of cement stabilized recycled aggregate as pavement base. The comparative tests of unconfined compressive strength, compressive modulus of resilience, frost resistance, scouring resistance, drying shrinkage and temperature shrinkage [...] Read more.
This paper presents an investigation on the influences of clay brick particles on the performance of cement stabilized recycled aggregate as pavement base. The comparative tests of unconfined compressive strength, compressive modulus of resilience, frost resistance, scouring resistance, drying shrinkage and temperature shrinkage of 6 kinds of mixtures with different coarse and fine clay brick particle contents were carried out. Test results showed that the unconfined compressive strength of cement stabilized recycled aggregate was compromised by the clay brick particles, especially the lateral strength. The coarse clay brick particles had little influence on the compressive resilience modulus of the mixture, while the fine clay brick particles could significantly increase it. The frost resistance of the mixture increased first and then slightly decreased with the increase of the content of coarse clay brick particle, while it increased with the increase of fine particle content. The scoured mass loss increased with the increase of coarse clay brick particle content. However, it is discovered that the fine clay brick particles had almost no influences on the scoured mass loss. The addition of both coarse and fine clay brick particles could decrease the drying shrinkage of the mixture at early construction stage. The temperature shrinkage performance of the mixture was not so sensitive to the addition of clay brick particles. Generally, the cement stabilized recycled aggregate with clay brick particles could meet the requirements of the pavement base in many cases but it needs to be optimized in application with consideration of the load and climate conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

A Sustainability perspective for unbound Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) as a pavement base material”

By Christina Plati and Brad Cliatt

Abstract: The proposed paper aims to investigate Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) materials for utilization as a pavement base/subbase material with the goal towards the increasing the reutilization of materials and the movement towards increased pavement sustainability. Reduced cost for materials and transportation of materials, overall environmental benefits and many other advantages have led to increased interests in utilizing RAP in pavements including  as base materials for highway/roadway construction projects. The potential advantages of utilizing RAP as base materials are known; however, its overall application is still limited partially due to the lack of systematic evaluation studies for the parameterization of RAPs mechanical behavior in pavement design. With this in mind the current investigation focuses on the resilient modulus properties of RAP materials in terms of the material’s elastic response. Experimental data from tri-axial stress tests on specimens consisting of RAP, aggregates and a mixture of both materials are investigated. Varying concepts of constitutive modeling for the mechanical behavior of RAP materials are presented. Particular attention is paid to the required procedure for determining the constitutive constants of the constitutive models investigated for the aforementioned materials. A comparative analysis is applied and based on the related results, it is concluded that RAP can be utilized as base/subbase material in the framework of pavement sustainability, as its behavior under loading conditions can be simulated by using appropriate constitutive models in pavement design.

 

Title: Life Cycle Assessment Informed Maintenance and Rehabilitation Planning: Interstate 495 Case Study

Authors: Katie Haslett, Eshan Dave and Weiwei Mo

Abstract: As construction costs continue to rise and adequate amounts of funding continues to be a challenge, the allocation of resources is of critical importance when it comes to the maintenance and rehabilitation of highway infrastructure. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was used to compare maintenance and rehabilitation scenarios over the design life of a 26-km stretch of Interstate-495. Pavement International Roughness Index were determined using AASHTO’s PavementME System. Meanwhile, vehicle fuel consumption and emission factors were calculated using a combination of Google Maps, the U.S. EPA’s Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator, the SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study, and MassDOT’s Transportation Data Management System. The evaluation of pavement performance with realistic traffic conditions, varying maintenance strategies and material characteristics was quantified in terms of life cycle cost, Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) for both agencies and users. The inclusion of realistic traffic conditions into the use phase of the LCA resulted in a 6.4% increase in CED and GWP when compared to baseline conditions simulated over a week. Results from this study show that optimization of maintenance type, material selection and timing may lead to a 56% difference in operations cost and 68% difference in construction/maintenance cost.

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