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December 23, 2019
Disposing of waste plastics has become a major problem for the world, as it continues to pile up in landfills and pollute our oceans. However, a breakthrough discovery has offered a way to recycle this material.
Since the turn of the century, India has been using plastic in the building and repairing of roads. They use a process in which workers add shredded plastic to hot stones to form a thin primer layer. They then add this combination to bitumen, creating a very strong bond. Other engineers have picked up this tactic and started businesses that follow this method. Overall, this process of melting plastic to create a viscous liquid has proven very beneficial.
However, we can’t ignore the fact that plastic is a non-biodegradable material and burning it creates environmental pollution. This factor leads many people to consider, are there advantages of using plastic to make roads? Or does the environmental pollution outweigh the benefits? We cover the pros and cons below.
Plastic roads mainly use plastic bags, cups, and bottles collected from garbage dumps as the main ingredient for its asphalt. To put this in perspective, CNN reports that “every ton of asphalt contains approximately 20,000 single-use plastic bottles or around 70,000 single-use plastic bags.” When combined with hot bitumen, the plastic melts to make an oily coating, and the professionals can lay the mixture on the road just like normal asphalt. The addition of the plastic improves the binding and bonding of the mixture, making it more durable and resistant to cracking. It improves the resistance to rainwater and stagnation in addition to boosting the load capacity the asphalt can withstand. The increasing of boosting all these properties means less asphalt crack repair, pothole filling, and overall maintenance of roads or parking lots. This is a huge cost saving for local municipalities, business, and homeowners that use this new product.
The pros of using plastics in roads and parking lots counterbalance the cons, however, they still exist. As we first mentioned, the fumes that come from burning plastic are a form of environmental pollution. There is also a fear that the toxins within the plastic will begin to leach with the first rain. Leaching is the separating of the bonding materials within the asphalt when it gets wet. Detractors fear that once rainwater hits, toxic materials will seep into the groundwater and pollute the environment. Additionally, breathing the fumes of hot asphalt are a health hazard, and the addition of plastics does not improve this. When chlorine is present in the plastic, heating it has the potential to release toxic HCL gas that makes workers sick. However, once the asphalt cools though, that danger is gone.
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January 10, 2020
December 09, 2019
Is it possible to use asphalt in the winter? The short answer is yes, but there’s a catch. Cold patch asphalt is usable in the winter to fill some pot holes in an emergency. If paving with hot asphalt is the goal, however, it’s better to wait for the spring and summer months. For it to perform at its best, asphalt needs to remain at a consistently high temperature. That’s increasingly more difficult to do on frozen ground with below freezing temperatures.
November 25, 2019
Having to repave or resurface an asphalt driveway or parking lot is an expense that most people don’t save for. Doing either one of those is a sizable expense that you can avoid if you follow some basic asphalt maintenance tips. Stay ahead of damage and wear by setting up a maintenance schedule so your pavement lasts longer. Doing a few small things regularly will squeeze many extra years out of your driveway—and save you money. If you don’t have the proper asphalt repair products needed to do this work, there are professionals available to do the work for you. For larger jobs, that might be the best course of action.