Using M-E PDG to study the effectiveness of electronic waste materials modification on asphalt pavements design thickness

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


The objective of this study was to use the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (M-E PDG) to investigate the effectiveness of electronic waste (e-waste) modification on the minimum design thickness of asphalt pavements. Common e-waste plastic powders, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS), were used to modify Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) mixtures in this study. The HMA modifiers include e-waste plastics intended for end user applications along with chemically treated e-waste plastics. Chemical treatment of e-waste plastics involved using free radical initiators on e-waste plastics in an attempt to improve asphalt binder and plastic bonding capabilities within the mixture. The percentage of ABS and HIPS blended with asphalt mixtures was 2.5% and 5% by weight of binder. In this study, multiple design trial runs of nine different mixtures (including the control mixture) were conducted using the M-E PDG softwareversion 1.1. From the M-E PDG results analysis, it was concluded that in general using e-waste materials as modifiers for asphalt mixtures would decrease the design thickness of the asphalt pavements. The design thickness of treated acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (T-ABS) with percentage of 2.5 by weight of asphalt binder resulted in the smallest pavement thickness among all studied mixtures. This methodology would help evaluate various sustainable materials within asphalt mixtures from the perspective of the pavement designer improving the decision making process constructing more economical pavement sections.

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© Chinese Society of Pavement Engineering. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

International Journal of Pavement Research and Technology