Extreme Recycling of Asphalt (ERA) – research project inspired by principles of environmental sustainability and innovation – aims to increase the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) obtained by milling of old pavements in bituminous mixtures and, at the same time, to lower the production and paving temperatures.
The activities, which began in 2010, are the result of collaboration between Pavimental S.p.A, an Atlantia Group company specialising in road paving, and the Department of Civil Engineering, Building and Architecture (DICEA) of the Polytechnic University of Marche.
Over the course of a decade, experimental initiatives (still in progress) of international importance have been carried out both in the laboratory and in situ, which have gained the appreciation of the scientific community. The link between the entrepreneurial and academic world has made it possible to achieve important results, promoting a productive exchange of skills and raising the level of knowledge in the road materials sector.
Cold recycled bituminous mixtures offer the possibility of using maximum RAP percentages. However, the performance evalution of cold recycled mixtures requires in-depth analysis for their optimal use in asphalt pavements.
The experience gained from the collaboration with the company Pavimental during the ERA project was an extraordinary opportunity to give application feedback to experimental laboratory activities. Surprising was the ability of Pavimental staff to support with extreme professionalism and competence the practical and organizational needs that are crucial for the achievement of the results obtained.
A very interesting project which analyses all known methods of recycling. As an Association, we are very appreciative of the idea of making the contents of a research project available, especially through a dedicated website, which is a modern and very effective method of doing so.
Last year, I had the pleasure of hosting Professor Francesco Canestrari at University of Minnesota for a presentations on ERA project. In front of a group of faculty, students and practitioners Mr Canestrari presented the first truly holistic approach to asphalt recycling. This project represents a great example of a true partnership between academia and industry, in which science, engineering and technological innovation are used to provide a practical path towards research implementation for the benefit of the society.