TU Delft: Bio-fibres reinforced Surface Asphalt Concrete (BioSAC)

The utilization of bio-fibers (BioF), such as wood, in asphalt mixes is a novel concept for the asphalt paving industry which has not been sufficiently explored as yet. The reinforcement of asphalt mixes with BioF and the oxygen inhibition will result reduction of the energy required, lower gas emissions, the raw materials consumption and last longer pavement materials. However, nowadays no safe evidence exists and for this reason understanding of the optimum balance between these two techniques will lead to develop an environmental friendly and financially attractive Bio-fibers reinforced Surface Asphalt Concrete (BioSAC) technology.

The utilization of bio-fibers (BioF) in asphalt mixes is a novel concept for the asphalt paving industry which has not been sufficiently explored as yet. The reinforcement of asphalt mixes with BioF and the oxygen inhibition will result reduction of the energy required, lower gas emissions, the raw materials consumption and last longer pavement materials. However, nowadays no safe evidence exists and for this reason understanding of the optimum balance between these two techniques will lead to develop an environmental friendly and financially attractive Bio-fibers reinforced Surface Asphalt Concrete (BioSAC) technology.

On the basis of oxidative aging chemistry combined with reinforcing composite materials, the project will identify and quantify the aging phenomena and the bio-fibres reinforcing mechanisms occurring during the service life of BioSAC mixes. In particular, the fibre cell wall on micro-scale will be used as a carrier of relevant natural polymers, such as lignin, and the macro structure as mechanical reinforcement. Emphasis will be placed on the multi-scale material response of the individual mix components but, also, on their interactions.

A hierarchical approach will be followed for the development of specialized models and tailor-made tools for the BioSAC mixes. In order to determine the optimum balance between BioFs and asphalt technology, at each hierarchical level that will be investigated, dedicated experimental studies and visualization techniques will provide the necessary information for the development of tools describing the reinforcing mechanisms and chemo- and physico-mechanical processes. Once the technology optimized, the BioSAC mixes will be tested via accelerated field tests to enable the quantification of the contribution of BioFs to asphalt mix improvement.