Materials play an important role in the transportation infrastructure. Globally, about 90% of roads are made of asphalt mixtures. In the United States, 500 million tons of asphalt mixtures are produced annually at a cost of around $40 billion. Improving pavement materials properties, such as thermal conductivity and expansion-contraction, is essential to minimizing distress and improve performance.
The use of modifiers, such as polymers, crumb rubber, and fibers in asphalt mixtures are common and helpful in improving performance; however, there is no doubt that additional measures are needed with an increasing number of extreme weather evets. To increase thermal resistance properties of materials, the ASU research team developed a novel product (aMBx) using aerogel. It can be used in the modification of asphalt binders and mixtures, and applicable to other industrial applications. Aerogel is a low density, highly porous, and effective insulator. However, the direct use of untreated aerogel in asphalt requires difficult safety procedures. The aMBx technology development at ASU overcomes handling difficulties with proven field applications at asphalt plants.
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed novel aerogel modified bituminous binders and mixtures (aMBx) to improve materials temperature susceptibility and facilitate urban cooling. This invention involves an aerogel composite, which includes aerogel in either granular or powder form, with the presence of a co-product (e.g., oil products, asphalt binders, synthetic or organic polymers) as an encapsulator. aMBx modified materials test results indicated outstanding reduction in the thermal expansion and contraction of mixtures, which will lead to much less thermal cracking failures.
- Paving materials
- Road surface treatments
- Crack sealants
- Asphalt roofing shingles
- Portland cement concrete applications
- Provides method for safe handling and treatment of aerogel
- Increase resistance to temperature susceptibility
- Energy efficient materials, facilitates durability, reduce CO2 emissions
- Reduces heat conduction/storage, contributing to urban cooling
- Opportunities to cater for larger markets in the paving industry