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Recycled asphalt put to the test

Stefan Romanoschi and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have teamed up to test the durability of roads made from recycled asphalt.

Several years ago, the civil engineering professor built a portable accelerated pavement testing machine that can run a full-sized truck axle back and forth over a pavement test section every six seconds, or more than 100,000 times in a week. It allows researchers to simulate road stress at full-scale and measure durability more efficiently than current methods.

"Cities and countries will use Romanchi's results to write construction requirements for contractors."

With funding from a two-year, $1.26 million TxDOT grant, Dr. Romanoschi and researchers from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute will use the machine to determine which mixes of recycled asphalt last longer and work better on the surface layers of Texas roads, as well as how they perform under various truck traffic, temperature, and moisture conditions.

The pavement testing center greatly reduces the amount of time needed to determine which asphalt mixture design is better. Cities and counties will use Romanoschi’s results to write construction requirements for contractors that maximize the life of roads.


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