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The main idea of this project is to use the crumb rubber from scrap tires for its elastic/ soundproof / toughening properties and recycled asphalt pavements as “end of life” materials to substitute virgin aggregates and part of the virgin bitumen. Thus, the project will undertake a characterization and qualification of raw materials, and it will find the most suitable manufacturing processes of crumb rubber in order to modify the vulcanized rubber, obtained from end of life tires, and to make it suitable for incorporation in the bitumen. The bitumen will act as a binder and as a matrix of the new composite material, with structural and waterproofing functions, helping to prevent the leaching of chemicals contained in the tire rubber.

The development of this innovative road pavements will be done through lab tests that will select their correct composition, the grading curve and the structural characteristics, the percentage of crumb rubber and the methods to realize them. Then a first laying of experimental surfaces will be performed in Tuscany and in Belgium.

 

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In order to monitor performances, the CPX and the pass-by method will be used to measure the noise produced by tires rolling on the reference pavements and on the innovative ones. The pass-by will be adapted to the urban reality, minimizing the confounding factors. New evaluation methods of sound absorption on board of a mobile laboratory will allow to evaluate the absorption in a reproducible manner and without the use of destructive methods (that are usually analysed in laboratory conditions). The new evaluation methods will allow a better reliability of monitoring results, helping the choice between new asphalts with better performances. In addition, an evaluation of psychoacoustical effects on local population will be carried out. Surveys will be performed to evaluate annoyance and sleep disturbances differences produced by new surfaces. In fact both standard and new methods and surveys too will be performed ante- and post-operam.

After a first round of implementation and monitoring, a second round will implement 7 different surfaces in another area in Tuscany to verify the lessons learnt (implementation policy) and improving them by the use of recycled asphalts. A second monitoring stage will measure noise and structural properties to verify safety requirements and performances. Tests on air pollution due to asphalt laying will be carried out in order to assess the reduction of PAHs emissions.