Wear particles from road pavements with rubber mixed bitumen: comparison with reference pavement

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Studded tyre wear of road pavements causes emissions of inhalable particles (PM10). Allowed concentration of PM10 is regulated by an EU directive which is implemented in an environmental quality standard in Sweden. One way of reducing pavement wear particles is to adjust the properties of the road pavement. In the present project the effect on particle emission from mixing milled tyre rubber into the pavement bitumen has been investigated. Tests were made by the VTI road simulator using two pavement constructions containing rubber (GAP11 and GAÖ11) and one reference pavement (ABS11). GAP=GAR (Gap Graded Asphalt Rubber), ABS=SMA (Stone Mastic Asphalt) and GAÖ=OGAR (Open Graded Asphalt Rubber). The concentrations and size distributions of the emitted particles were measured.

The results show that GAP11 causes lower PM10 concentrations (in this laboratory environment 20–25%) than the reference pavement ABS11, while the GAÖ11 does not differ from the reference. Size distributions show that PM10 has a bi-modal distribution with two mass maxima at 4–5 and 7–8 μm. GAP11 decreases the mass size distribution mainly in the finer mode, while GAÖ11 seems to affect mainly the coarser mode. Ultrafine particles are emitted during all tests and have number distribution maxima at around 20–30 nm. These particles are formed in the interaction between tyre studs and pavement and/or tyre rubber. Higher speed generates higher concentrations of ultrafine particles.

All in all, the results indicate a lowering effect on PM10 emissions caused by GAP11, while the GAÖ11 does not seem to lower the emissions as compared to the reference pavement ABS11.

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