American Journal of Applied Sciences

The Use of Polyethylene in Hot Asphalt Mixtures

Mohammad T. Awwad and Lina Shbeeb

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2007.390.396

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 6

Pages 390-396


The increase in road traffic during the last two decades in combination with an insufficient degree of maintenance due to shortage in funds has caused an accelerated and continuous deterioration of the road network in Jordan. To alleviate this process, several types of measures may be effective, e.g., securing funds for maintenance, improved roadway design, use of better quality of materials and the use of more effective construction methods. The use of polymer in asphalt mixture as a modifier started in the 80s of the last century and has been tested in a number of countries around the World. In this research, polyethylene as one sort of polymers is used to investigate the potential prospects to enhance asphalt mixture properties. The objectives also include determining the best type of polyethylene to be used and its proportion. Two types of polyethylene were added to coat the aggregate [High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)]. The polymers were introduced to the mixture in two states (Grinded and not Grinded). Marshall mix design was used, first to determine the optimum bitumen binder content and then further to test the modified mixture properties. In total, 105 samples were prepared (21 samples were used to determine the binder content and the remaining samples were used to investigate the effect of modifying the asphalt mixtures). The optimum asphalt content was 5.4%. Seven proportions of polyethylene of each type and state by weight of the optimum binder content were selected to be tested (6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18%). The tests include the determination of bulk density, stability and flow. Marshall mix design requires the determination of the percentages of air voids and air voids of mineral aggregate. The results indicated that grinded HDPE polyethylene modifier provides better engineering properties. The recommended proportion of the modifier is 12% by the weight of bitumen content. It is found to increase the stability, reduce the density and slightly increase the air voids and the voids of mineral aggregate.


© 2007 Mohammad T. Awwad and Lina Shbeeb. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.