AMMANN ASPHALT PLANT REACHES RECYCLING MILESTONE
MEDIA RELEASE AMMANN GROUP
99 PER CENT OF PRODUCT MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS
QUEENSLAND, Australia – An Ammann asphalt plant recently produced a mix consisting of 99 per cent recycled materials, including toner from print cartridges, tyres and glass.
It was the first time a mix has been manufactured with such a large amount of recycled consumer goods, said Dante Cremasco from Downer, the Australian company that manufactured the asphalt. “The higher than normal recycle content percentage was achieved using post-consumable waste materials that would typically be stockpiled or sent to landfills,” he said.
The end product is also worth noting. “The mix itself actually performs better than a straight mix,” Cremasco said.
Downer created and laid the mix, which also included recycled asphalt (RA), during a June demonstration at its flagship Bayswater facility in Victoria. The Bayswater facility features an Ammann Universal High Recycling Technology plant that manufactured the mix.
Downer partnered with their customer, the City of Boroondara, on the demonstration.
“If we can show that producing a 99 per cent high quality renewable asphalt is possible, then we should be able to routinely market 75 to 80 per cent to our customers,” Cremasco said. The company is hopeful that higher recycling targets are written into future project specifications. Current best practices in Australia include 30 to 40 per cent renewable materials, with some limited facilities achieving higher production levels.
Downer produced 25 tonnes of the mix during the demonstration, attended by a host of governmental officials. The mix was used on a two-way access road for a City of Boroondara sporting facility.
Mixes that are almost exclusively RAP have been manufactured previously, Cremasco said. What made this particular mix unique was the use of recycled consumer goods. They included crumbed tyres and printing toner, which acted as a polymer; and crushed glass, which essentially replaced sand. RAP accounted for about 75 per cent of the mix. The only non-renewable material in the mix was 1 per cent binder.
Research conducted by Downer shows the use of the recyclables improved the asphalt quality. Downer reported:
- A 30 per cent improvement in deformation resistance, increasing product ability to resist damage from heavy traffic.
- A 16 per cent increase in stiffness, which improves bearing capacity to carry heavy traffic. This also means a thinner surface can be placed, further reducing emissions.
- Improved durability and resistance to fatigue cracking due to innovative product design.
Cremasco said the paving crew that worked with the mix found it to be trouble-free, and no extra measures were needed. “It’s easy for crews to place,” he said. “The mix itself had a good matrix about it.”
While the company describes its Bayswater facility as one of the most advanced of its kind in the world, no special adjustments were made to the Ammann Universal HRT. Keys to the process are the plant’s RA silos, located above the pugmill, and the twin-drum, parallel RA drive. The plant also is built to introduce recyclables beyond RA, Cremasco said.
Downer purchased the Ammann Universal HRT about two years ago because of its fuel efficiency and ability to use 80 per cent RA.
Ammann worked closely with the Downer team to help make the mix a reality.
“Our relationship with Downer is one of partnership where we work together collaboratively to further improve the way we design and manufacture our plants to continuously deliver more effective, efficient and sustainable products,” said Paul Vandersluis, Managing Director, Ammann Australia. “This close relationship has enabled us to continually set industry benchmarks.”
The impact goes beyond environmental benefits, Cremasco said. “Cost is another driver,” he said. “We have an internal target to reduce cost. When we eventually get into full production mode, those savings will be passed onto the consumer.”
That will be significant given Downer’s size. The company manufactures about 2.5 million tonnes of asphalt per year at its approximately 30 plants.
“These days there are spending restraints from government authorities while consumer expectations are always rising,” Cremasco said. “This mix improves performance, reduces costs and preserves raw materials. It meets the needs of the government and the public.”
Ammann is a sixth-generation, family-owned business that produces asphalt and concrete mixing plants, compactors and asphalt pavers at nine production sites in Europe, China, India and Brazil. Its core expertise is in road building and transportation infrastructure.