Biobased Polyurethane: A Sustainable Asphalt Modifier with Improved Moisture Resistance

Mohammadjavad Kazemi1 ; Amirhossein Karimi2 ; Ahmad Goli3 ; Pouria Hajikarimi4 ; Abbas Mohammadi5 ; Amirhossein Doctorsafaei6 ; and Elham Fini, F.ASCE

Abstract: This paper evaluated the effect of a biobased polyurethane modifier on the moisture resistance of asphalt binder. Biomodifiers with high acid values have been implicated in moisture damage to asphalt. Here, castor oil with a relatively high acid value of 190 mg KOH · g−1 was used to produce biobased polyurethane. Biobased polyurethane was produced by combining castor oil, toluene diisocyanate (TDI), and diethylene glycol (DEG) at a molar ratio of 1∶2∶1. Asphalt binder was modified with 3%, 6%, or 9% of the biobased polyurethane (by weight of asphalt binder), and the moisture susceptibility of the modified asphalt was evaluated with a comprehensive laboratory experiment plan using the boiling water test, the indirect tensile strength test, the bitumen bond strength test, the water contact-angle moisture-susceptibility test, and the moisture-induced shear-thinning index test. Study results showed that the introduction of biobased polyurethane enhanced the bond between the aggregate and asphalt, thereby increasing the asphalt mixture’s resistance to moisture damage. Consequently, the resistance of asphalt binders to cohesive failure and adhesive failure was enhanced in biobased polyurethane, as evidenced by respective increases of 19%, 40%, and 49% in tensile strength ratio for dosages of 3%, 6%, and 9% biobased polyurethane. Compared with neat asphalt, the asphalt blend containing 9% polyurethane had the highest bond-strength increases, 55.73% and 37.93%, for dry and wet conditions, respectively. This improvement is attributable to the phenol and amide components in biobased polyurethane, which increase the polarity of asphalt binder and increase the affinity of asphalt binder to siliceous aggregate. In addition, the moisture-induced shear-thinning index and the contact-angle moisture-susceptibility index showed that increased doses of biobased polyurethane resulted in increased resistance of asphalt to moisture damage. The study outcomes promote the sustainability of asphalt construction by introducing biobased polyurethane as a sustainable modiefier for asphalt.

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