The science behind recycling products to build green roads

September 17, 2018

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This National Science Week we spoke with two Alex Fraser employees to uncover how science helps them to develop, test and specify recycled products that reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

Peter Lazarus – Asphalt Technical Manager

Peter Lazarus, Asphalt Technical Manager

Peter Lazarus Alex Fraser’s Asphalt Technical Manager

“Testing asphalt requires the use of mathematics, physics and chemistry.

“Among many things, we measure the temperature of asphalt and monitor weather conditions that affect the rate the asphalt cools and impact the workability and density of the compacted mix.

“We use chemicals to extract the bitumen off our test samples and we also test the fatigue, rut depth, modulus, stability, flow, moisture sensitivity, air voids content, film index properties of the asphalt.

“Understanding how gravity effects the asphalt product during production is also important, so that we don’t get mix segregation,” said Peter.

When asks what he enjoys most about his job, he says no one day is ever the same.

“I love the challenge of making sure our asphalt mixes meet customer expectations and utilising different raw materials to make new asphalt products that can reduce landfill, carbon emissions and protect the environment,” he said.

Shibu Abraham – Recycling Laboratory Supervisor

Shibu Abraham, Recycling Laboratory Supervisor

Meet Shibu Abraham, Alex Fraser’s Recycling Laboratory Supervisor

Shibu makes sure our recycled products meet industry standards and are just the right consistency for a range of civil construction applications.

He says it’s thanks to science that we can find new ways to transform waste into sustainable construction materials.

“My science qualification helps me to make suggestions to innovate and improve our products.

“I consider it a privilege to be a part of Alex Fraser, to do tremendous work in converting mounds of construction and demolition waste into useable construction materials,” said Shibu.

“Every day we have interesting and challenging work to do. It is very satisfying to play a role in protecting the environment.”