April 24, 2013

Pavement advances have led to safer, 'greener,' more durable roads

Posted: April 24, 2013
Kamil Kaloush rubberized pavements
ASU associate engineering professor Kamil Kaloush directs a national center focused on developing sustainable materials and renewable technologies.
Photo by: Lee Oliver/ASU Foundation
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Kamil Kaloush recently received the Outstanding Research Award from the Rubber Pavements Association for his contributions to advancements in asphalt rubber technology, particularly in the areas of performance testing of the material and demonstrating its environmental benefits.

Kaloush is an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering the Built Environment, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

The results of the work done by Kaloush and his research group at ASU throughout the past 12 years have had regional, national and international impacts.

Arizona has increasingly used asphalt rubber binders on its roads. A large percentage of the binding material is crumb rubber obtained from scrap tires through a technique developed in the 1960s by city of Phoenix employee Charles McDonald, who experimented with mixing ground tire rubber while heated to increase flexibility.

The material produced by the process significantly reduces pavement cracking and improves road pavement durability. The technology has been adopted by many transportation agencies throughout the United States and in many countries around the world.

Several ASU research studies on asphalt-rubber mixtures have provided the platform to quantify the benefits of these materials. Such studies have been conducted for the transportation departments of Maricopa County, Arizona and Texas and Ford Motor Company, as well as transportation agencies for the Canadian province of Alberta, Sweden and Brazil.

Kaloush has led work on laboratory pavement performance testing and improved pavement designs. Those efforts have resulted in reducing traffic noise, improving ride safety and quality, and protecting air quality by reducing particle emissions from tire wear.

His research group has also explored ways to lessen negative environmental impacts by reducing carbon dioxide emissions during production of pavement materials and the road-construction stage.

Kaloush is director of the National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations at ASU (SMART stands for Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies).

He is a registered professional engineer with almost three decades in pavement research and management services. His expertise ranges from pavement materials design, thermal properties and advanced laboratory testing to field-performance evaluation and pavement management systems. He has authored more than 100 articles published in research and technology journals.  

Kaloush is current vice chair of the Technical Advisory Board of the Rubber Pavements Association, a member of the Rubberized Asphalt Foundation Board of Directors, and chair of the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Pavement Materials and the Urban Climate.

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Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering