Engineered nanocomposites in asphalt binders
Recently, nanotechnology has been effectively used in the field of road pavement. Oxidation and aging of asphalt cause deterioration of road pavements and increase asphalt-related emissions. We propose an anti-aging strategy to interrupt the asphalt deterioration by using engineered clay/fumed silica nanocomposites. In this research, the morphological, chemical, thermal, mechanical, and rheological properties of nano-modified asphalt binders are meticulously analyzed in various conditions. The experiment results proved that this composite efficiently disrupts the chemical oxidation and decomposition in the mixture and reduces the aging rate. Remarkably, asphalt binder rheology experiments revealed that the addition of 0.2–0.3 wt% of nano-reinforced materials maximized their rheological resistance after short- and long-term aging. Moreover, nanoparticles improve the moisture resistance efficiency and in turn overcome the critical issue of moisture in low production temperature within the framework of warm mix asphalt technology. This cost-effective, facile, and scalable approach in warm mix asphalt mixtures can contribute to increased sustainability and lifespan of pavements and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.