Foamed bitumen is a material made by injecting small amounts of water into heated bitumen. The evaporating water causes the bitumen to foam and expand to many times its original size. It is becoming an increasingly popular material for repairing roads and pavements and for new construction, but is it environmentally friendly? Here are some reasons why foamed bitumen is kinder to the environment than other types of road surface materials.
Firstly, foamed bitumen can be made from recycled materials. Existing pavement materials that may be too old for use can be used with bitumen, as can reclaimed asphalt from old roads or pavements. Re-using and recycling materials is particularly important as it will use a lot less energy than producing new materials and has a much lower carbon footprint.
Linked to this first advantage is the fact that the process helps to conserve the materials available. Aggregates are a diminishing resource and anything that helps to limit their extraction will preserve them for the future. By using existing materials, foamed bitumen stabilisation helps to preserve the limited amount of materials available.
Thirdly, the process of making foamed bitumen uses less energy than other forms of materials. The bitumen itself will need to be heated, but this is not true of the aggregate fractions which are added to it. These can be used cold or even damp—only the bitumen binder needs to be heated. This means that a lot less energy is needed to heat the material as there is less heating to be done. The process, therefore, has a lower carbon footprint than the manufacture of traditional paving materials.
Finally, this process is much quicker than other types of surface repair or construction. Any construction process will have an environmental impact. The faster the job can be completed, the lower the impact will be. Foamed bitumen stabilisation is a fast process that can be walked or driven on as soon as it is properly compacted, which means the construction machinery can move on as soon as possible and the public will not have to spend so long using detours, which will be longer and use more fuel.
As foamed bitumen stabilisation can recycle waste materials and is more energy efficient, it is kinder to the environment than other methods of constructing or repairing roads or pavements. If you are concerned about your environmental impact, it is well worth considering this method of construction.
For more info about foamed bitumen stabilisation, contact a local company.