The continued use of structural plastics in consumer products, industry, and transportation represents a potential source for durable, long lasting, and recyclable roadways. Costs to dispose of reinforced plastics can be similar to procuring new asphalt with mechanical performance exceeding that of the traditional road surface.
This project examines improved material development times by leveraging advanced computational material models based on validated experimental data. By testing traditional asphalt and select carbon and glass reinforced composites, both new and recycled, it is possible to develop a finite element simulation that can predict the material characteristics under a number of loads virtually, and with less lead time compared to experimental testing. From the tested specimens, composites show minimal strength degradation when recycled and used within the asphalt design envelopes considered, with an average of 49% less wear, two orders of magnitude higher compressive strength, and three orders for tensile strength. Predictive computational analysis using the validated material models developed for this investigation confirms the long-term durability.
DANIEL WHISLER, PhD
Daniel Whisler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, specializing in advanced material characterization, novel test methodologies, and finite element validation.
RAFAEL GOMEZ CONSARNAU
Rafael Gomez Consarnau is a recent MS graduate in aerospace engineering with a specialization in finite element validation and computational simulation of high-performance materials and flexible, high strain composites.
Ryan Coy is a current undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach, with an extensive background in test fabrication, additive manufacturing, and material testing.