Sustainability and Circular Economy: keywords for the new RAPCON project
RAPCON is a research project funded by Fondazione Cariplo in the framework of the Call for the Scientific Research Area “Circular Economy: Research for a Sustainable Future”. The project has started on May 1, 2020 and will run for 42 months, with a budget of € 285,252.85.
The RAPCON project relies on the expertise brought about by three research units:
– Polytechnic School of Milan (lead partner)
– University of Bologna
– Construction Technologies Institute – Italian National Research Council (ITC-CNR)
and two industrial partners:
– CTI COOP
The main objective of the project is the assessment of the performance of concrete made with recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) as aggregate (RAP concrete or RAPCON), with specific regard to the durability behaviour and the corrosion of embedded reinforcement bars.
Large amounts of asphalt are produced from maintenance operations of road pavements worldwide, however only a fraction of this product is recycled to produce new asphalt and most of it is either stored in asphalt production plants or disposed of in landfills. At the same time, the production of concrete implies the consumption of natural resources, mostly extracted from quarries, with serious consequences on the natural environment. The milling of road pavements produces a granular material whose size and distribution make it suitable for use as aggregate in concrete.
The RAPCON project aims to study the properties of concrete prepared with recycled asphalt aggregates, with particular reference to the characteristics of durability, i.e. the behaviour following exposure to real environments, as occurs for reinforced concrete structures and infrastructures. The project is based on the application of the principles of the circular economy to concrete, the most used building material, for which there is a high interest in reducing its environmental impact. Finally, particular attention will be paid to the development of a harmonized technical specification for the future commercialization of RAPCON on the national and EU market.