Friday, October 7th, 2022

Recycling Damaged Asphalt Pavements And Stabilising Surfaces

Ramesh Palagiri
Managing Director & CEO
Wirtgen India


The National Highway network in India – constitutes less than 5% of the total road network, but caters to around 70% of the total traffic and thereby, leads to a huge stress on pavements.

India has constructed 132,000 km of National Highways over the last 5 decades and is likely to construct another 40,000 km in next 8-10 years. If we add another 50,000 km added by state Highways, we are looking at 180,000 km of assets constructed and another new addition of 50,000 km. Both the situations pose a big challenge to Indian Authorities.

The construction of a new 4-lane highway requires approx. 12,000 tons aggregates per km, meaning approximate 500 truckloads of fresh aggregates and the unbound layers like GSB and WMM consume 80% of the total requirement of fresh aggregates. The conventional method of pavement construction requires significant amount of materials and energy. To reduce consumption of fuel and aggregates, green eco-friendly technologies like cold milling, cold recycling and stabilization of pavement layer are being adopted for cost-efficient and sustainable roads, thereby improving long-term performance and reducing lifetime cost of modern, heavily-trafficked pavements.

WIRTGEN GROUP offers innovative technologies for sustainable pavements. Asphalt and concrete pavements can be cost-effectively removed with Cold Milling machines. The range of applications extends from the complete removal of asphalt and concrete to the layer-by-layer removal and levelling of asphalt and concrete surfaces. With WIRTGEN Cold Milling machines, it is possible to machine working widths from 35 cm up to 4.40 m and working depths up to 35 cm in a single pass. Cold Milling technology is used for – partial, layer by layer, or complete removal of distressed pavements with varying depths. This technology can also be used for correction of irregularities in pavement surface, improvement of skid resistance and creation of surface textures of a pavement.


Wirtgen Cold recyclers are used to prepare asphalt pavement on site. In this process, the existing pavement is granulated with the milling and mixing rotor, and prepared by adding precise amounts of bituminous binding agents, cement and water. The result is a homogeneous material that can be used to directly repave the surface. Soil stabilisers use the milling and mixing rotor to mix pre-spread binding agents such as lime or cement into the existing, less stable soil and transform it into a high-quality material directly on site.

With the aggregates depleting fast, even the rural roads have started adopting the technology of cement based stabilization to fast pace the connectivity of rural roads.

Today Indian Highway Authorities, namely NHAI/NHIDCL/PWD/PMGSY are the drivers of these green technology, which leads to faster construction and also saves nation huge amount in terms of natural resources, biofuel and associated emissions.

The technology of stabilization, Cold Milling, Cold and Hot Recycling are used across Indian highways by contractors and are supported by IIT and CRRI, by well-researched design and performance standards laid by IRC.

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