NUST MISIS Scientists Learn How to Reduce Cost of Road Construction through Industrial Waste

A technology for producing a wide range of soil modifiers based on industrial waste has been developed at the NUST MISIS Center for Energy Efficiency. The use of the innovative modifiers allows for a significant reduction in the cost of roadside construction by improving the soil’s physical properties at a worksite.

An energy efficiency technology for obtaining clinkerless binding substances which don’t succumb to the characteristics of Portland cement (up to M600 brand), the most widely used cement type in the world, has been developed at NUST MISIS. Clinkerless are called binding substances, and are obtained from various toxins and additives by grinding and mixing without the use of high temperature calcinations.

“The technology of obtaining modifiers based on industrial waste, suggested by the research group from NUST MISIS’s R&D Center for Energy Efficiency led by Stanislav Mamulat, the Center`s expert, is designed for enterprises connected with road and industrial construction. For the first time ever, the technology has been successfully applied in the construction of roads leading to Kerch Strait Bridge in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, which allowed us to get the Russian Ministry of Transport’s recommendations for its widespread implementation throughout the country”, said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS.

The new type of clinkerless binders obtained at the University have much more “smooth” dynamics of concrete strength development and increased sulphate resistance, which ensures their advantages while stabilizing and strengthening soils during the construction of underground structures and facilities located in aggressive chemical environments. The introduction of this technology is especially important for regions which have to import high quality gravel and sand from hundreds of kilometers away.

“The use of binders for soil stabilization allows us to obtain concrete by mixing local soil, water, and only about 5-6% of modifiersdirectly on-site during road construction projects, in contrast to the traditional method which requires the removal of soil and the delivery of gravel and sand to the construction site or to a batching plant, and the use of 100 kg of cement per cubic meter of concrete mix. Thus, the cost of roadside construction can be reduced by 1.5 to 2 times”, said Stanislav Mamulat.

Malumat emphasized that the use of modifiers allows for the use of clay sand, clayed soil, and even clay, which is unsuitable to use in the old methods of producing concrete.

The vortex layer apparatus, which is able to grind solid bulk into powders the size of dust particles was used for the production of the modifiers. Such grinding is possible due to the fact that the grinding chamber with magnetic grinding cores is located in the inductor of the rotating electromagnetic field.

According to the research team, the introduction of this new technology will allow Russia to not only reduce the cost of road construction, but also to improve the quality of roads that are under construction and reduce the burden on the environment.

“The most tested and available for application industrial waste in technologies of soil stabilization are at the same time the most common in our industrial sector. The energy, metallurgical, and chemical industry companies produce hundreds of millions of tons of waste annually. The use of this waste for soil strengthening can not only reduce the cost of regional and inter-municipal road construction while increasing their solidity, but it can also solve regions` ecological problems”, claims Stanislav Mamulat.

Stanislav Mamulat is an expert at the scientific-technical Council of the Federal Road Agency, “Innovations in Transport Industry” the Association and International Transport Alliance (ITA) “One Belt & One Road”. According to his data on Asia, and particular on China, this technology’s popularity is growing globally: grinding stations and recyclers — special self-propelled machines for cold regeneration of old coating in great depth — are being produced at a notable pace. However, a number of physical-chemical methods and facilities being developed in Russia (for example, the vortex layer apparatus and ultrasound equipment for grinding in liquid medium) are unique.