Reinforcing bitumen-based road surfaces with waste from plastic wigs [study]

“Synthetic hair wigs are made from modacrylic fibers that are synthesized to look and feel same as real hair. The fibers have the potential to return to their original shape by spraying it lightly with water and heating from underneath. Moreover, synthetic fibers do not keep odours and do not react to weather condition as easily as natural hair wigs. Direct disposal of the PA [Polyacrylic] wig as hazardous waste product is the least complicated compared to disposal of other contaminated crop materials and may prove to be the most practical. However, it is the less preferable method since it is also very costly. Therefore, the best solution to handle this waste is by blending with the asphalt binder or otherwise known as polymer modified bitumen (PMB).”

A research team, from the Faculty of Chemical and Natural Resources Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Malaysia, suggest that their new recycling insight regarding the addition of PolyAcrylic Wig Waste (PAWW) to bitumen products used in road-making might be able to help reduce accident rates.

“Poor road condition can contribute to accidents especially for motorcyclists. The use of fiber reinforced road micro surfacing can lead to better road surface quality and the rate of accidents could also be reduced.”

See: Modification of bitumen using polyacrylic wig waste in AIP Conference Proceedings, volume 1930, 020051 (2018);

BONUS: Hot bitumen can cause severe burns, but can be removed with butter.

Research research by Martin Gardiner