In connection with the protracted pandemic of coronavirus infection, the problem of disposing of disposable masks has arisen. Russian scientists decided not just to get rid of hazardous waste, but to use the properties of used products to strengthen asphalt concrete pavements.


The Perm National Research Polytechnic University (PNRPU) has created an asphalt mixture using used medical masks. They act as a reinforcing agent. For greater efficiency, scientists selected masks made from spunbond, which is a thin non-woven material made of polypropylene fibers bonded together under the influence of heat treatment.

The secret of the strength of the product lies in the diversity of polypropylene threads: large ones form the outer layer of the mask, and thin fibers are soldered inside it.

Perm developers have created a technology that significantly extends the service life of the asphalt concrete pavement, significantly reduces raw material costs and the cost of the road facility. The recipe for the new mixture is simple: particles of used medical masks, crushed to 20 mm, are added in a proportion of 0.5% by weight of bitumen.

The resulting asphalt concrete differs from traditional analogues in its higher resistance to compression, which makes it much more reliable in operation, regardless of the season and weather changes. It is important to note that these wastes are not only effective, but also absolutely safe, as asphalt concrete is prepared at temperatures up to +160 °C, leaving no chance for anyone, including coronavirus, to survive.