Polyester asphalt reinforcement grids - the answer to reflective cracking and the basis for sustainable road maintenance
Asphalt reinforcement grids made of high modulus polyester (PET) are widely used and have proven their performance in countless projects worldwide as an effective treatment against reflective cracking in asphalt overlays. The high resistance of polyester against installation damage and dynamic loading combined with an effective interlayer bonding and easy installation are key factors for the success of asphalt reinforcement. The good performance of the asphalt reinforcement on the other hand is the basis for the increase of pavement life and thus a sustainable use of resources. This paper will present the positive experience gained over the past 40 years in numerous projects worldwide; in parallel the latest research in this field will prove the effectiveness of high modulus polyester asphalt reinforcement. Combining the above information will then lead to a comparison of Embodied Carbon Dioxide for different rehabilitation methods showing the sustainability of using polyester asphalt reinforcement to extend pavement life.
This paper has shown that the use of an asphalt reinforcement made of high modulus polyester is an ideal method to delay or even prevent reflective cracking. The high resistance of polyester against installation damage and dynamic loading combined with an effective interlayer bonding and easy installation are key factors for the success of asphalt reinforcement. The project experience and research presented proves that the pavement life can be increased by a factor of 3 - 4 by using HaTelit® asphalt reinforcement.
Using this information combined with the amount of embodied carbon dioxide (ECO2) of construction materials used for a typical pavement rehabilitation project, a comparison has been made between a reinforced and an unreinforced solution. The comparison clearly shows the significant savings of 63 % ECO2 per year of design life of the reinforced as compared to the unreinforced overlay. This substantial saving is achieved by extending the pavement life and thus reducing the need for maintenance and the corresponding ECO2.
Similarly to the saving of embodied carbon dioxide a significant cost saving per year of design life is achieved. This again shows that saving the environment and saving costs go very well hand in hand.
This paper has shown that asphalt reinforcement made of high modulus polyester does provide an efficient solution to save resources by extending pavement life and thus creating sustainable pavements.