The Asphalt Institute has published a new study, Quantifying the Effects of Polymer-Modified Asphalt for Reducing Pavement Distress, for pavement specifiers and asphalt technologists. The study defines the advantages of polymer-modified asphalt (PMA) when used in a variety of climates and traffic conditions throughout North America.
“While there have been numerous laboratory studies measuring performance-related properties of PMA and PMA mixtures, there has never been a field study of such a large national scope that quantifies the performance benefits of PMA pavements and overlays,” says Mark Buncher, Director of Field Engineering for the Asphalt Institute.
Comparative modified and unmodified sections at 84 controlled experimental sites across the U.S. and Canada were evaluated for rutting, fatigue cracking and transverse cracking. The report confirms a significant increase in pavement life, rutting resistance and prevention of thermal cracking associated with the application of PMA as compared to conventional hot mix asphalt.
“Agencies can incorporate the extended service lives expected with PMA into their maintenance and rehabilitation schedules assumed in life cycle cost analyses, enabling them to optimally select rehab alternatives and materials,” adds Buncher.