Upgrading of roads has never been more critical

Fibertex South Africa’s solutions for road construction and maintenance include the manufacture and supply of Fibertex AM-2, which is a flexible needle punched nonwoven paving fabric, specifically developed by Fibertex, for road engineering conditions in Africa.

The propagation of cracks from an existing pavement into a new asphalt/concrete overlay is a major problem for both rigid and flexible pavements alike. The resulting reflective cracking in pavements compromises a road user’s drive quality and ultimately the service life of the pavement.

According to Fibertex specialists, one of the leading causes of pavement deterioration is water intrusion through the pavement layer. The process of water ingress is exasperated by cracks present on the old asphalt surface when a new asphalt overlay is to be installed.

The Fibertex AM2-SA nonwoven paving fabric achieves this through reinforcement from one side of an existing crack to the other by utilising the geotextiles tensile strength in combination with the waterproofing effect when impregnated with a asphalt emulsion.

“Fibertex AM-2 acts as a waterproofing membrane by substantially reducing the ability for water to move through the wearing course into the pavement,” explains Joe Anderson, Technical Sales Representative, Fibertex South Africa – specialists in a wide range of nonwovens, geosynthetics and performance-based materials. “The second function of Fibertex AM-2 is to slow the propagation of cracks onto the new road surface from the existing concrete or asphalt pavement below. More importantly, although the crack may eventually reflect through, the membrane remains intact and continues to waterproof the layer works below.

“This membrane also acts as a Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer (SAMI) to prevent surface stress cracking by absorbing stresses imposed by differential loads.”

The Fibertex AM-2 system can be applied mechanically for large volume wide width installations, as well as in cases where narrow width installations are required. By using Fibertex AM-2 paving fabric in road maintenance projects, future maintenance cycles can be reduced, overlay thickness can be reduced; full road rehabilitation projects can be postponed and pavement life can be extended, which means substantial cost savings.

Additionally, when using Fibertex F-grade geotextiles in a basal separation application below the road prism, the road design can be adjusted to decrease the thickness of load bearing layers, while still maintaining or even increasing its load bearing capacity. This results in a more cost-effective design.

Alternatively, without the use of a separation fabric in weak subgrade conditions, punching of engineered aggregate into the weak subgrade could occur, as well as ingress of the below subgrade into the engineered fill material. As a result, the bearing capacity of the base course could be reduced over time, which could lead to basal failure of the road.

Virgin PP geotextiles have a high level of chemical stability over a wide pH range and are thus suitable for application in most civil engineering environmental conditions. This characteristic ensures its durability, where product failure might not only impact on project cost, but could have a long term environmental impact.

Fibertex UV stabilised virgin PP geotextiles are the only nonwoven geotextiles produced in Africa with certification for durability of over 100 years, in accordance with the latest EN standards.

This range of environmentally-friendly geosynthetic materials encompasses nonwoven and woven geotextiles, gabions and mattresses, drainage pipes and fittings and erosion control and cellular confinement solutions.

The company also supplies soil reinforcement and stabilisation products, including geogrids and geocells, as well as geosynthetic clay liners (GCL) and geomembranes (GMB) that can be used as part of composite lining systems in waste containment solutions.

Fibertex South Africa’s team of experts from branches in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape, offers a technical advisory and support service, to ensure correct specification of durable and safe materials for every project.

Fibertex South Africa’s solutions for road construction and maintenance include the manufacture and supply of Fibertex AM-2, which is a flexible needlepunched nonwoven paving fabric, specifically developed by Fibertex, for road engineering conditions in Africa.

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