While asphalt paving has come a long way in modern times, there are still some innovations that are being used today in the installation process — one of which is fiber reinforcement. Although this approach looks much different now, it is a technique that has been utilized for generations.
Fiber reinforcement was used in ancient civilizations to reinforce the components that made up structures — straw and horsehair were combined with mud to make bricks that were then dried in the sun. This helped to resist cracking and improved strength and structural integrity of the dwellings these bricks were used to build.
In 1847, French engineer Joseph Lambot developed ferro-cement — now known as reinforced concrete. Lambot discovered that using chicken wire helped to reinforce poured concrete when building watering troughs for farm animals.
Asbestos was used in the 1900s to reinforce concrete until the middle of the century when the health risks of this method were uncovered. It was then that steel, glass, and synthetically manufactured fibers replaced asbestos. Research continues to innovate the types of fiber that are being used to reinforce concrete and asphalt surfaces.
Today, many asphalt paving contractors choose FORTA-FI® for fiber reinforced asphalt installation:
“FORTA-FI® is a high tensile strength synthetic fiber blend formulated to reinforce asphalt mixes in both new construction or rehab projects. The mix of aramid and polyolefin fibers is designed to enhance your current mix design. Aramid fibers will not melt in the asphalt mix and are known for their strength and durability in both high and low temperatures.”
Fiber reinforcements like FORTA-FI® are added easily during the traditional asphalt installation process by qualified contractors using the right tools for the job. It’s an effective, customizable product that has been around since 1978 and has a long track record of success. One bag of product is added to every ton of asphalt, making it a cost-efficient way to improve the overall quality of asphalt. It mixes thoroughly and quickly and distributed throughout the asphalt mixture evenly.
Aside from being easy to use, there are other great benefits for choosing to install fiber reinforced asphalt.
- Tensile strength: Fiber reinforced asphalt is stronger than traditional installation and can withstand pressure and weight with less cracking and damage.
- Durability: Adding fiber reinforcements to asphalt keeps the pavement more durable and keeps it more flexible for longer, decreasing the incidents of cracks over time.
- Layer thickness: Because fiber reinforced asphalt is stronger and more durable, the installation requires fewer layers to be as tough as traditional asphalt.
- Cost savings: Fewer layers also means less product used, which translates to lower cost per installation and lower maintenance costs.
- Longevity: Fiber reinforcement can extend the life of the pavement by up to 50% by reducing the damage that requires resurfacing or even replacement.
- Reduced logistics: Products like FORTA-FI® can be added to any asphalt mixture and reduces the need for less asphalt, which means lower labor and simplified processing.
- Eco-friendly: Fewer resources needed for installation and shorter project times means the impact on the environment is also reduced, making it a green choice.
- Recyclable: Adding FORTA-FI® to asphalt mixes doesn’t prevent the asphalt from being recyclable, further adding to the sustainability.
Installing fiber reinforced asphalt can be a smart investment for any paving project, but especially for paved areas for municipal roadways. Due to reduced logistics, there is a limited disruption to traffic flow in your community and shorter project times. Fewer resources are needed to complete these paving projects, leaving labor resources open to complete other municipal tasks simultaneously. Rusty Durbin of Fred Weber Inc. says FORTA-FI® is also a smart choice for commercial construction jobsite paving, especially in areas that experience high traffic or frequent use from heavy vehicles like truck stops, warehouse facilities, or loading dock areas.
Taking advantage of the benefits of fiber reinforced asphalt means working with a team of qualified contractors that have the experience, expertise, and tools needed to use FORTA-FI®. Our team specializes in larger commercial, municipal, and industrial products that are great candidates for fiber reinforced asphalt installation. Our project managers, schedulers, and asphalt paving specialists deliver a superior finished job with the least disruption to your business or municipality as possible.
We are only satisfied with a job well done when you are. Schedule a consultation with Leritz Busy Bee today to learn more about using fiber reinforced asphalt for your next paving project.