Anatomy of Asphalt

by John Prendergast, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 7, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


Two main factors will combine over the next several years to alter the composition of asphalt pavements, which make up more than 90% of the paved roads in the U.S. First, a major research effort is under way to come up with new pavements better able to withstand the strains of increasing traffic volumes, tire pressures and truck weights. Techniques developed in the U.S. through the Strategic Highway Research Program or adopted from Europe could produce a whole range of new mix designs and additives. At the same time, road construction has become a major focus among states seeking ways to recycle solid-waste materials. Future asphalt roads may contain rubber, glass, fly ash, and even roofing shingles and old toilet bowls.

Subject Headings: Highways and roads | Asphalt pavements | Vehicle-pavement interaction | Highway and road design | Construction materials | Recycling | Strain | Traffic volume | Europe

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