The Association of Modified Asphalt Producers (AMAP) has provided $17,000 to the Affiliate Committee of the Asphalt Institute to help fund the organization's latest study, which focuses on determining specific calibration factors for polymer-modified asphalts (PMA).
The new study follows an earlier one (Engineering Report ER-215) conducted by AMAP and the Asphalt Institute. Although the original 2005 study proved that PMA reduced pavement distress and extended the service life of flexible pavements and overlays, it did not determine specific calibration factors for PMA mixtures.
The federal government's current road-building guidelines are based on global calibration factors for unmodified asphalts. The Asphalt Institute is concerned that the global calibration factors could overestimate stress on polymer-modified asphalt layers. The new study aims to determine calibration factors specifically for PMA mixtures.
"We're pleased to help fund this important study because it has the power to determine calibration factors that reflect the benefits of polymer-modified asphalt," said Bob Berkley, Executive Director of AMAP. "By utilizing these PMA factors, state highway engineers will get an accurate estimate of roadway distress response that we are confident will demonstrate the extended highway life provided by polymer-modified asphalts."
The study, which got underway in December 2006, is being conducted by independent researcher Harold Von Quintus of Round Rock, Tex.-based Applied Research Associates, Inc. Estimated completion time for the study is six months, at a total cost of $37,000.
In addition to the $17,000 in funds that AMAP has provided for the study, the Federal Highway Administration has furnished $15,000, with the remaining $5,000 coming from five polymer manufacturers supplying the U.S. market.