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Long-lasting roads with Wetfix

Durability study

We asked ourselves, how can we show the long-lasting effect of using Wetfix? In 2008 we did a durability study together with the authorities on 16 year old asphalt to check its condition.

Adhesion promoters based on our Wetfix amine surfactants have been used for many years to enhance the bond between bitumen and aggregate in asphalt mixtures and other bituminous applications.

Lab tests and anecdotal evidence from the field shows that Wetfix is effective as an adhesion promoter but hard, measureable confirmation on long term effectiveness is hard to come by. Industry experts and clients rightly demand definite proof, so AkzoNobel, along with the Swedish authorities, undertook a study to validate the effectiveness of Wetfix over the long term.

Durability study at Swedish airport
The study was carried out in 2008 on a Swedish airport site where the asphalt had been laid back in 1992. Rigorous lab tests at the time of installation showed there was a need to include an AkzoNobel Wetfix product in the binder in order to meet durability specifications. The ratio of stiffness modulus at 10°C, before and after conditioning (10 x -20/+20°C freeze thaw cycles and 5 days soaking at 60°C) was determined, the so called ITSM ratio*.

16 years later, cores were taken from the airport pavement and tested under exactly the same conditions as before. The results in figure 1
clearly show the initial gain in ITSM ratio that was obtained and that the same level of enhanced resistance to the elements is still present after all the years in service. This study therefore provides clear evidence
that amine adhesion promoters fortify the bond.

between bitumen and aggregate over the long term, thus giving a significant improvement in the durability of asphalt throughout its life. The addition of a small amount of Wetfix adhesion promoter to the binder, at little extra cost to the formulation, means road constructors and their clients can be assured that their asphalt pavements will have increased durability over the long term, and subsequently a longer life cycle. 

The full version of this report can be found in the website library.