A pavement structure is designed and constructed to meet its service life, by taking into consideration the magnitude of the load and the environmental conditions under which it will have to sustain. However, along its service life, the pavement undergoes damage due to a multitude of factors. These factors can be classified as follows:
1. Climatic Conditions
The performance of road depends greatly on the temperature variations (wet and dry/freeze and thaw cycles), rainfall and moisture ingress. Depending on roads, there are several materials used in the construction process, which includes natural or processed soil, aggregates, cold, hot or warm mix asphalt, cement, bitumen additives, and miscellaneous materials used as admixtures.
The materials used in road construction react differently with the presence of these factors. The variation of these factors beyond the tolerable limits will lead to premature failures of the roads. Common failures resulting from climatic variations are swelling and shrinkage of road layers, thermal cracks, potholes, stripping, debonding, bleeding and raveling.
2. Traffic Loading
The traffic load on any road is a very important criteria that determine the performance and ultimately the life of the road. All roads are designed for a given traffic/loading that it is likely to carry over its design life. Any significant overloading will affect road performance and reduce the service life of the pavement.
Few common failures resulting from excessive loading are shoving, rutting, fatigue cracking and depressions. These pavement distresses/failures can be avoided by designing the road adequately for future traffic and with the use of high-performance materials and technologies available.
3. Operational Factors (Material Reliability and Construction Practices)
These factors include everything from the usage of unusable/unsuitable materials to operational inefficiency in the field conditions.
Inadequate practices lead to structural failures, roughness, cracks, and moisture ingress in to roads and ultimately lead to pavement disintegration. Failure to obtain proper compaction, improper moisture conditions at the time of construction and inaccurate layer thicknesses after compaction all directly affect the pavement performance. The adoption of best and reliable construction practices will ensure the construction of durable and long-lasting roads.
To know more, consult Zydex road solutions, which include warm mix asphalt and bitumen additives, and avoid premature failure of your road assets from the reasons mentioned above.