Analysis of Aramid Synthetic Fibers in Asphalt Mixes on Local Roads

Local and state entities pay a premium price for polymer-modified asphalt cement (AC) designed to enhance performance with regards to rutting and crack resistance. The polymer-modified AC is used in high-traffic areas that experience heavy traffic loads. The polymer-modified AC can only be placed when ambient and surface temperatures are above 50° F. These temperature restrictions limit the time asphalt can be placed during the asphalt construction season resulting in an increased unpredictability to construction schedules, which can result in additional costs to bid items associated with polymer-modified asphalt placement. When resurfacing pavements, some local transportation agencies will place a stress absorbing membrane interlayer (SAMI) between the distressed pavements and a hot mix overlay to seal existing cracks and slow reflective cracking. This results in additional costs and lengthens the duration of the project as it requires more time for application and curing. Over the years, advances in technology have produced new materials that may have beneficial applications to the transportation industry. One of those is aramid fibers, a heat-resistant, strong synthetic fiber. Claims have been made that incorporating aramid fibers into asphalt mixes can enhance the performance of the asphalt and eliminate the need for a SAMI. Over the past three years, one Ohio city has spent an average of $857,000 annually on SAMI applications in their resurfacing program. It has been estimated that an alternative to SAMI, such as aramid fiber-reinforced asphalt, could potentially save the city approximately $675,000 annually. However, limited information is available on the actual performance of aramid fiber-reinforced asphalt on local roadways. Research that evaluates the effective use of aramid synthetic fibers in asphalt mixes on local roadways is needed. The primary goal of this research is to compare the performance of polymer-modified asphalt mixes to non-polymer-modified aramid fiber-reinforced asphalt mixes for resurfacing applications to control rutting and cracking. The secondary goal of this research is to compare the performance of non-polymer-modified fiber-reinforced asphalt mixes without the use of SAMI to non-fiber-reinforced mixes (both polymer-modified and non-polymer-modified) with the use of SAMI to control reflective cracking. The objective is to identify the optimal aramid fiber dosage and mix design methodology for utilizing non-polymer-modified fiber-reinforced asphalt that reduces cracking and rutting on local roadways. This research will be conducted in two phases. The goal of Phase 1 is to be comprised of a feasibility study of aramid fibers in asphalt mixes on municipal and county roadways. Phase 2 is to be comprised of construction, evaluation of the mixes and pavement resurfacing treatment combinations identified in Phase 1, along with laboratory testing of field and plant samples and is contingent upon the successful completion of Phase 1 and the written authorization of the ODOT Research Section. Phase 2 is also contingent upon securing a suitable local site for field testing.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $286,459.93
  • Contract Numbers:




  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Ohio Department of Transportation

    Research Program
    1980 West Broad Street
    Columbus, OH  United States  43223
  • Project Managers:

    Fout, Vicky

  • Performing Organizations:

    Ohio University, Athens

    Athens, OH  United States  45701
  • Principal Investigators:

    Nazzal, Munir

  • Start Date: 20190502
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210702
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01702859
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 136006, 33411, 109988
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 24 2019 11:37AM