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Effectiveness of Fibers in Stabilizing and Reinforcing Bituminous Mixtures: A review

Polyester Fiber: Polyester was discovered in the early 1940s, with industrial production beginning in 1947. It is widely used in clothing apparels both standalone, and as a blend with cotton or wool. It is also used in carpet manufacturing, making waste carpets an excellent source of recycled polyester fibers. Polyester has a melting point of 250C, lower than the mixing temperature of bitumen (165C). Thus polyester can be considered as a better plastic fibre than polypropylene for use in asphalt mixes. Peltonen (1991) found that polyester works as an excellent reinforcement for bitumen in asphalt mixtures. Wu, Ye, & Li (2008) investigated the effects of polyester fiber on the rheological characteristics and fatigue properties of asphalt and its mixture. Test results indicate that the viscosity of asphalt binder increased with increasing polyester fiber contents, especially at lower temperatures. Complex modulus and loss modulus of asphalt binders decreased at 15C and 0.1100 rad/s frequency range. Dynamic modulus and phase angle for asphalt mixture with 0.3% polyester fiber content decreased at the same temperature, which inducates a decrease in fatigue parameter for asphalt mixture. When compared with the control asphalt mixture, the number of cycles to fatigue failure of fiber modified asphalt mixture increased with 1.9, 2.9 and 3.6 times at 0.5, 0.4 and 0.3 stress ratios, respectively. This substantiates the theory that fatigue property of asphalt mixture can be improved by addition of polyester fiber, especially at lower stress levels. Yea, Wu & Li (2009) tested fatigue resistance of Polyester FRAC and found better fatigue parameters than control specimens and mixes modified with other fibers (cellulose and mineral). Shaopeng et al. (2006) showed that 0.3% polyester fiber content by weight of mix reduced draindown of bitumen in porous asphalt mixtures to a maximum of 0.3% as required by NCAT. They concluded that at 5.5% OAC and 0.3% polypropylene fiber content, the porous asphalt mix satified conditions for draindown, abrasion and volumetric properties. BoniFibers are manufactured polyester fibers designed to blend with asphalt. Many states in US have published reports of use of BoniFibers in overlays for reducing reflective cracking. Defoes (1986) study
on use of BoniFibers on the M99 in Lansing, Michigan found no difference in field tests even though laboratory tests indicated improvement in tensile properties as compared to the control specimens.

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Effectiveness of Fibers in Stabilizing and Reinforcing Bituminous Mixtures: A review

Cellulose Fibers: Cellulose fibers are derived from plant or plant based materials. Traditionally, the cellulose fibers used in SMA was manufactured from wood pulp, which requires chemical processing and extrusion, alike synthetic fibers. However, use of natural cellulose fibers e.g. oil palm fibers, date palm fibers, coconut husk fibers has been studied in countries where these materials are readily available. Peltonen (1991) found that cellulose fibers were the most effective at stabilizing the bitumen compared to glass and polyester fiber. This can be attributed to the natural absorbing properties of cellulose fibers as compared to glass and polyester. The cellulose fiber has a rougher surface, thus more specific area for the bitumen to stick to (Fig 2). Decoenes (1990) study in Belgium found road stretches laid with porous asphalt mixtures containing cellulose fibers maintained same drainage characteristic 6
Image Courtesy of Shaopeng et al. (2006) showing: a) smooth polyester fibre b) rough textured cellulose fiber.

months after laying, while road stretches where cellulose fibers were not used, the drainage time was double.

Qun-shan et al. (2008) studied the rheological characteristics of asphalt mixtures modified with cellulose (0.3%), mineral (0.4%) and polyester fiber (0.3%). Universal Testing Machine (UTM-25) was used to obtain Dynamic Modulus and phase angle of the mixtures. Results indicated that at higher temperatures, all fibre modified specimens exhibited better flexibility and deformation characteristics, and at lower temperatures they exhibited better fatigue characteristics. All three fiber modified mixtures developed lesser creep strain and permanent strain than the control specimen. Overall, it was concluded that fibers improve the visco-elastic properties of asphalt mixtures. Shaopeng et al. (2007) used the same blends and concluded that fibers improved the viscous properties of asphalt mixtures at lower temperatures, and the elastic properties at higher temperatures. Such a dual-purpose binder is ideal for areas that experience high temperatures during summer (~30C) and low temperatures during winter (~-5C) e.g. Delhi, Shanghai.

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Effectiveness of Fibers in Stabilizing and Reinforcing Bituminous Mixtures: A review


Muniandy et al. (2001) compared Malaysian Fibre to imported fibre by studying its physical and chemical properties. Malaysian fibre was found to be 10 times in size after pulping as compared to imported fibre. In addition, malaysian fibre was found to have a cellulose content of 65% compared to the 80% cellulose content of imported fibre. Despite the differences, draindown test using motor oil was found to be in the acceptable range. Additional pulping of malaysian fibre could reduce the size, thus improve its draindown chracteristic. They concluded that Malaysian fibre performs comparably to imported fibre. Muniandy & Huat (2006) studied pre-blended PG64-22 binder with fiber proportions of 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6%, 0.8% and 1.0% by weight of aggregates. The fiber-modified binder had bettered rheological properties than unmodified binder and showed that the PG64-22 binder can be modified and raised to PG70-22 grade. The cellulose oil palm fiber (COPF) was found to improve the diameteral fatigue performance of SMA design mix. Mixture with 0.6% fiber content had the maximum fatigue life, maximum tensile stress and stiffness capacity and minimum strain. Another research by Muniandy et al (2008) studied rheological properties of asphalt mixed with varying quantities of COPF and CDPF. A total 11 blends were prepared (control, COPF & CDPF @ 0.075%, 0.15%, 0.225%, 0.3%, 0.375%) and each blend was tested aged (RTFO & PAV) and unaged using the Dynamic Shear Rheometer(DSR). The control specimen was 80/100 penetration grade bitumen (PG58). Complex Shear Modulus (G*), phase angle () and shear strain results were compared. The results showed that blend with 0.375% CDPF exhibited rheological propereties of PG 76 bitumen, while the 0.3% COPF blend exhibited properties of PG 70 bitumen. Beena & Bindu (2011) studied coconut coir fiber as a stabilizer in Stone Matrix Asphalt mixtures. They found that 0.3% coir fibre effectively limited draindown to 0.3% as well as increasing the Marshall Stability by 15% and the Retained stability by 10% when compared to conventional cellulose fiber SMA. Vale, Casagrande, & Soares (2013) also studied coconut fiber as a stabilizer in SMA Mixtures. They found that 0.5% mesocarp coconut fibre by weight of mixture effectively reduced draindown to 0.04%. Mixtures using coconut fibers had better RM/IDT values, which could be attributed to higher tensile strength of the coconut fiber. Fiber stabilized mixtures were found to perform better after moisture induced damage. However, the coconut fibres longer length (30-40mm) compared to the shorter length of the cellulose fiber (2-8mm) created difficulties during mixing, reducing workability of the mix. This could be averted by using shorter length coconut fiber (<20mm). Also, fatigue life of coconut fiber

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Effectiveness of Fibers in Stabilizing and Reinforcing Bituminous Mixtures: A review


mixtures was less than cellulose fiber mixture. Using lesser, shorter fiber was suggested to impove fatigue performance. Das & Banerjee (2013) investigated compatibility of jute with asphalt by testing the tensile properties of sheets of asphalt, fiber-asphalt, yarn-asphalt and fabric-asphalt. A heat stress test on the jute fibers found that heat shock due to the hot bitumen could cause a 10% loss in strength. The cause of this thermal degradation was traced to de-polymerization of the fiber-polymer. The asphalt and fiberasphalt sheet were tested to obtain the interface bond strength. Results clearly indicate that the interface bond strength between fiber and asphalt is clearly higher than the asphalt sheet, but lower than the fiber itself. The reinforcement effect was revealed by tensile behavior of yarn-asphalt and fabric-asphalt. At 12% yarn content, the tensile peak load is significantly higher than at 4% and 8% yarn content. This significant increase was deemed to have been caused by an optimum combination of yarn stiffening and anchoring of asphalt in the yarn body. A gradual decrease in strength is noticed after failure, as compared to the instantaneous degradation in the 4% and 8% yarn content. This gradual decrease in strength is attributed to the asphalt not penetrating the yarn completely, thus allowing reorientation of the yarn along the direction of loading which can continue to carry lesser loads. The 12% fabric-asphalt composite exhibited a 30-40% higher peak load value than the 12% yarn-asphalt composites. This was believed to be due to the stronger wire-mesh structure of the fabric that created discontinuities in the asphalt. These

discontinuities and segmentation reduces the strain length of the asphalt, causing a rupture mechanism as shown in Fig 3.. Das & Banerjee also found that high value of yarn crimp created a fragmented asphalt matrix around the fabric substrate. A special fabric with negligible crimp in the yarn is a pre-requisite for asphalt overlay applications. It can thus be concluded that jute asphalt composites can be effectively used to resist reflective cracking, crack propagation and crack intensities in asphalt overlays. Putman & Amirkhanian (2004) studied use of waste fibers in SMA mixtures. Using cellulose fiber as control, the effectiveness of scrap tire, waste carpet and waste polyester fiber was studied. At OAC (4% VTM), all fibers effectively restricted draindown to 0% when tested at both 162C and 177C. Mixtures Juzer Naushad Moosajee, 14070 Page 9
Figure 3: Jute Fabric-Asphalt Rupture Mechanism (Das & Banerjee, 2013)

Effectiveness of Fibers in Stabilizing and Reinforcing Bituminous Mixtures: A review


with additional AC were tested, and results showed that cellulose fiber restricted draindown to 0.3% at an AC of 13.36%, followed by polyester (10.86%), carpet fibre (10.34%), scrap tire fiber (10.11%) respectively. Cellulose fiber mixture also had highest dry ITS values, but the differences were insignificant. Similarly, wet ITS values were not siginificantly different, but all mixtures were found to greatly exceed the 448kPa minimum threshold and 85% TSR value. However, in both wet and dry conditions, the cellulose fiber mixtured was outperformed by the other 3 fibers in terms of toughness resistance. All four mixtures performed equally well against permanent deformation, with the polyester fiber mixture having the least rut depth (1.6mm) followed by carpet (1.66mm), tire (1.67mm) and cellulose (1.76mm) respectively. They conluded that waste carpet and scrap tire fibers are suitable as stabilizing additives in SMA mixtures, providing a sustainable alternative to disposal in landfills and garbage dumps. While preparing his mixes, Partl, et al. (1994) encountered mixing problems due to clumping together of cellulose fibers. Despite increasing the mixing temperature and duration, proper distribution of fibers in the mix was not accomplished. The poor distribution of fibers was thought to have resulted in limited improvement in mixtures properties containing the fibers.

Mineral Fiber: Mineral Fibers that have been studied for use in asphalt mixtures include asbestos and basalt. Asbestos is predominantly extracted from serpentine or amphibole rocks. It has excellent tensile, heat and fire resistant, sound insulation and friction properties. Among the early research into use of Asbestos fiber in asphalt pavement was published in 1963 by Kietzman, Blackhurst & Foxwell. They studied eight different Asphalt-Asbestos pavements laid in four different locations alongside standard pavements. The Asphalt-Asbestos mixtures remained stable under heavy traffic with 50% higher AC, which prolonged the aging of the bitumen and significantly reduced ravelling off the surface. However, when asbestos was found to be a health hazard and a carcinogen (National Cancer Institute, n.d.), its use in the construction industry was curtailed significantly. Eventually, production, trade and use of asbestos has been restricted and/or banned in many countries.

Chen & Xu (2010) examined the physical properties, reinforcing and stabilizing effects of different fibers on bitumen binder. Five different fibers, polyester fibers (BoniFiber@ and GoodRoad@), polyacrylonitrile (Dolanit@), lignin and asbestos were tested for water absorption, thermal stability and physical Juzer Naushad Moosajee, 14070 Page 10