Technical Articles

What is BS EN 131081 asphalt concrete?

BS EN 131081 asphalt concrete, also known as AC16 surfacing material, is a type of bituminous compound used in road construction and maintenance. It is widely recognized for its excellent durability, skid resistance, and ability to withstand heavy traffic loads.

Composition and Properties

BS EN 13108-1 asphalt concrete consists of aggregates, binder, and filler materials. The aggregates provide strength and stability, while the binder, commonly a bitumen or polymer-modified bitumen, acts as a glue that holds the mixture together. The filler materials, such as limestone dust or fine particles, enhance the overall performance of the asphalt concrete.

This specific type of asphalt concrete has a nominal maximum aggregate size of 16 millimeters, hence the name AC16. The mixture is designed to have a high percentage of coarse aggregates, which contributes to its structural integrity and ability to resist deformation under heavy loads.

Benefits and Applications

BS EN 131081 asphalt concrete offers several advantages over other types of pavement materials:

Durability: The mixture's high-quality binder and dense aggregate structure provide exceptional resistance to cracking, rutting, and moisture damage.

Skid Resistance: The rough surface texture of the AC16 pavement improves vehicle traction, especially during wet conditions.

Load-bearing Capacity: The compact mixture design makes it suitable for roads with high traffic volumes and heavy axle loads, such as highways and parking lots.

Due to its superior performance characteristics, BS EN 131081 asphalt concrete is widely used in various applications, including but not limited to:

Highways and motorways

Airport runways

Industrial and commercial areas

Residential streets

Construction and Maintenance

The construction of BS EN 131081 asphalt concrete typically involves the following steps:

Preparation of the subgrade, including excavation, compaction, and possibly the placement of a geotextile layer for additional stability.

Application of a binder course, which is a intermediate layer between the subgrade and the surface layer, providing further strength and waterproofing.

Placement and compacting of the AC16 asphalt concrete mixture using specialized paving machinery.

Final surface finishing, such as rolling and smoothing to ensure proper compaction and smoothness.

Regular maintenance, including periodic resurfacing or patching, is necessary to extend the service life of BS EN 131081 asphalt concrete. This may involve activities such as crack sealing, pothole repair, and reapplication of a surface treatment to restore skid resistance.

In conclusion, BS EN 131081 asphalt concrete is a high-performance surfacing material widely used in road construction. Its composition and properties make it durable, skid-resistant, and capable of withstanding heavy traffic loads. With proper construction and maintenance, this type of asphalt concrete can provide long-lasting and reliable pavement surfaces for various applications.



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