Typically road surfacings are either Portland cement concrete or bitumen based. Thesurfacing is to provide a running surface for cars and trucks and to provide a sealagainst water infiltrating and harming the material in the pavement.The road user requirements of a surfacing are:• To provide high skid resistance to assist in vehicle control• To limit the water spray and to provide better visibility• To provide an even riding surface and• To generate low noise levels if the road is near populated or noise sensitiveareas.
The structural requirements of a surfacing are to carry the loads and toprovide a seal against water infiltrating the material in the pavement. Theunderlying pavement will deteriorate very quickly under load if water finds itsway into the pavement material. Every effort is made to keep the pavementfree of water. The passage of heavy trucks on the road, forces the water intothe pavement with pressure equal to their tyre pressure. This action will, intime, result in the structural failure of the pavement. This underlines theimportance of keeping the pavement (under the surfacing) free of water. There are three major types of asphalt surfacings, characterized by a mixtureof bitumen and stone aggregate. These are:• Dense Graded asphalt (DGA)• Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) and• Open Graded Asphalt (OGA)Asphalt surfacings differ by the proportion of different size aggregate(crushed rock), the amount of bitumen added and the presence of otheradditives and material.A common rural road surfacing treatment is a “chip seal” in which aggregateis rolled into a bitumen coating. This is not an asphalt and is not the subjectof this report.
What is SMA?
Stone mastic asphalt
was developed in Germany in the 1960’s; Stone Mastic asphalt(SMA) provides a deformation resistant, durable, surfacing material, suitable for heavilytrafficked roads. SMA has found use in Europe, Australia and the United States as adurable asphalt surfacing option for residential streets and highways. SMA has a highcoarse aggregate content that interlocks to form a stone skeleton that resist permanentdeformation. The stone skeleton is filled with a mastic of bitumen and filler to whichfibres are added to provide adequate stability of bitumen and to prevent drainage of binder during transport and placement. Typical SMA composition consists of 70−80%coarse aggregate, 8−12% filler, 6.0−7.0% binder, and 0.3 per cent fibre.The deformation resistant capacity of SMA stems from a coarse stone skeleton providingmore stone-on-stone contact than with conventional dense graded asphalt (DGA) mixes