Performance and Life-Cycle Cost Benefits of Stone Matrix Asphalt
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2:00–3:30 p.m. EDT
Speakers: Fan Yin, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, National Center for Asphalt Technology and Randy West, PhD, P.E., Director, National Center for Asphalt Technology
Since its introduction into the United States, stone matrix asphalt has gained great popularity among state highway agencies as a premium asphalt mix to enhance field performance and extend life expectancy of asphalt pavements and overlays. Considering that SMA is generally more expensive than the conventional Superpave dense-graded mixture, mainly due to higher asphalt contents, requirements for more durable aggregates, and inclusion of fibers as stabilizers, it remains unclear whether the higher cost of SMA can be justified by the increase in life expectancy of the mix. This presentation highlights a study undertaken to quantify the performance and life-cycle cost benefits of SMA versus those of polymer-modified Superpave dense-graded mixtures used on similar trafficked highways.