Epoxy Asphalt Concrete--a Polymer Concrete with 25 years' Experience


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Title: Epoxy Asphalt Concrete--a Polymer Concrete with 25 years' Experience

Author(s): Robert W. Gaul

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 166


Appears on pages(s): 233-252

Keywords: aggregates; bituminous concretes; bridge decks; compacting; epoxy resins; polymer concretes; temperature; Materials Research

Date: 12/1/1996

Epoxy asphalt concrete is a polymer concrete with a 25-year history of application as a bridge deck surfacing. Since 1967, over 100 million pounds (50,000 tons) have been installed on 22 bridge decks totaling 6.5 million square feet. Most installations have exhibited excellent performance. The epoxy asphalt binder is a two-phase, thermoset chemical system in which the continuous phase is an acid cured epoxy and the discontinuous phase is a mixture of asphalts. The aggregates and gradation are similar to those used in asphalt concrete. The epoxy asphalt binder components are premixed before being combined with the heated aggregate in a conventional asphalt batch plant and applied through conventional asphalt paving equipment. Epoxy asphalt concrete has found use as a pavement for new orthotropic steel bridge decks and as an overlay for existing concrete bridge decks. Epoxy asphalt has also been applied as a chip-seal. On one project, the epoxy asphalt concrete was shop applied to steel plates that were later installed as a bridge deck. Several installations have not performed as expected. Successful installations require close temperature control of aggregates and careful attention to early compaction. This paper also provides a history of the commercial use of epoxy asphalt in the United States and Canada.