Fortifix® Steel Grid Asphalt Reinforcement

Fortifix® is an advanced steel cord and geotextile composite asphalt reinforcement system, available as a supply and install material from ABG for optimal crack-prevention on roads and highways.

Fortifix® anti-reflective cracking interlayer has an advanced steel cord structure, combined with a non-woven geotextile layer to provide optimal reinforcement of road surfaces.

Applications

  • Crack prevention
  • Control of reflective cracking
  • Joint strengthening (road widening and haunching)
  • Rut prevention
  • Reduction in overlay thickness
  • Avoid full reconstruction
  • Thermal fatigue
  • Lean concrete road base

Benefits

  • Extends pavement life
  • Cost effective
  • Binds surface together and seals pavement
  • High Young’s modulus provides high tensile stiffness at low elongation
  • Reduces the need for primary aggregates
  • Avoids threshold problems
  • Subgrade drainage & waterproofing
  • Economical resurfacing option

Supply & Installation Material only

Asphalt is one of the most commonly used materials for the surfacing of roads and airport runways, as well as other trafficked structures such as car parks and distribution centres.

The low tensile strength of asphalt means it can be easily damaged by a number of factors including settlement, fatigue, temperature fluctuations and vehicle loadings. Damage arising from reflective cracking usually manifests as a cracked or broken surface (such as pot holes) which has implications for the comfort of the road user, causes vehicle damage and adds to the on-going maintenance costs for the operator of the paved area.

Renovating roads has never been easier, faster and more sustainable than with the Fortifix® anti-reflective cracking interlayer. The unique balance of high stiffness and low strain properties, provides an excellent anti-cracking asphalt reinforcement solution – as well as many other advantages in terms of installation, durability and recyclability.

Safe-guarding the quality of roads

Increasing traffic volumes and loading put severe strain on existing road infrastructure, leading to reflective cracking and structural problems. These issues reduce the safety and comfort of road users, as well as causing millions of pounds worth of damage and insurance claims.

To improve the quality of our road infrastructure, cost-effective renovation is necessary to ensure:

  • Long-lasting roads
  • Improved driving and cycling comfort
  • Less vehicle damage
  • Safe road conditions

The best choice for your road renovation

Renovating roads with a crack-preventing steel interlayer is a cost effective alternative to complete road construction and speeds up construction because there is no need to expose the underlying pavement structure. Interlayers are available in many materials, including plastic, glass and carbon. However, steel offers the best solution:

  • Cradle-to-cradle – Steel is the world’s most recycled material since it doesn’t typically degrade each time it is reprocessed, unlike many plastics and paper materials.
  • Durability – Steel has a very high Young’s modulus, which gives a high durability and long-term performance.
  • Stability – Steel is a high-grade building material that is proven to provide reinforcement for all types of applications.

Why Fortifix® steel reinforcement?

Fortifix®, with its unique galvanised steel cord grid and polyester geotextile composite is easy to install. To work effectively, the reinforcement must have a modulus (low strain strength) that is significantly higher than the modulus of the material being reinforced. Fortifix® steel cord has a Young’s Modulus of 190 GPa (50 times higher than that of asphalt). By comparison, glass fibre has a Young’s Modulus of 70 GPa, making it a less effective material for the reinforcement of asphalt. Fortifix® steel reinforcement is also 8 times stronger than polymeric systems.

Extended Life-time

A new pavement will have a design life of 20 years before it requires maintenance, and an overlay onto an existing road will have a design life of 7 years. Adding Fortifix® into the design will incur a small additional cost, typically less than 10% of a new road and 15% of an overlay. The design life of the pavement will be increased by up to a factor of 4 to give a Cost Benefit of 1.8, meaning that for approximately every £1 spent, a saving of £0.80 is made.

Fortifix® retains its high stiffness and optimal elongation even after installation and continuous, heavy traffic. The reason for the improved performance of the steel is due to its superior bond and stiffness within the asphalt layers.

Fortifix® has been fine-tuned through finite-elements simulations (FEM). Extensive performance tests, including 3-point bending tests, thermal-plate tests and bond tests showed that Fortifix® has a high tensile stiffness and significantly improves design life.

The life-time of Fortifix® is 32% longer than glass fibre grids:

The anti-cracking properties clearly outperform glass fibre grids with improved stiffness and a higher tensile strength

Sustainability

Fortifix® is cost effective and the most sustainable solution since increasing the life of the pavement or overlay has an associated carbon saving compared to traditional un-reinforced road construction. In addition, Fortifix® creates a further carbon saving by eliminating pot holes and the energy consumed in repairs to damaged tyres and vehicles. Fortifix® is 100% recyclable and thanks to the innovative treatment of the cords, the structure can be easily planed and completely separated from the asphalt.

Simple installation process

Fortifix® is quick and easy to install – either by hand or mechanically onto both planed and regulated surfaces. Fortifix® is installed by exactly the same process used for glass fibre reinforcement grids. Fortifix® has a fine cord structure fixed into position on a low-weight non-woven textile, affording a lightweight roll that is easy to handle and cut using a pair of straight edge tin snips.

  1. Fortifix® can be rapidly installed, with the road surface first swept before all potholes and large cracks are filled with bituminous material. A regulating course may be required, please contact ABG for scheme specific advice.
  2. Bitumen emulsion or pure bitumen is sprayed onto the prepared surface and the Fortifix® is unrolled flat (by hand or machine) onto the bond coat. The bitumen does not bleed through the geotextile until hot asphalt is laid and this permits the paver and delivery trucks to traffic over the Fortifix®.
  3. The overlay is laid to normal specifications, temperatures, compaction and weather conditions (minimum overlay of only 35mm compared to traditional reinforcement systems up to 100mm).

Fortifix® Our solution for road cracking

Fortifix® is a steel anti-reflective cracking interlayer. The advanced steel cord structure is combined with a light-weight non-woven geotextile to provide optimal stability during the overlay process preventing rucking and pushing under site traffic. The unique combination of high stiffness and low strain properties of Fortifix® provides excellent anti-cracking properties to the road surface.

Fortifix video introduction

Specification

Fortifix® 1-C:

Grid: 40 x 30mm
Tensile Strength: 42 x 54 kN/m
Young’s modulus: 190 GPa
Weight: 353 g/m²
Carrier PET: Non-woven geotextile
Bitumen retention: 500 g/m²

Advantages vs glass fibre grids

  • 3 times stiffer
  • 100% recyclable
  • Easy to lay flat with no rucking effect
  • Extended maintenance intervals

Typical Client Profile

  • Highway Engineers & Contractors
  • Highways Authorities
  • Airport Engineers
  • Local Authority Planning Departments

Why ABG?

ABG is one of the original pioneers of asphalt reinforcement and has continually developed the market since 1990 by introducing innovations in product and installation. Our engineers will take survey information and use their experience and design techniques to develop proposals for a wide range of projects, backed by PI insurance. ABG is also qualified to provide a complete installation service.

ABG are official distributors of Fortifix® in the UK.

Case studies

Additional information

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