Monday, June 5, 2017

NCAT Test Track - Project Profile Highlight


The National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) was established in 1986 as a partnership between Auburn University and the NationalAsphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) Research and Education Foundation to provide practical research and development to meet the needs of maintaining America's highway infrastructure ( NCAT was formed in order to ensure the nation’s ability to provide quality asphalt pavements that are durable, sustainable, safe and economical. NCAT works with state highway agencies, the Federal Highway Administration and the highway construction industry to develop and evaluate new products, design technologies and construction methods that quickly lead to pavement improvements (

FORTA-FI® Experimental Patch

In October 2013, FORTA-FI® was added to a mix that would be used in a small experimental patch (at a milled depth of 2 inches) on the NCAT test track in Opelika, Alabama. After 1.5 million ESALs, NCAT engineers surveyed the patch and the cracks were painted white, as shown in the picture. Half of the patch was reinforced with FORTA-FI® and the other half, as labeled, was used as a control containing no fiber. The division between the fiber and the control patch halves is the visible white painted line that extends across the picture.

Buzz Powell, NCAT Assistant Director and the Test Track Manager, stated:

“Even though the most severe pre-patch cracking was in the half of the patch treated with FORTA-FI® fibers, it is evident that less cracking had reflected in the FORTA-FI® fiber half of the patch at that time.”

Overall, the FORTA-FI® reinforced asphalt performed extremely well under the NCAT testing standards as compared to the control section, containing no fiber. It is evident, as shown in the picture, that the FORTA-FI® section has far less cracking compared to the control section when tested under identical conditions.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Vehicles Consume Less Fuel on Smoother Asphalt Pavements

According to experts, vehicles driving on smoother pavements, particularly smooth asphalt pavements, consume less fuel than driving over rough road conditions of poorly constructed roads. Overall, less fuel consumption helps the environment and aids in lessening consumer’s fuel budgets, leading to a greener and more cost effective form of infrastructure. Since the United States has over 2.5 million miles of paved roads, just a slight change in each person’s fuel economy can make a huge difference. If every American drove on smooth roads throughout their entire lifetime, they would save dramatic amounts of money on fuel savings as well as helping to conserve our natural resources, too (Asphalt Pavement Alliance).

Studies at a pavement test track in Nevada have shown that driving on smoother surfaces can reduce fuel consumption in the neighborhood of 4.5 to 5 percent compared to fuel consumption on a rough pavement ( According to the National Transportation Research Group(TRIP), more than one-quarter (27 percent) of the nation's major urban roads (interstates, freeways and other arterial routes) have pavements that are in substandard condition and provide an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average urban driver $377 annually, a total of $80 billion nationwide ( Even worse, in some areas, driving on deteriorated roadways costs the average driver more than $800 each year ( Driving on these deteriorated roads increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and overall tire wear ( costing Americans money. 

Building Smoother Roads to Improve Fuel Efficiency

In order to provide and maintain smoother roads across the country, they need to be constructed and engineered correctly at the beginning of the construction process. In order to do that, the asphalt roads need to be strong, durable and resistant to rutting and cracking, resulting in an extended smooth asphalt life. One way to extend asphalt pavement life is with FORTA-FI®, a high tensile strength synthetic fiber blend formulated to reinforce asphalt mixes in both new construction or overlay projects. The unique fiber blend is designed to enhance your current design mix. The fibers will not melt in the asphalt mix and are known for their strength and durability in both high and low temperatures.

FORTAfied asphalt is stronger asphalt, and builds tougher roads that are both safer, and more fiscally responsible. Today, more than ever, using time and material resources responsibly is everyone's goal, especially when it reduces fuel consumption, which benefits the environment and the consumer’s pockets. FORTA-FI® is uniquely capable of reinforcing all asphalt mixtures allowing for longer and smoother pavement life, which translates into reduced labor, reduced time and reduced logistics thereby reducing overall project costs and the cost of road maintenance, leading to fewer consumer costs, too. 

Overall, by choosing to reinforce asphalt pavement with FORTA-FI®, the nation will be able to slowly make its way to smoother, cost efficient and environmentally friendly roadways for years to come.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Infrastructure Improvements America Needs

The United States’ system of roads, highways, and bridges are critical in making it possible for the country to function every day. The road networks include more than 4 million miles of public roadways, carrying almost 3 trillion vehicle miles traveled in 2011 alone (American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card). These roadways allow for vital goods to be transported day in and day out. Basically, the nation runs smoothly because we have a way to get around and a way to transport imports, exports and everything in between.

Last week, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card: an assessment of the status of the United States’ infrastructure. Sadly, the United States received a “D+” grade regarding the nation’s overall infrastructure. Created every 4 years, the report card is organized into infrastructure specific categories, each assigned a letter “grade” and based on the performance and necessary investments for improvement of existing public works. Specifically, America’s roads got a “D” grade because “One out of every five miles of highway pavement is in poor condition and our roads have a significant and increasing backlog of rehabilitation needs” (ASCE Report Card). This valuable report goes to show that America’s infrastructure needs to change. 

The report goes on to suggest that the nation’s state DOT’s and municipalities do invest to repair their roadways each year but fall short when it comes to making sure the investments are focused on the long-term. States and communities tend to focus on the short-term cost savings, instead of realizing that the long-term investments lead to long-term cost savings. Most DOT’s often don’t have the money to make these necessary repairs, however, leaving roads to degrade much quicker, requiring costly construction to replace or repair them, time after time. Often overlooked or pushed to the side, road in need of repair pose safety risks to motorists. The ASCE also mentions that statistics indicate that these roadway conditions are a significant factor in approximately one-third of all U.S. traffic fatalities.

The solution, of course, is to improve the way the roads are managed as a whole. By focusing on the long-term outcome when considering how the roads are initially constructed and replaced, the country’s infrastructure problem can be slowly resolved.  Of course, an excellent solution to this problem is FORTA-FI®, a high tensile strength synthetic fiber blend formulated to reinforce asphalt mixes in both new construction or rehab projects. FORTA-FI® extends the life of asphalt projects which reduces the amount of maintenance costs.

FORTAfied® asphalt provides the benefits of long-term cost savings through extending the life of asphalt, which in this case would benefit the nation’s infrastructure immensely. FORTA-FI® reinforced asphalt for our roads, highways and bridges is the type of infrastructure improvement America needs.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Four Years FORTAfied®!

Left side- unreinforced / Right side- FORTAfied®!

Glenn David Drive- O'Hara Township

This was a test project to determine whether the township engineer wanted to use fiber reinforcement in future projects around the area. To test its success, the road was split in half; one side used FORTA-FI® and the other did not.

Four years later:
We are happy to see that this road has been FORTAfied® for four years and it has minimal signs of cracking and fatigue compared to the unreinforced asphalt mix.

Please contact us for more details on this project!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

FORTA-FI® Fills in the Gaps- Porous Asphalt

Some questions that arise when someone is considering to use porous asphalt revolve around the durability and resistance against things such as raveling, rutting, and cracking. Yes, the storm water drainage is a plus, but how can it be durable with the large percentage of air voids? This question explains the reputation surrounding porous asphalt of being less durable compared to traditional asphalt. If the porous asphalt has large air voids, one can assume that it would be more susceptible to damage.

How can porous asphalt still retain its permeability and resist rutting and raveling? —Use FORTA-FI® reinforcing fibers!

Wee Burn Country Club in Darien, CT., is the home of a 1-acre porous asphalt pavement parking lot reinforced with FORTA-FI®. By adding FORTA-FI® to the mix, the porous asphalt has a higher resistance to raveling, rutting,  and cracking. How does it work? FORTA-FI® helps to bridge the gap between the aggregates created by the large air voids but does not inhibit the storm water from draining through the surface. The fibers surround the aggregates forming a strong hold but are small enough to retain the permeability of the pavement. By using porous asphalt, issues caused by rainwater can be eliminated, alleviating the strain put on existing storm water management systems.

Please follow the link below to find out more about FORTA-FI®!