Today Austroads published the final report for a three-year project designed to assist industry in the successful transfer of French EME2 technology to Australia.
More than 28,000 tonnes* of EME2 have now been laid across Australia.
Enrobés à Module Elevé Class 2 (EME2) asphalt mixes are produced using a hard paving grade bitumen applied at a high binder content (approximately 6%).
Compared to conventional asphalt bases with unmodified binders, EME2 asphalt is characterised by high stiffness, high durability, superior resistance to permanent deformation and good fatigue resistance.
EME2 technology offers the prospect of reduced asphalt thicknesses for heavy duty pavements, and lower construction and maintenance costs.
The report summarises the outcomes of the final year of the study which includes:
- final Australian performance based specification limits for EME2 developed based on comparative testing of French and Australian EME2 mixes
- requirements for manufacturing, paving and compliance
- documenting the Victorian EME2 demonstration trial on the South Gippsland Highway
- supplementary post-construction testing of the Queensland demonstration trial at Cullen Avenue West, Eagle Farm.
The demonstration trials and post-construction testing were carried out as part of the validation process of the specification limits. From the Victorian trial it was found that the EME2 mixes exhibited similar resilient modulus to SI and SF Type asphalt at lower temperatures, however at high temperatures the resilient moduli of EME2 is superior. From a construction aspect, it has been recommended that a minimum paving temperature and wind speed limits be implemented in Victoria.
The Queensland trial EME2 showed higher resilient moduli across all test temperatures compared to DG20HM asphalt and also compared the SSD and mensuration test methods for air void determination.
*Note: the EME2 report reflects the tonnes of EME2 laid as at December 2016 (8,000 tonnes). Since then road projects in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth have utilised the technology.