Three companies have jointly unveiled a first high polymer content binder specifically designed to enhance durability and safety of porous asphalt roads. KWS Infra BV (Netherlands), a construction company; Latexfalt (Netherlands), a producer of bitumen modified polymer binders and Kraton Polymers (US), a global producer of engineering polymers, have developed a new tough binder that has the capability to reduce aggregate loss (also known as raveling) which often results in increased road noise and damage to cars caused by debris. The trio contributed to the successful trial application of the new porous asphalt binder to a stretch of highway in the Netherlands, leading to the Eindhoven ring road.
Japan has applied highly modified porous asphalt binders for over 20 years. Based upon the advances in Asia and Europe, Kraton Polymers has been able to formulate a binder that exceeds the Japanese specifications for porous asphalt binders while retaining the workability and compatibility expectations of European road contractors. The Netherlands trial application consisted of a 25 mm top layer (approximately 10,000 m2) of porous asphalt applied alongside an equal sized section of standard SBS modified bitumen. The application was a success, despite the low temperatures, which are less desirable for applying asphalt. Kraton Polymers expects this success to translate into expanded opportunities with road contractors in the North and South America. Its high polymer content formulation offers greater durability, which results in the reduction of splash, spray and road noise.