Fibertex AM-2 needle punch nonwoven fabric developed for road maintenance in Africa


Fibertex geosynthetic solutions for road maintenance include Fibertex AM-2, which is a flexible needlepunch nonwoven paving fabric. This robust product was specifically developed by Fibertex, for African road engineering conditions.

“The functions of Fibertex AM-2 are twofold: To avoid reflective cracking of new asphalt. This material is used to prevent the propagation of cracking from an old pavement surface being transferred into a new re-sealed surface – stress relief,” says Lionel Kistan, export sales manager, Fibertex South Africa – manufacturers of geosynthetic products. “The second function of Fibertex AM-2 is to protect the subsoil from water intrusion and thereby loss of bearing capacity. In this case it is used to create an impermeable membrane layer – a seal – to prevent the ingress of surface water into road layer works through existing cracks in the pavement.

“When water saturates the load-bearing layers under a road surface, the bearing capacity of such layers reduce and crack formations could eventually propagate and lead to pothole formation under the dynamic loads of heavy traffic.

“This membrane also acts as a Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer (SAMI) to prevent surface stress cracking by absorbing stresses imposed by differential loads.”

The Fibertex AM-2 system can be applied mechanically for large volume installations, as well as manually in cases where narrow width installations are required. By using Fibertex AM-2 paving fabric in road maintenance projects, future maintenance cycles can be reduced; full road rehabilitation projects can be postponed and pavement life can be extended, which means substantial cost savings.

Additionally, when using Fibertex F-grade geotextiles in a basal separation application below the road prism, the road design can be adjusted to decrease the thickness of load bearing layers, while still maintaining or even increasing its load bearing capacity. This results in a more cost-effective design.

Alternatively, without the use of a separation fabric in weak subgrade conditions, punching of engineered aggregate into the weak subgrade could occur, as well as ingress of the below subgrade into the engineered fill material. As a result, the bearing capacity of the base course could be reduced over time, which could lead to basal failure of the road.

Virgin PP geotextiles have a high level of chemical stability over a wide pH range and are thus suitable for application in most civil engineering environmental conditions. This characteristic ensures its durability, where product failure might not only impact on project cost, but could have a long term environmental impact.

Fibertex UV stabilised virgin PP geotextiles are the only nonwoven geotextiles produced in Africa with certification for durability of over 100 years, in accordance with the latest EN standards.

This range of environmentally-friendly geosynthetic materials encompasses nonwoven and woven geotextiles, gabions and mattresses, drainage pipes and fittings and erosion control and cellular confinement solutions. The company also supplies soil reinforcement and stabilisation products, including geogrids and geocells, as well as geosynthetic clay liners (GCL) and geomembranes (GMB) that can be used as part of composite lining systems in waste containment solutions.

Fibertex South Africa’s team of experts from branches in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape offers a technical advisory and support service, to ensure correct specification of durable and safe materials for every project.


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