Gilsonite emulsion: sunscreen for our pavements

Christchurch Airport has 820,000sqm of airside pavement surfacing, 66% of which is asphaltic surfacing which never receives any aircraft traffic loadings. This pavement deteriorates only by environmental factors and is replaced approximately every 12-15 years due to moisture penetration and oxidation of the bitumen binder, resulting in embrittlement and the creation of Foreign Object Debris (FOD) which is a serious problem for the airport operations. Gilsonite is a natural resinous hydrocarbon high in nitrogen particles with a resistance to free radical oxidation. When included into a bitumen emulsion, it can be used as a preservation agent for deteriorating pavements and has recently successfully been applied to the airside pavement at the Christchurch International Airport. A drawback becomes apparent when friction characteristics are investigated. Upon application, the pavement will lose approximately 0.3 grip numbers before undergoing a curing process, which allows the friction values to steadily return to status quo. With careful planning and management through the use of trials, weather predictions and friction testing, the effects of friction loss can be mitigated. With its successful use on the airside pavements of Christchurch International Airport, is there scope to broaden the horizons into our road network?


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 6p
  • Monograph Title: World class transport: smarter, stronger, safer: IPENZ Transportation Group Conference, Christchurch, 22-24 March 2015

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01566633
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2015 11:02AM