Barrett's Road to Innovation: FiberMat®

In 2003, Midland Asphalt Materials decided to make Fibredec part of its development strategy and acquire machines from Colas Ltd.

FiberMat® is the ultimate crack inhibiting and sealing membrane; a combination of polymer-modified asphalt emulsion, chopped glass fiber strands, and aggregate. This combination creates a robust membrane that absorbs stresses generated in the pavement structure resulting in a flexible, waterproofing barrier.

Formerly known as…

FiberMat®, formerly known as Fibredec, has had a long and rich history within the Colas Group. Originally developed in Scotland in 1989 by Colas Ltd, Fibredec proved to be a success from the start. At that time, Fibredec was described as “a road-surfacing material composed of fiber-glass that prevents cracks from rising to the surface.”

Following interests in the technique peaking in the United States in the 90s, Colas saw the need to have a custom machine engineered to more efficiently apply the product. From here, a partnership with French-based equipment manufacturer Secmair. Colas received the first of this next-generation machine in 2003.

Midland Asphalt gets on board

The same year that Colas took delivery of the first Fiberdec machine, Midland Asphalt reached out expressing their interest to incorporate the FiberMat® process as part of their development plan. Midland was the first U.S. company to purchase a Secmair machine to begin to build a new segment within its market.

FiberMat® today

The tensile strength of FiberMat® has been proven to absorb pavement movements. This layer will effectively flex instead of crack. Tests have concluded that FiberMat® enhances the tensile strength and fatigue performance by 30% and wheel-track cracking rate by 300%. Propagation of cracks is delayed 3-4 fold in laboratory testing versus control specimens and indicators of 10 or more times from field specimens.

Since the introduction to the States in 2003, FiberMat® has increased in popularity and suppliers. The process is licensed out to several firms across the United States as well as within the Colas USA Group. FiberMat® has proven to be not only an innovative process but also an economically-friendly one that improves the lifespan cycle of existing paved surfaces. For more information on FiberMat®, reach out to our Pavement Preservation Division companies Midland Asphalt Materials Inc. and Strawser Construction Inc.

Additional information can also be found with Colas Solutions.