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Joints Sealing; Long-term behaviour of polymerbitumen joint sealants on a test section (VSS1991/003)

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Background & Policy context

This project completes the previous research "FA/90 on polymer bitumen joint sealant" with the aim to create a sound basis not only for ensuring the durability of joint sealants but also to provide useful material for the revision of the Swiss standards and for the European standardisation procedure.


The objectives of this study were twofold, firstly to investigate the influence of the material properties in the as-delivered condition, the installation method and ageing due to the installation process as well as the durability of the joint during use, and secondly to examine the relevance of laboratory studies with regard to the behaviour of joint sealants in practice by monitoring the object over a period of five years.


The following works were carried out:
• Object Installation: 7 joints potting systems were at a scale 1: 1 built by construction companies under the same weather conditions 7 on the test track. Each construction company built at its own installation method ten joints (joint width: 12mm, joint depth: 20mm, joint length: 7.5m) a.
• Technical Manual: During installation, all installation procedures and installation conditions were in accordance with installation protocol detected and recorded.
• Manufacturing joint model bodies: Parallel to installation, each company four joints model body (joint width: 12mm, joint depth: 20mm, joint length: 1m) made that have been stored on the verge of test track as an additional weathering pattern for the laboratory tests.
• Installation of measuring devices: measuring devices have been installed for long-term acquisition of the horizontal joint movement (six joints), as well as the joint and air temperatures to assess the practical behavior of the joints.
• Visual assessment of the joint state: The state of the joints was visually evaluated both after installation and after 1, 2.5 and 5 years by experts.
• Sampling: delivery, when installing, operating at 1, 2.5 and 5 years
• Laboratory tests: Swiss standards for joint sealing compounds and additional performance
oriented tests such as gel permeation chromatography (GPC), EMPA Co-Axial thrust test (KAST)
Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) test etc.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The project provided sound basis for the revision of Swiss standards and the development of European standardisation. 

The following activities took place:

  • Monitoring of the long-term behaviour of polymerbitumen joint sealants on a test section
  • Verification the practical relevance of laboratory tests
  • Correlation between laboratory results and field performance


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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