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Polymer modified asphaltic plug joints; Installation and long-term performance (AGB1995/001)

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Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
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Background & Policy context

The study monitors and investigates the impact of material properties and site practice and conditions on the field performance of plug expansion joints over a five-year period.


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

The objective of the study was to create a sound basis not only for ensuring the durability of the asphaltic plug joints but also to provide useful material for the revision of the ASTRA Swiss Guideline for asphaltic plug joints.


With the assistance of various cantonal public works departments, 18 plug joints were installed for monitoring in six cantons during 1996 and 1997. The selected systems were the four most commonly used products in Switzerland. All operations performed during installation were precisely observed and recorded. To permit assessment of the material impact on the structure's behaviour, of the changes in material properties caused by varying site conditions and in-service ageing, the properties of the installed materials were examined in the original state, following incorporation and service using chemical/physical analytical methods. Changes in the condition of the plug joint systems, e.g. debonding, cracking, blistering, material displacement etc., were periodically surveyed and recorded by an expert group. In addition, long-term measurements of joint movement were taken and the polymer modified APJ temperatures recorded for one of the structures.


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


Concrete evidence was obtained with regard to:
• the need for system certification, quality control at the manufacturer according to the approval and installation
• relationship between material properties and object behaviour
• validity and suitability of various tests
• defective and professional installation versions
• aging behaviour of the material during installation and operation
• advantages and disadvantages of various RT-PB constructions etc.

The findings for general practice and application for the revision of Directive ASTRA (version 1998) were submitted.

On line final report you can see here:


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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