Difference Between Flexible And Rigid Pavement Surfaces

Difference Between Flexible And Rigid Pavement Surfaces

Commercial and residential property owners have a lot they need to contemplate and many choices to consider. However, not all options are appropriate for all kinds of projects, so you need to make an informed decision regarding your paving project. One such choice is between flexible and rigid pavement.

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All hard surfaced pavement can be categorized into two groups – flexible and rigid pavement. However, in order to know exactly what kind of pavement is the perfect addition to your property, you need to learn more about both.

Flexible Pavement

Flexible pavement are made from asphalt or bituminous aggregates. They are more adaptable when exposed to elements – they deflect and bend according to external factors like weather and traffic loads.

The initial cost of installing flexible pavement is low, and with regular maintenance, they can last around 10 to 15 years. Also, as flexible pavement require regular maintenance, repair work becomes easy.

Since flexible pavement are applied in thick layers, they can withstand frequent and heavy traffic, which makes them ideal for highways and roadways. Flexible pavement are applied in layers. The weakest materials are layered at the bottom, while the more durable materials are layered at the top in order to ensure adaptability and structural integrity of the structure. Since the top layer alone does not have to bear the entire load of traffic (weight is distributed amongst all the layers), flexible pavement are more structurally sound and much less likely to collapse due to heavyweight.

Rigid Pavement

Rigid pavement are difficult to install and maintain. They are made of cement concrete with a sub-base and base. Rigid pavement have a high flexural strength, which is why no layer bends under pressure.

Since there is no grain to grain load transferring, the top layer of concrete absorbs most of the weight and pressure from external factors like traffic. Rigid pavement are less susceptible to grease and oil stains.

Although the installation of a rigid concrete pavement is very expensive, the maintenance cost is reasonable. And since rigid pavement are durable and have a long service life, they are a worthwhile investment.

Flexible vs. Rigid – Which One Is Right for Your Property?

Suppose you have a commercial property that receives a lot of traffic, then your parking lot will require a lot of maintenance. In that case, you will need a flexible pavement as it is more cost-efficient and doesn’t require frequent repair or replacement, maybe once a decade.

On the other hand, rigid pavement have a long service life of around 30 years, yet they need a great deal of maintenance so they can remain functional for that long. Therefore, you need to consider your installation and property maintenance budget before deciding if that is the ideal pavement choice for you.

Another factor that you need to consider while choosing a pavement type is the aggregate thickness. As it has more layers, the thickness of flexible pavement is greater than a rigid pavement that has fewer layers, which is why a rigid pavement is susceptible to more repairs.

Straight Edge Contractors offers durable and long-lasting paving and maintenance solutions in Las Cruces, NM. Click here to get a free estimate.