Quantifying the environmental impacts of crack sealing and filling treatment in hot mix asphalt pavement

  • Mithil MazumderEmail author
  • Vedaraman Sriraman
  • Hyun Hwan Kim
  • Soon-Jae Lee
Technical Paper


Crack sealing and filling treatments have always been an important consideration in order to prolong the life of pavement among all the pavement maintenance programs. Crack sealing uses a router to cut the crack to provide a uniform rectangular reservoir for greater penetration of sealants in order to have good bonding whereas crack filling is simply inserting sealant without performing any modification to the crack walls. This research study is intended to compare the initial and long-term environmental burdens between crack sealing and filling treatment. The parameters related to the field implementation of crack treatment methods (length sealed per day, amount of materials, configuration techniques, and equipment data) were collected from the Abilene district database system and the inventory loadings were gathered from the industry and the literature. Each life cycle phase of crack filling and sealing treatment was quantified in eight impact categories in terms of environmental emissions. In general the results of this study indicated that the initial environmental emissions of crack sealing treatment are very high compared to filling technique. However, this environmental burdens can be compensated along with an approximately 25% reduction in emissions by implementing crack sealing treatment over a long period.


LCA Sealing Filling Emissions Maintenance 



This study was conducted under research project “Development of High-Performance Concrete Pavement Maintenance Technology to Extend Roadway Life (Project No. 18TLRP-B146707-01)” funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) and the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA). The authors would like to thank the members of research team, MOLIT and KAIA for their guidance and supports throughout the project.


  1. 1.
    Santero NJ, Horvath A (2009) Global warming potential of pavement. Environ Res Lett 4:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hand AJ, Galal KA, Ward DR, Fang C (2000) Cost-effectiveness of joint and crack sealing: synthesis of practice. J Transp Eng 126(6):521–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cuelho E, Freeman RB (2004) Cost-effectiveness of crack sealing materials and techniques for asphalt pavements (No. FHWA/MT-04-006/8127). Montana Department of Transportation, Research ProgramGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Masson JF, Boudreau S, Girard C (2003) Guidelines for sealing and filling cracks in asphalt concrete pavementGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Weiland C, Muench S (2010) Life cycle assessment of portland cement concrete interstate highway rehabilitation and replacement. Washington State Department of Transportation Research Report, p 105Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chehvoits J, Galehouse L (2010) Energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions of pavement preservation processes for asphalt concrete pavements. In: First international conference on pavement preservation. Transportation Research Board, pp 27–42Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang H, Keoleian AG, Lepech MD (2008) An integrated life cycle assessment and life cycle analysis model for pavement overlay systems. In: Biondini F, Frangopol D (eds) Life-cycle civil engineering. Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp 1–5Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chappat M, Bilal J (2003) The environmental road of the future: life cycle analysis. In: Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Colas Group, pp 2–34Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Theonux et al (2006) Energy consumption comparison for different asphalt pavements rehabilitation techniques used in Chile. Resour Conserv Recycl 49:325–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wang H, Gangaram R (2014) Life cycle assessment of asphalt pavement maintenance (No. CAIT-UTC-013). Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang CP, Weisgerber FE (1993) Effects of seal geometry on adhesive stresses in pavement joint seals. Transp Res Rec 999:64–70Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ketcham SA (1996) Structural mechanics solutions for butt joint seals in cold climates. DTIC DocumentGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Khuri FM, Tons E (1992) Comparing rectangular and trapezoidal seals using the finite element method. Transp Res Board 1334:25–37Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Decker DS (2014) Best practices for crack treatments for asphalt pavements (No. Project 20-07)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yildirim Y, Korkmaz A, Prozzi J (2006) Performance comparison of hot rubber crack sealants to emulsified asphalt crack sealants (No. FHWA/TX-06/0-4061-3) Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rajagopal A, Minkarah I, Green R, Morse AA (2003) Effectiveness of crack sealing on pavement serviceability and life (No. FHWA/OH-2003/009). Ohio Department of transportationGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    European Bitumen Association (2011) Life cycle inventory: bitumenGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stripple H (2001) Life cycle assessment of road: a pilot study for inventory analysis. IVL Swedish environmental research instituteGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Huang Y, Bird R, Heidrich O (2009) Development of a life cycle assessment tool for construction and maintenance of asphalt pavements. J Clean Prod 17:283–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

Personalised recommendations