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The Difference Between Flexible And Rigid Pavement

Are you wondering which type of pavement will be the best for your road construction project? Here are two options for you to choose from – Flexible pavement or rigid pavement.

However, before choosing your pavement type, know that several things define the pavement’s performance and quality.

The moderate load distribution, steady flow of traffic, and safe passage for all pedestrians and vehicles alike are some of the many factors property owners need to consider before embarking on an asphalt paving project. 

Moreover, no matter how well-constructed a pavement is, it still requires proper maintenance and repair. Otherwise, the environmental changes, vehicles’ weight, and frequency of usage can downgrade the pavement’s performance.

If you want an expert to provide you with useful concrete or asphalt paving solutions, click here to hire professionals at Surface Solutions today. Not only for your commercial needs, but we also offer premium quality residential services for all residing in Cambridge, MD.

In today’s blog, we’ll discuss the significant differences between flexible and rigid pavement.

Flexible Pavement

Pavement that are surfaced with asphalt materials or bituminous properties are called flexible pavement. They are generally easier to install and aren’t too heavy on the pockets. Moreover, since they are flexible, they can easily bend to accommodate the vehicle’s load and structure. However, it requires strict maintenance every ten to twelve years.

A flexible pavement consists of layers from top to bottom. Plus, the right quality materials will guarantee excellent surface performance, whereas low-quality materials will most likely compromise the pavement’s durability and overall structure.

For instance, if the vehicular load increases, a pavement built on a low-quality surface may dampen, affecting the foundational layers. But when the base is strong, the pavement depicts its optimal performance and guarantees a smooth ride.

Pros of Flexible Pavement

  • Repairing flexible pavement is easy as it can be opened and patched.
  • Installation materials are not costly.
  • It can be built without any joint support. 

Cons of Flexible Pavement

  • Requires frequent asphalt maintenance and repair.
  • Weak edges.
  • Lifespan is usually shorter than rigid pavement.

Rigid Pavement

Pavement that are surfaced with hydraulic concrete are called rigid pavement. Unlike flexible pavement, rigid pavement are more robust, meaning they cannot bend or take other forms/shapes under pressure. Furthermore, rigid pavement are expensive to install, but the maintenance cost is quite reasonable when compared to flexible pavement.

A rigid pavement has a base and sub-base made out of concrete, but there is no grain to grain transfer. This means the top layers have to bear all the weight and damage done by the environmental changes and load pressure.

Pros of Rigid Pavement

  • Allows heavy traffic load and future resurfacing.
  • Any soil can be used for installation.
  • Edges are stronger than flexible pavement.

Cons of Rigid Pavement

  • Installation is expensive.
  • Support joints are required.
  • Offers rough and low-quality riding.

Are you still confused about which pavement type to opt for for your property? Let the paving experts at Surface Solutions help you.

We aim to clear all your misunderstandings related to any of the two pavement types and suggest the best one that fulfills your project’s needs and requirements. Click here to schedule a free pavement quote for your project in Cambridge, MD, today!