Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA), a newer generation of mix with high mineral aggregate (stone) content, will be used on experimental basis on 10 km of roads being developed under the Phase II of Kerala State Transport Project.

The SMA technology had been successfully used in the laying of roads in China and an agreement has been reached to use it in the second phase of roads being developed under the World Bank-aided KSTP, Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju who is leading a high-level delegation from the State to China to study infrastructure development, said.

Also called stone-matrix asphalt, it provides a deformation resistant, durable surfacing material suitable for heavily trafficked roads. A typical SMA composition consists of 70 - 80 per cent coarse aggregate, 8 - 12 per cent filler, 6 - 7 per cent binder and 0.3 per cent fibre.

SMA can provide a high degree of stone-to-stone contact thereby increasing the deformation resistance, reduced tyre noise and reduced spray in wet roads. Mr. Kunju said the SMA technology will give longer life span for the roads.

The State will explore the Chinese model in developing roads, he said. Companies having government participation in China have shown interest in developing roads in Kerala.

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