Reflective cracking destroys surface continuity, decreases structural strength, allows water to enter sub-layers and increases noise levels and is a major problem for highway engineers.

According to The Department for Transport (DfT) figures, urban traffic congestion caused by highway interventions costs the economy billions of pounds a year and reflective cracking is a significant cause of carriageway failure. This is of great concern for the various highway agencies and local authorities who are tasked with maintaining the road infrastructure.

The whole life maintenance of roads needs to be considered so that a cyclical problem is not created where road works are required to fix issues that weren’t properly solved in previous road works eg potholes caused by reflective cracking.

If only the propensity of reflective cracking could be predicted at the pavement design stage to allow preventative steps to be taken from the outset. It would make a significant impact on saving unnecessary traffic disruption and spend on reactive maintenance as well as saving our environment. This is now possible!

Introducing ARCDESO Anti-Reflective Cracking Design Software

Asphalt Reinforcement Services offer ARCDESO as a free service to support engineers at the design stage providing accurate predictions of a pavement’s life after a maintenance option has been selected using data gathered from visual surveys and structural assessments. The software is used alongside Asphalt Reinforcement Services range of GlasGrid reinforcement overlay solutions to reflective cracking. Asphalt Reinforcement Services use ARCDESO to analyse the data to predict how the pavement will perform with or without the overlay reinforcement.


The software was developed within a research project carried out between ADFORS Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics and the R&D department of Ooms Nederland Holding and is underpinned by extensive field data.

“ARCDESO can calculate the optimum thickness of an asphalt overlay and the grade of reinforcement required to prevent reflective cracking within a road, caused by thermal or dynamic loading, from getting worse,” says Asphalt Reinforcement Services managing Director, Howard Cooke.

“The programme is sophisticated and provides a level of analysis that otherwise is just not readily available to the design engineer to help them establish the likelihood of reflective cracking causing future structural problems to the pavement and then establish the best solution to extend pavement life ” continues Cooke.

Analysis without reinforcement

Analysis without reinforcement

Analysis with reinforcement

Analysis with reinfocement

ARCDESO and GlasGrid a proven combination

Asphalt Reinforcement has used ARCDESO and GlasGrid together to renew damaged carriageway on many occasions including the M69 in Leicestershire and the A45 in Northamptonshire. Together they provide a predictable and proven solution to reflective cracking.

For more information visit the GlasGrid section on our website, call us on 01525 722200 or email