Rapid Penetrating Emulsion (RPE) is an asphalt-based emulsion designed to penetrate surface voids of a pavement. The penetrating ability of Asphalt Materials Inc.’s (AMI) AMIGUARD™ RPE allows the pavement to be sealed just below the surface of the pavement, reducing air and water intrusion while maintaining the pavement macrotexture. 

This is a top-down approach to post-construction pavement preservation. RPE performs best when applied to the pavement within a year of pavement construction or earlier, and it can be applied full-width, or it can be used to target longitudinal joint areas. 

The RPE application at the Central Kentucky Regional Airport comes approximately two months after the entire airport runway, taxiway, and taxiway crossovers were re-paved. Prior to paving, another AMI product, J-Band, was applied to protect the longitudinal joints. Read more about that project here.

Project Details 

  • Applicator: Illiana 
  • Contractor: Allen Company            
  • Location: Richmond, KY 
  • Date Applied: October 9, 2023 


Representatives from AMI, Illiana, Allen Company, American Engineers, Inc. (AEI), Palmer Engineering, and Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training (BATT) were all present at the project site.  

Following light rain in the morning, full-width RPE application began at 1 p.m. once the pavement was fully dry, and the ambient temperature was 55 F. The application started in crossover A5 on the north end of the airport. This 37-feet-wide section extended into the taxiway going south until the pavement changed at the test strip. The first section penetrated almost immediately and broke within five minutes, and the remainder penetrated and broke within 15 minutes. It was non-tracking after 30 minutes. The full width application continued with spraying crossovers A4 and A3. All full-width areas were completed by 1:50 p.m. 

Runway joint RPE application began shortly after, starting on the far West joint, applying north to south. The material penetrated well within five minutes and broke in under 15 minutes. The material also penetrated well into the temporary striping. Application of the runway joints was completed at 2:27 p.m., and the pavement was striped with another round of temporary striping the next day, October 10. The total application volume of this project was 2,143 gallons.