Difference Between Flexible Pavement and Rigid Pavement

Difference Between Flexible Pavement and Rigid Pavement


The verb “pave” originated from the French word “paver” which means to lay stone floors without gaps. A highway pavement is a structure consisting of superimposed layers of processed materials above the natural soil sub-grade, whose primary function is to distribute the applied vehicle loads to the sub-grade. There are two types of pavement i.e. Flexible Pavement and Rigid Pavement. The difference between flexible pavement and the rigid pavement is given below:


Difference Between Flexible Pavement and Rigid Pavement


S.N.Flexible PavementRigid Pavement
1.It transfers the wheel load to subgrade by grain to grain mechanism.It transfers the wheel load to subgrade by slab action.
2.Initial construction cost is Low.Initial construction cost is High.
3.It doesn’t require joints.It requires joints.
4.Durability is low.Durability is high.
5.It doesn’t distribute load uniformly. So, the good subgrade is required.It distributes wheel load uniformly. So, there is no requirement of good subgrade.
6.There is no effect of temperature variation on stress variation.Temperature variation effects on the stress variation.
7.The lifespan of flexible pavement is approximately 15 years.The lifespan of rigid pavement is approximately 30 years.
8.Repair work is simple.Repair work is complex.
9.Maintenance cost is high.Maintenance cost is low.

It requires less curing time

( Curing time of asphalt is less than concrete) 
(Generally, 1 to 3 days )

It requires more curing time.

( minimum 7 to 28 days)

11.Poor night visibility due to the use of asphalt.Good night visibility due to the use of concrete.

No glare due to sunlight.

(Glare: shine with a strong or dazzling light.)

High glare due to sunlight.
13.Easy to locate and perform underground works.Difficult to perform underground works.
14.Its thickness is more.Its thickness is less.
15.Design is influenced by the bearing capacity of subgrade.Bearing capacity of subgrade doesn’t influence its design.
16.Aggregate and bitumen are used as key material.Concrete and steels are used as key materials.
17.Stability depends upon interlocking of aggregates, particle friction and cohesion.Stability depends upon joints between the slabs of concrete.
18.They are capable of resisting settlements to some extent.The settlement is permanent. They are not capable of resisting settlement.
19.It is highly sensitive towards heat, oils, greases and chemicals.It is highly resistive towards heat, oil, greases and chemicals.
20.Rolling of the surface is needed.Rolling of the surface is not needed.
21.It has a low flexural strength.It has a high flexural strength.
22.Constructed in the number of layers.Laid in slabs with steel reinforcement.
23.Force of friction is less.Force of friction is high.
24.They are more comfortable for travel.They are less comfortable for travel.



From the above differences, our winner is Rigid Pavement.

Rigid Pavement is beneficial because of its durability and low maintenance cost. Its durability is double or triple of flexible pavement which makes it very economical in long term view.

If you are planning to construct the road on your property or surrounding then we prefer you to choose rigid pavement. It has been found that rigid pavement can last about 60-100 years easily if the traffic is low and proper maintenance is done.


Read More: Bitumen vs Tar

Read More: Surveyor Compass


Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments