Monthly Archives

September 2018

Faster. Less Expensive. Easier. Reliable. The IDEAL crack test of the future — here now.

By | Asphalt | No Comments

IDEAL crack test asphaltAsphalt cracking tests provide critical information on the viability of asphalt mixes, but a critical need exists for a more practical cracking test for routine use. To meet this challenge, researchers Fujie Zhou, Soohyok Im, and Lijun Sun at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, and Tom Scullion at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, developed the indirect tensile asphalt cracking test (IDEAL-CT), a method that we predict will achieve widespread adoption.

“The IDEAL-CT provides clarity on what is going on with samples,” says Joe Dennis, Surface Tech Vice President/CTO for Asphalt. “Since cracking is now the primary reason for asphalt remediation, we view the IDEAL-CT as a major advancement in ensuring that asphalt pavement meets standards that minimize cracking and result in a longer life. The test’s reliability and low cost, as well as the time-savings it delivers, has the potential to revolutionize asphalt testing industrywide.”

The test can run at room temperature and requires no instrumentation, cutting, gluing, drilling or notching of specimens, nor in-depth training for testing personnel. Best of all, it produces results in less than one minute.

Moreover, the IDEAL-CT can be performed with ordinary indirect tensile strength test equipment, and it’s sensitive to key asphalt mix components and volumetric properties, including reclaimed asphalt pavement, recycled asphalt shingles, asphalt binder type, binder content, aging conditions and air voids. In other words, IDEAL-CT is a practical solution for testing routine uses in the process of mix design, quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA).

IDEAL-CT is gaining traction already. It’s currently working its way through ASTM  committee ballot shepherded by ASTM 04.26 sub committee and Phil Blankenship, P.E.  Surface Tech has embarked on several test cases utilizing ACE Fiber mixes. A test case in Texas has recently yielded reliable results. Further testing with and without ACE Fiber will occur in concert with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) in October.

For information on IDEAL-CT research test procedures, technical findings and test case results, contact us.

 

Why are alternative supplementary cementitious materials important to the construction industry?

By | Concrete | No Comments

alternative supplementary cementitious materialsThe invention of Portland cement 175 years ago heralded a new era in construction worldwide, and today it is the most widely used building material. Architects and general contractors appreciate its versatility, durability and economic value, and for its sourcing of local materials in production. That’s the good news about Portland cement.

The bad news:  Portland cement consumes vast quantities of energy and releases CO2 in the process. And since it’s produced in such gargantuan quantities, the construction industry faces increasing pressure to find alternative supplementary cementitious materials to replace Portland cement in concrete.

Portland cement concrete already incorporates a wide range of supplementary cementitious materials, including fly ash from coal combustion, and silica. However, these materials do not address all of the shortcomings of Portland cement in certain applications and environments. For instance, Portland cement concrete can degrade rapidly in environments with high acidity or high sulfate concentrations.

In addition to replacing Portland cement, alternative supplementary cementitious materials also hold the promise of increasing the strength of concrete, requiring less water in the mix, improving workability and producing a concrete that’s less brittle. So naturally, the search for alternative supplementary cementitious materials to replace Portland cement has picked up speed over the past decade.

Surface Tech has been at the forefront of alternative binder technology since 2016. As Juno enters its final phases of testing and refinement, we are seeing spectacular potential for this product as an alternative supplementary cementitious material that will easily conform to ASTM standards and mitigate many of the problems inherent with traditional alternative supplementary cementitious materials.

To learn more about Juno XP and how it can reduce cost and increase strength of traditional concrete in your next project, contact us.