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Dylan Berkley

New and improved MD3+

By | Asphalt | No Comments

More accurate than ever  — just in time for the asphalt season

MD3+ dosing system for asphaltLast July, Surface Tech introduced the MD3+, the latest version of its Micro Doser system that can handle both 19mm or 38mm sizes of ACE XP polymer fibers. This year, the MD3+ comes with added improvements to the computer interface, which tracks the total weight used and average dosage rate right on the home screen to ensure the accurate dosing of 4.2 ounces of ACE XP into each ton of produced asphalt.

“We are proud to announce that we’ve succeeded in making some programming enhancements that improve the dosing accuracy even more —MD3+ can now dose to within 2 percent of the dosage rate. This is well under Surface Tech’s suggested 5 percent in our product and dosage specifications,” said Joe Dennis, vice president & chief technical officer.

Additionally, Surface Tech has ramped up the availability of the MD3+. The company will be stocking a fleet of more than 20  MD3+ systems strategically around the country and making them available just in time for the spring asphalt season.

To find out how to add the MD3+ and Surface Tech’s revolutionary ACE XP polymer fibers to your next asphalt project, Contact Surface Tech today. We make asphalt stronger than steel, with a life cycle that can go the distance.

Technical review of Indirect Tensile Strength testing advises caution in relying on results

By | Asphalt | No Comments

ACE XP Polymer Fiber
Alternative tests, plus a balanced mix design, can improve predictions of asphalt performance

The indirect tensile strength (ITS) test has been utilized for more than 40 years as a definitive method for predicting the performance of asphalt mixtures. But the test, at 25°C, can render misleading results, according to a recently released technical brief by Phil Blankenship, P.E.

indirect tensile strength (ITS) test“While the indirect tensile strength test at 25°C is sensitive to changes in mixture properties such as air voids, asphalt binder content, binder grade, aggregate properties (angularity, texture, etc.), the resulting indirect tensile strength does not always equate to positive field results,” he writes. “In other words, high tensile strength alone does not always relate to improved cracking resistance.”

The author discusses various developments taken over the past 10 to 15 years in ITS testing to achieve more predictive results for top down cracking. However, differences in testing temperatures and loading rates may not, in reality, conform to ASTM D 6931 standards.

Blankenship presents data from various experiments that show a weak correlation between strength (at 25° C) and ALF cycles to failure. Various results of other tests also show that indirect tensile strength testing alone (at 25°C) can be misleading.

Instead, Blankenship advises that other cracking tests produce good correlations to field performance, and the types of tests and standards are provided within the paper. The author further explores taking a “balanced mix design” approach, or performance-based testing.

To explore the various testing methods for yourself, click here.

AAPT Annual Meeting a good forum for emerging asphalt technologies

By | Asphalt | No Comments

Surface Tech’s asphalt advisor Phil Blankenship to take the President’s role in 2020

Phil BlankenshipFor more than 90 years, the worldwide membership of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologies has provided a centralized forum for disseminating the latest developments in asphalt paving technology. The organization’s recent annual meeting provided an excellent opportunity for Joe Dennis, Surface Tech’s chief technology officer, and Phil Blankenship, P.E., asphalt advisor to Surface Tech, to explain in depth how ACE XP Polymer Fiber differs from other non-polymer fibers.

“As we all know, no good idea sits idle, and that was largely the response we saw as many of the professionals in attendance gained a better understanding of the capabilities of ACE XP,” said Dennis. “Once the differences are clear, we saw the interest in ACE XP rise dramatically.”

A stellar line-up of presentations on a variety of research projects and material advances filled the three-day event, along with plenty of opportunities to network. Presentations included a wide range of topics, including the impacts of climate change on asphalt, 3-D paving, advances in stress testing, numerical modeling and much more.

“The AAPT Annual Meeting was well attended by a large number of highly educated professionals in our industry,” said Blankenship, who will take on the role of the organization’s president in 2020. “I expect the AAPT to continue to be a significant source of information and technological advancements well into the future.”

To view YouTube videos of the various presentations, visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjWgLqZUstRB_G_zl9gLqLw

94th Annual AAPT Annual Meeting — we’ll see you there!

By | Asphalt | No Comments

AAPT Annual MeetingThe AAPT annual meeting is just a few weeks away, and our Chef Technical Officer Joe Dennis will be on hand to share the latest updates on ACE XP Polymer Fiber —a product that can make asphalt stronger than steel. The schedule includes several technical presentations on asphalt binders, strength testing techniques and mix designs, plus some social opportunities.

We especially encourage everyone to attend the Leading Edge Workshop on Monday, March 4, at 9:45 a.m. Phil Blankenship, P.E., a leader in the asphalt industry, will preside over the session of Automation in the Paving Industry. This session features two cutting-edge topics of: 3-D Paving: Advances and Limitations and Automation in Testing from the Lab to the Field.  This session will be livestreamed on Youtube.

The line-up of presentations looks both comprehensive and potentially groundbreaking. Check it out here, and plan to join us as we convene in Fort Worth March 3 through 6. To plan a meet-up, contact us.

JUNO XP surpasses major milestone in Stage 4 testing toward achieving 1709 ASTM certification

By | Concrete | No Comments

JUNO XP - alternative supplemental cementious material

For years, contractors have utilized several common types of supplemental cementitious materials (SCM), including fly ash, slag cement, calcined clays, and silica fume to partially replace traditional Portland cement in concrete mixes. The use of these materials has been supported by significant research and testing, as well as long-term performance monitoring.

Now the same rigorous testing procedures are being applied to JUNO XP, Surface Tech’s alternative supplemental cementious material (ASCM), and the reports from Stage 4 testing show JUNO XP produced “fantastic results,” according to Jon Belkowitz, PhD, chief technology officer for cement.

“The 90-day strength test results show JUNO XP is awesome! Throughout the 90-day set of results, the strength and durability of the JUNO XP-enhanced concrete proved out above the 1709 ASTM references.”

The innovative technology behind JUNO XP generates a hardened matrix that increases cementitious efficiency (see Compress Strength graph), and the resistance to physical attack (see Underwater abrasion graph).

Testing on JUNO XP covers a one-year time period, and by achieving excellent results at the 90-day milestone, the product will now enter the field-testing phase.

Standards for the evaluation of materials for 1709 ASTM certification can be found at https://www.astm.org/Standards/C1709.htm

Compress Strength graph

Underwater abrasion graph

Surface Tech at WOA — connect with us!

By | Asphalt | No Comments

Innovation drives us to deliver asphalt that’s stronger than steel

World of AsphaltThe 2019 World of Asphalt expo provides opportunities for our industry to share ideas and learn best practices, as well as discover new products and services. It’s a perfect opportunity to investigate Surface Tech’s highly innovative, state-of-the-art ACE XP Polymer Fiber product. To learn how it can deliver outstanding benefits to your next asphalt project, we invite you to connect with Joe Dennis, our vice president & chief technical officer, to find out about an informative networking opportunity with industry specifiers and producers on Tuesday February 12th after WOA hours at the Yard House.

ACE XP is a dry form polymer, making it less expensive, more reliable and easier to adopt than wet polymers. Surface Tech custom-designed its MD3+ machine dosing system to ensure an easy, metered process to introduce ACE XP into any asphalt mixture. The MD3+ requires only compressed air and a 110-volt electric source to operate and will dose both ¾ (19mm) and 1.5-inch (38mm) fibers in U.S. and Metric tonnage rates.

JUNO XP alternative supplemental cementitious material (ASCM)

Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Provider finds JUNO XP weathers Rocky Mountain climate

By | Case Study - Concrete, Concrete | No Comments

JUNO XP alternative supplemental cementitious material (ASCM)For challenging winter weather, look no further than Colorado. During the cold months, concrete pavement must withstand an unending cycle of freeze-thaw and a constant barrage of de-icing salts. When a Colorado-based concrete provider  sought a new solution to this age-old problem, they turned to Surface Tech.

JUNO XP ConcreteWith fly ash in short supply, the concrete provider needed an alternative supplemental cementitious material (ASCM) that would meet ASTM C 672 specifications for a high-end residential driveway. The specs called for a high compressive strength and an ASCM that would ensure a dense hydrated concrete matrix. It was an ideal test for JUNO XP, Surface Tech’s pioneering ASCM product.

Using Surface Tech’s Rapid Deployment technology, JUNO XP was easily added to the mix with no issues or delays in the standard process. Concrete finishers remarked on the ease of finishing despite the reduction in paste content. The mix also retained fresh properties, compressive strength and resiliency when tested from samples fabricated during laboratory and field trials. Best of all, the test delivered significant cost savings without sacrificing fresh or hardened properties. Moreover, a third party testing laboratory confirmed that the JUNO XP concrete maintained the strength and shrinkage required by the engineering specifications.

The concrete provider in Colorado — and others like it across North America — have consistently found that JUNO XP-enhanced concrete will maintain performance, lead to cost savings and create an environment for a greener concrete mix design. Click here to learn more about the revolutionary capabilities of JUNO XP.

Discover Surface Tech at the TRB Annual Meeting at Booth #1133

By | Asphalt, Concrete | No Comments

Innovative products that deliver better, stronger, longer-lasting building materials 

Transportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual MeetingIt’s almost here! The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual Meeting will convene next week in Washington, DC.  We’ll be there, and we invite everyone to drop by our booth to learn how Surface Tech products can deliver significant benefits to your next concrete or asphalt project.

Our innovative ACE XP polymer fiber solution can make asphalt stronger than steel. JUNO XP, our alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM), utilizes cutting-edge advancements in mineralogy and pozzolans to improve the performance of concrete at a microscopic level. Stop by and learn more.

You can also discover more about our products by attending Surface Tech’s TRB Live! Theater. Be sure to mark our presentations on your meeting calendar:

Monday, January 14th – 9:30 a.m.
What is an ASCM and why do we care?
Jon Belkowitz, PhD, Chief Technology Officer, Surface Tech
advanced supplementary cementitious materialPortland 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. Alternative supplementary cementitious materials 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. Surface Tech has been at the forefront of alternative binder technology since 2016. Come learn about JUNO XP. We are seeing spectacular potential for this product as an alternative supplementary cementitious material. We’ll explain how it can reduce cost and increase strength of traditional concrete in your next project.

 


Tuesday, January 15th
 12:30 p.m.
The ideal asphalt cracking performance test — what is it?
Joe Dennis, Vice President & Chief Technical Officer, Surface Tech
Phil Blankenship, PE, BLANKENSHIP ASPHALT TECH AND TRAINING, PLLC
ACE XP Polymer FiberASCE recently gave U.S. roadways a dismal “grade D+.” One main reason for this poor performance is the premature cracking of asphalt pavements. This presentation will review a variety of cracking performance tests currently available, providing the strengths and weaknesses of each — including a review of the newest crack performance test called the IDEAL CT crack test. Since the availability of asphalt crack improving modifier options is limited, the presentation will also provide an overview of the capabilities of aramid polymer fibers to decrease this premature cracking of asphalt pavements.

 

Here’s a New Year’s resolution that will pay off BIG for your business

By | Asphalt, Concrete | No Comments

construction with concrete asphalt

As a contractor, you want to provide solutions that will keep your customers coming back. Whether it’s asphalt pavement or a concrete installation, you win when the mix performs well during installation and results in a finished project that clients will appreciate for many years.

Here’s our best advice for 2019:  Resolve to find better, more advanced material solutions that will improve your mix quality, lower your costs, increase ease-of-use and produce a stronger end result that will serve your customers so well that they’ll turn to you again and again — and also recommend you to others.

At Surface Tech, we focus solely on researching and developing the material technologies that enable contractors to deliver asphalt and concrete solutions that can stand the test of time. Naturally, we have two suggested products that will allow you to keep your new year’s resolution.

With ACE XP polymer fiber, contractors can promise — and deliver — asphalt that’s stronger than steel. Unlike other fiber reinforcement products, ACE XP utilizes aramid fibers that provide 400,000 psi tensile strength and micro roots that spread tenaciously throughout the bitumen of the asphalt. The result is a surface that resists rutting and cracking in all kinds of weather and under bruising traffic conditions.

JUNO XP is a revolutionary alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM); a new technology that delivers outstanding cost savings without sacrificing performance in standard concrete mix designs. As a partial substitute for traditional concrete binders, this advanced material increases the strength-bearing microstructure of concrete to achieve outstanding toughness and durability.

If you want to know more about the revolutionary material advancements provided by ACE XP and JUNO XP, contact us today. It could result in the best New Year’s resolution you will make for your business— and your customers.

What is an ASCM and Why Do We Care?

By | Concrete | No Comments

Chief Technical Officer Jon Belkowitz, PhD to present at Concrete Expo in 2019

Jon Belkowitz, PhDSurface Tech’s Chief Technical Officer Jon Belkowitz, PhD, will present an overview of Alternative Supplementary Cementitious Materials (ASCM) at Concrete Expo on Jan. 31, 2019 in South Bend, IN. He will provide an overview of ASCM, including how these materials manipulate the microstructure of concrete. Belkowitz has conducted extensive research into ASCM, and part of his presentation will review ongoing concrete research projects.

Interest in ASCM has grown in recent years as supplies of fly ash have decreased. Many producers have also begun to seek out alternatives to these materials in a quest to improve mix workability and hardening properties. Add to these motivations an overall growing concern for the environmental impacts of traditional cement production, and you begin to see why producers are looking for reliable alternative cementitious materials.

At his presentation, you will learn how ASCM-enhanced concrete performs in both workability and hardening stages, as well as the means and methods of employing these products in concrete manufacturing. His presentation will also detail how ASCM can produce civil infrastructure that is both stronger and last longer.

Learn more about the ASCM offered by Surface Tech.