Innovative products that deliver better, stronger, longer-lasting building materials
It’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
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. 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
ASCE 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.
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.
All require strength, flexibility and abrasion tolerance to achieve high performance. The common ingredient that delivers those winning traits is aramid fibers. These polymer synthetic fibers provide advantages that make them ideal for a wide range of products. So it’s not surprising that more than 60,000 tons of aramid fibers are produced annually, and demand continues to grow as new applications emerge.
Years ago, Surface Tech recognized the superior advantages that aramid fibers, particularly para-aramid fibers, could provide to asphalt applications. The company began offering the ACE XP aramid polymer fiber additive after years of painstaking research and multi-geographical testing. Back then, the challenge was to find a way to harness millions of tiny fibers into a final product that could be easily managed. By combining para-aramid with a wax treatment, Surface Tech achieved its goal of creating an additive that successfully reinforces and properly doses the entire matrix of asphalt.
The wax binds the polymer fibers to allow for an easy, reliable method for feeding into the asphalt mix. Once added, the wax melts and is fully soluble within the mix to release the polymer fibers in a uniform distribution. This unique delivery process produces the highest performing blend of Fiber Reinforced Asphalt Concrete (FRAC) on the market, and any asphalt project can benefit from ACE XP.
If you want an asphalt surface that resists cracking and rutting and dramatically extends the life of your pavement, call us. With para-aramid fibers, you’ll get asphalt that’s stronger than steel, and only from ACE XP — the Number One choice for strength, flexibility and abrasion tolerance.
Contractors have come to depend on ACE XP Polymer Fiber from Surface Tech to make asphalt more durable and long-lasting. How does this high-tech additive deliver on its promise to produce extreme performance asphalt? The key lies in its chemical makeup — it’s composed of aramid polymers.
Aramid polymers contain a set of chemical properties that give them outstanding strength, flexibility and abrasion tolerance. They’re particularly useful in applications where flexing tolerance is important, like armor, airplane wings, ropes, cables, undersea pipelines, and of course asphalt applications.
To create ACE XP, high-strength aramid fibers are bundled and coated with wax to produce an asphalt additive that is simple and dependable to mix with any WMA or HMA in both drum and batch operations. In fact, this binder use insures proper aramid delivery into the WMA/HMA; and coupled with our precise dosing equipment, delivers consistently intended amounts into every ton of asphalt.
One of the most outstanding performance benefits of ACE XP lies in its micro roots. These tendrils tenaciously anchor themselves into the bitumen of the asphalt, providing 400,000 psi tensile strength. The result is a three-dimensional reinforcement throughout the asphalt and a flexibility that resists rutting during hot summers and cracking through cold winters.
Contractors will also appreciate the fact that ACE XP is a “dry” polymer fiber. Comparatively, it’s less expensive, more reliable, and easier to adopt. The MD3+ dosing system from Surface Tech delivers an easy, foolproof way to add ACE XP to any asphalt mixture.
Yet the ultimate beauty to ACE XP is its scalability and batch-to-batch reliability. Combined with the life-span improvements it provides, it’s a winning way to armor your asphalt for the long haul. That kind of reliability allows contractors to sell and place with confidence, knowing the asphalt they provide will deliver extreme performance based on an excellent polymer.
UC Berkeley and University of Alberta put it to the test
Surface Tech’s ACE XP Polymer Fiber (advanced performance product) is currently undergoing rigorous testing by researchers at two stellar universities. The quest: Fully understand and document the benefits and material advantages of adding ACE XP Polymer Fibers to asphalt mixtures.
Principle investigators (PI’s) at the University of California at Berkeley including Dr. Angel Mateos in the university’s Pavement Research Center (UCPRC), are testing ACE for strength, fatigue and modulus in compliance with CALME standards; all in conjunction with Teichert Materials, ST’s NoCal distribution partner. UCPRC is using the new Ideal CT test as part of their regiment.
“There has been an explosion of interest in the ACE XP Polymer Fiber product within our industry,” says Phil Blankenship, P.E., a strategic advisor to Surface Tech. “Major universities are taking notice. This type of high-level performance testing will help producers everywhere better understand ACE XP and how it can improve their asphalt mixes.”
When word of ACE XP Polymer Fiber reached the University of Alberta in Canada, Luis Perca (graduate student) and Leila Hashemian (Asst Professor), a faculty member in the Chemical & Materials Engineering Department, contacted Surface Tech to request assistance in analyzing the product. PI’s there are now testing ACE XP with a specific focus on performance in the tough Canadian climate, while also analyzing how the individual fibers contribute to asphalt strength, workability and long life.
“We expect results from the testing and analysis conducted by these universities will be available in six to nine months, and we’re pleased to see the continued interest among academics in our product,” says Blankenship.
Now that asphalt producers have seen and used the new MD3.0 Automated Dosing Machine for ACE Fibers, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, many now want to integrate the MD3.0 into plant operations. We heard them, and we now offer the improved MD3.0+.
It’s more rugged, with upgraded welded and wiring connections, capable of withstanding tough, everyday use. And we now offer both pilot house control integration and a super sack feeder option for producers that want to integrate the MD3.0+ permanently into their plant operations.
“From the comments we’ve received, it’s clear that plant integration is a big deal to asphalt producers. Integrating the MD3.0+ with both pilot house controls and a super sack feeder makes the system more automated at the plant, similar to how producers are used to producing asphalt,” says Joe Dennis, Vice President & Chief Technical Officer. “We have the technology to achieve the integration, for those who want it.”
The new and improved MD3.0+ will also prove to be more rugged for all producers, whether at the plant or transported to the job site.
“We’ve answered customer requests to make the MD3 sturdier, ensuring a longer life and greater dependability,” says Dennis. “The MD3.0+ is the new standard moving forward.”
For more information, contact Joe Dennis.
Asphalt 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.
The latest version of Surface Tech’s Micro Doser system, the MD3, takes the process of mixing ACE Fibers into produced asphalt to a new level. Most notably, an improved onboard computer interface now allows operators to specify either 19mm or 38mm sizes of ACE Fiber to feed through the system. While the MD3 still allows for either bulk or sprinkle feeding, the new size-specific setting yields more exacting data and further improves the system’s efficient and thorough distribution of fibers.
An added feeder tray and improvements in controlled vibration ensure steady material flow and dosing accuracy, both critical to ensuring the long-term performance of ACE Fiber reinforced asphalt.
The MD3 can also be retrofitted to connect directly into existing asphalt plant controls to allow producers to permanently add the MD3 to the plant’s operational capabilities.
With all the improvements, operators will find the system more user friendly than ever. However, some features needed no improvement. The system can still fit in a cargo trailer, can be set up in minutes, and can still be operated by one person. Moreover, producers can be easily trained and certified to operate the MD3 system if they opt to manage the QA/QC themselves.
Like its predecessor, the MD3 only requires 90psi and 185 CFM of compressed air and 110 volts electric to run, which means it can be easily included in the asphalt mixing process at both batch and drum plant facilities.
The computer interface still tracks cycle weight and time to ensure the accurate dosing of 4.2 ounces of ACE Fiber into each ton of produced asphalt. Data continues to be kept onboard and can be retrieved by USB, or sent via internet if available.
The MD3 continues the excellent tradition of the MD2 — delivering a perfect mix, every time! See video of MD3 in action at http://surface-tech.com/portfolio/ace-fiber-mixing-process/
For more information, contact Joe Dennis at 513-444-5080, or firstname.lastname@example.org.