IDEAL-CT & Hamburg Wheel Tracker meet the need for crack/rut balanced performance testing in asphalt mixes

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ACE XP shows 30% to 50% improvements in both tests

 Indirect Tensile Cracking Test at Intermediate Temperature (IDEAL-CT)

Figure 1. Indirect Tensile Cracking Test at Intermediate Temperature (IDEAL-CT)

Asphalt pavements need to be stiff enough to minimize rutting, but resilient enough to bend without breaking to prevent cracking. The trend over the last 20 years has been one-sided — fixing the ruts at the expense of the cracks. Many in the industry have begun to recognize the need for a “balanced approach” to developing pavement designs that will perform well in resisting both rutting and cracking.

There are seven key existing performance or index tests for asphalt cracking (see Table 1). These tests vary in complexity and cost, and as a result, the asphalt industry has not traditionally performed cracking performance tests on every project.

Hamburg Wheel Tracker (HWT) Test

Figure 2. Hamburg Wheel Tracker (HWT) Test

For rut testing, the Hamburg Wheel Tracker (HWT) test tends to be the most widely used method. However, many agencies and specifiers, including DOTs, are moving toward adopting performance-based specifications where both mix designs and daily production will need to meet certain minimums in both cracking and rutting parameters in order to be considered.

A new and promising cracking test has recently been developed by Dr. Fujie Zhou and his colleagues at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The Indirect Tensile Cracking Test at Intermediate Temperature (IDEAL-CT) is a reduced cost method that provides consistent results to predict field performance in cracking. This test, along with HWT, can be used daily to ensure that asphalt mixes meet both rutting and cracking performance criteria in a balanced manner.

For example, tests utilizing the HWT and IDEAL-CT methods on ACE XP asphalt mixes can be seen in Figures 1 & 2. The results compare mixes with and without ACE XP and show clear performance advantages with ACE XP in both rutting and cracking sample results.

Bottom line: In balanced performance testing, ACE XP Polymer Fiber yields an improvement of 30% to 50% in both rutting and cracking performance. To learn more about ACE XP or how to achieve a balanced approach to testing using the IDEAL-CT method, contact us.

Asphalt crack testing

Fig. 1 - Hamburg Wheel Tracker (HWT) Test Example:

Fig. 1 – Hamburg Wheel Tracker (HWT) Test Example

 

IDEAL-CT Crack Test

Fig. 2 – IDEAL-CT Crack Test Example:

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

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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.

Surface Tech at WOA — connect with us!

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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.

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

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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

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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 do bowstrings, hockey sticks and skis have in common with asphalt?

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ACE XP aramid polymer fiber additiveAll 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.

Turn to ACE XP for Extreme Performance Asphalt

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ACE XP Polymer Fiber for asphalt

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.

ACE continues to go academic

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UC Berkeley and University of Alberta put it to the test

ACE XP Polymer FiberSurface 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.