Surface Tech + Adventus Material Strategies = A Winning Combination

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Asphalt roadAdventus Material Strategies, LLC offers a combination of marketing and technical strategies to the infrastructure industry, drawing on decades of experience and respected industry network. Surface Tech and Adventus have recently formed a business alliance to further the material advancement goals of each company.

As a group, the Adventus team can draw from a deep well of competence for the commercialization of technology in the chemicals, polymers, and road infrastructure segments. The team recognizes the need for new methods and proven technologies to make concrete and asphalt applications stronger and last longer.

The team includes Brian Majeska, principal, with more than 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, technology and innovation in the road chemicals industry. And, Joseph Lorenc, also a principal, with 20 years of knowledge and experience gained in new technologies and expansion of businesses through effective marketing strategies.

“The Adventus team is dedicated to providing new and proven technologies to the asphalt and concrete industries. Their dedication to applying science and technology to achieve breakthrough innovations for our served industries makes them a perfect match for Surface Tech’s core value of providing workable, forward-thinking solutions for infrastructure applications,” said Santa Cruz.

For more information on Adventus Material Strategies, LLC, visit https://adventusmaterialdotcom.wordpress.com/the-team/

JUNO XP — an “insurance policy” for Ultra-High Performance Concrete

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Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) as defined by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Concrete Terminology and ACI 239 stipulate calls for meeting a compressive strength between 17,000 psi up to 22,000 psi with specified durability, toughness and tensile requirements provided by the inclusion of fibers. However, because of it’s the materials employed high strength, UHPC can be difficult to create and can become brittle and prone to cracking.

Fortunately, recent UHPC testing and real-world applications by Surface Tech are demonstrating that JUNO XP, the company’s proprietary alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM), can provide an “insurance policy” against UHPC brittleness and sub-sequent cracking.

“UHPC has so much cement in it you have to go with a low water mix, and that’s where you run into the possibility of cracking at both early and later stages of the concrete,” said Jon Belkowitz, PhD, Surface Tech’s chief technology officer.

JUNO XP has a mechanical impact on fresh concrete that allows for a reduction of cementitious material, while still maintaining the cream needed to allow grey concrete to flow easily into the formwork. Moreover, JUNO XP has also proven it can increase strength and durability.

“It makes UHPC stronger, tougher and last longer at no additional cost,” said Belkowitz, who added the product is showing spectacular results in current UHPC application testing by one of the nation’s premier concrete precasters.

“JUNO XP is decreasing the binder content by 15 to 25 percent without sacrificing fresh or hardened properties.”

Those who specify and work with UPHC should welcome these results and the fact that JUNO XP is easily adoptable and improves standard, higher performance concrete mixes, in addition to UHPC.

“JUNO XP can be considered a ‘toughening agent’ for UHPC,” said Belkowitz, “meaning it can increase the strain on the concrete before failure, or increase the energy under stress. This positively affects the strain curve as opposed to other supplementary materials, which tends to make the concrete more brittle at high strengths.”

As numerous tests and real-world applications continue to demonstrate that JUNO XP delivers a revolutionary advancement in concrete solutions, it leads Belkowitz to issue his best advice:  “Start using Juno XP today! It’s flipping awesome!”

Product advancements and continued innovation take center stage at Surface Tech quarterly meeting

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JUNO XP ACE XPAs the Surface Tech team gathered in La Jolla, CA on May 20 -21, presentations and discussions featured a strong emphasis on the development of new platform inclusions to each of the company’s divisions. Company stewards all participated in lengthy sessions devoted to the advancement of current and new product developments as we continue to seek innovative, but secure, solutions for the important industries we serve.

As a leader in innovation for the asphalt and concrete industries, the team first focused on the dry polymer category for asphalt and its aramid product, ACE XP.  Continued testing has proven the use of ACE XP will allow for reduced PG grade in mix designs, while still achieving a higher performance (including anti-cracking) for asphalt pavements.

The team examined how the QC disciplines of ACE XP differentiate it from the competition in both its manufacturing method and its ability to be accurately dosed at the plant.  The resulting plant cleanliness, combined with Surface Tech’s professional approach to interfacing with plant personnel (including safety),  go a long way toward ensuring the customer benefits from the accountable, automated dosing method in terms of producing a pavement that performs for the long haul.

In concrete, the JUNO XP line has been undergoing rigorous C1709 certification since last summer, and testing has proven the product exceeds all expectations in performance characteristics.  JUNO XP delivers cost savings, green benefits and an ease of adoption at all plant set ups.

The Alternative Supplementary Cementitious Materials (ASCM) category is a defined ACI discipline and JUNO XP is an early commercial product showing its true worth in that space.  Aggregate and fly ash quality and availability are strapping the industry, and new ACSM’s are needed more today than ever before.

In the future, look for even more innovative new products to be added to Surface Tech’s platform, including a fly ash replacement product and a colloidal silica product to enhance current market standards in those categories.  Our dedication to testing both in the lab and field continue to be clear evidence to our commitment to provide products that benefit the industry.

 

 

Will more dollars in the mix yield a stronger, longer-lasting surface?

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Get answers you can count on with the new Asphalt Annualized Lifecycle Calculator

 

Two important factors come into play in the design of any asphalt mix: Initial Cost and the Projected Years of Life. Engineers, contractors and pavers all wrestle with decisions on which mix will yield the longest pavement life for the best value in dollars spent. To aid in this endeavor, engineers use an equivalent annualized cost approach called Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), to aid in the decision.

Phil Blankenship, P.E., has combined his years of experience in the asphalt industry with a wide range of documented results from studies of asphalt pavement to create the Asphalt Annualized Lifecycle Calculator, an online tool that can help determine both lifespan and payoff time frames.

“Tools like this are important to use, because they can evaluate various mixes and lengths of time to see how they compare,” said Blankenship, an independent industry consultant who also serves on the Surface Tech Advisory Committee.

One critical feature of the new calculator is its ability to compute results in terms of today’s dollars (net present value), an important capability to evaluate the time value of the pavement investment . The calculator allows a user to compare  several mixtures and combine each with various additives to see how the estimated value of the mixture will compare in cost to a standard.. The current estimated life of US pavement surfaces averages about nine years before needing replacement. Additionally, the calculator takes into account the salvage value of the pavement to produce results that compare equally across various mix designs in terms of cost.

“The objective for this calculator was to achieve an apples-to-apples comparison,” said Blankenship.

With construction costs rising, it becomes ever more critical to seek out new ways to predict return on investment (ROI). This new calculator shows you what can happen when you test various mixes against their projected lifespans. In short, it’s a try-before-you-buy tool that can save you both money and buy you time.

Click here to test drive the new Asphalt Annualized Lifecycle Calculator.

JUNO XP

ASCM — an acronym for the future of concrete

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JUNO XP

Acronyms. They’re everywhere. Each industry has plenty, and even our text language is well populated with LOL, OMG and a long list of others. So you may groan a bit when you see a new one, but ASCM for the concrete industry is one you’ll definitely want to know and remember.

Alternative supplementary cementitious materials (ASCM) are making waves within the industry, and for good reasons. One, they can partially replace traditional cement in a wide range of concrete mixes. This is good news for the environment, because the production of traditional cement requires enormous amounts of energy and releases CO2 into the air.

JUNO XPTwo, ASCMs have the capability to deliver important improvements to concrete mixtures. They can increase strength and lifespan, improve workability in placement and require less water, while still delivering the creaminess required for most concrete mixes.

Third, to the delight of many, ASCMs can reduce the cost of concrete. And when you combine the cost savings benefit with added strength that provides improved resistance to abrasion, salts and acidic environments, it’s no wonder attention to ASCMs has grown over the past few years.

ASCMS such as silica and fly ash have been around for a while. But these materials do not address all of the shortcomings of Portland cement in certain applications and environments.

That’s why Surface Tech developed JUNO XP, an advanced mineral admixture that can partially substitute traditional cement. It can be used in standard concretes and in specialty applications without sacrificing performance.

The core technology found in Surface Tech’s JUNO XP is a revolutionary building material using cutting-edge advancements in mineralogy and nanotechnology combined with a graduated fiber matrix to reduce material cost.

Best of all, adding JUNO XP to your mix is easy. You can add it at any point in the production process—at the plant, on the job site, or wherever it fits your need.

So now that you know about ACSM, all you really need to remember is JUNO XP. For more information on how JUNO XP can lower cost and improve performance in projects like soil stabilization, controlled density fill (CDF) and rip-rap, visit https://www.surface-tech.com/portfolio/juno/. To find out how you can achieve savings of up to 30 percent on your next project, contact us.

Taylor County Airport

ACE XP Polymer Fiber helps a new pavement design achieve a higher standard in crack prevention

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Taylor County Airport

Taylor County Airport in Kentucky (Photo by Palmer Engineering)

A custom asphalt mix design utilizing ACE XP polymer fibers has given a general aviation airport the long-term solution it sought for a nagging pavement cracking problem. Initial results show the custom design, which combined both a binder layer and a surface layer reinforced with ACE XP, will exceed expectations by greatly reducing cracking potential.

The six-year-old runway pavement at Taylor County Airport in Kentucky was failing. Airport authorities called on Palmer Engineering to provide a desperately needed 15-year-plus solution to the pavement’s micro-cracking problem. Working with Haydon Materials, the team turned to an expert with long-standing experience in designing crack-resistant asphalt pavements.

custom asphalt mix design utilizing ACE XP polymer fibers“Haydon Materials brought in Phil Blankenship from Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training,” said Joe Dennis, Surface Tech’s chief technology officer for asphalt.

“The airport authorities were concerned that numerous cracks in the existing pavement could lead to failure, a common failure in airport pavements as aging occurs can create FOD — Flying Object Debris — causing a danger to the aircraft and potentially the traveling public.”

No milling was done on the runway pavement prior to re-paving. This meant the existing cracks would be exposed to the bottom of the  binder layer and would ultimately  reflect upward through the new pavement. The solution called for an inordinately crack resistant and resilient binder layer that either needed to be custom-designed, or an expensive two-dimensional geosynthetic rolled interlayer product.

“As a member of Surface-Tech’s Technical Advisory Committee, Phil is well versed on the capabilities of ACE XP, and he set about designing a completely new binder layer asphalt mix using it.”

Blankenship was able to deliver a design that Haydon could produce in its plant and pave with existing paving equipment. Using ACE XP in the new binder layer design gave Haydon Materials an effective crack resistant solution, while maintaining cost control for this demanding application.

The customized ACE XP mix achieved a new level of flexibility for the binder layer. The new binder layer design — a finely graded, highly asphalted crack resistant mixture — greatly reduced the potential for cracks to reflect upward from the base through the new pavement.

An  ACE XP reinforced surface mix was also designed utilizing a higher-than-normal asphalt content to provide even greater crack resistance than a typical FAA asphalt mix design,

“The development of this unique combination of mix designs for the binder and surface layer is an exciting advancement for the paving industry that holds great promise for dramatically improving crack prevention,” said Dennis.

“With this new approach, contractors can also control the quality in both production and installation, as the new mix design is simply incorporated into the contractor’s production processes, thus eliminating third party contractors to install the 2-dimentional geosynthetic rolled interlayer product.”

For more information on ACE XP  crack resistant designs, contact us.

custom asphalt mix design utilizing ACE XP polymer fibers

New and improved MD3+

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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

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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

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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

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.

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

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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!

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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.

JUNO XP alternative supplemental cementitious material (ASCM)

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

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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

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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 is an ASCM and Why Do We Care?

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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.

 

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.

Searching for an easy way to reduce traditional cement in your concrete mixes? Look to JUNO XP

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JUNO XP - alternative supplementary cementitous product

Lower cost. Environmentally friendly. Higher performance.

These are just a few of the benefits JUNO XP can deliver. But most contractors also want a replacement product that’s easy to adopt, and equally important, produces a concrete that performs well and can withstand the test of time. On all fronts, JUNO XP delivers.

JUNO XP acts as an alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM) that reduces the need for traditional cement. Because JUNO XP is a powder, it can be easily incorporated into any conventional dispersion system — silo, hopper, supersacks, bags and dissolvable bags. Integration ease is what separates JUNO XP from other new technologies.

It can also save you money. Contractors can expect to see a reduction of 20 to 35 percent of the cost of conventional cement by adding JUNO XP to the mix. Savings and ease of use alone make JUNO XP a preferred alternative supplementary cementitous product.

Yet JUNO XP goes further by providing key environmental benefits. Since traditional cement production accounts for 88% of the emissions associated with the average concrete mix, JUNO XP provides a way to offset this pollution and provides a means to achieve LEED credits and an improved carbon footprint for your project. Reduction of cement in mix designs is a calculable formula recognized by ACI/ASTM for credits.

Best of all, the ease of use—plus the dollar and environmental savings—come with no sacrifice in performance. The proprietary and novel properties of JUNO XP change cement hydration at the molecular level to increase the strength (tensile and compressive) and the durability of concrete. And it improves the performance of concrete on other levels, including workability and shrinkage control.

JUNO XP has passed Stage 1 and 2 testing to achieve ASTM C1709 certification with impressive results, with final Stage 3 testing on the near horizon. Key early adopters are lab and field testing and piloting the product in various mix designs throughout the U.S. and Canada and report stellar results.

To take advantage of the cost savings, environmental benefits and higher performance offered by JUNO XP — plus learn more about its ease of adoption — contact us.

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.

Juno Concrete

How does Juno XP Impact the Glue of Concrete?

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Juno ConcreteWhat is the glue of concrete?

Concrete is a mixture of aggregate, Portland cement, and water. But what actually holds concrete together? The answer is the hydrated cement matrix – the glue of concrete. Concrete is formed when Portland cement materials are combined with water to create a paste that binds with sand and rock to harden and form a composite structure. Common materials used to manufacture cement include limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore. These ingredients, when heated at high temperatures, form a rock-like substance that is ground into the fine powder we call cement.

The hardened cement matrix of the concrete composite is a porous and hardened sponge that provides the structural strength for civil construction as well as the backbone for durability and a long service-life.

The ultimate object of combining Portland cement with supplementary cementitious material is to increase the efficiency of the cementitious matrix, maintain and enhance the fresh and hardened properties.

Why do we care?

Concrete is one of the oldest and most reliable construction materials in the world. Concrete is at the foundation of our civilizations providing everything from the sidewalks in urban, suburban, and rural areas; to the enormous concrete dams, like the Hoover Dam, spillways, and locks.

In order to achieve the durability of concrete, large amounts of Portland cement are utilized. Although cement provides concrete binding, cement production accounts for 3-5% of the worlds CO2 emission.

Cement is manufactured through a closely controlled chemical combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and other ingredients. The manufacturing of cement is a long process and at every stage of its production, the environment is affected. Carbon emissions, water pollution, and release of heavy metals in the air are common problems associated with manufacturing.

Cement dust is a pollutant that affects both the health of people and plants. Chronic diseases and respiratory disorders are observed in people who work in a cement industry and are exposed to the cement constituents and cement dust. The setting of cement is a long process and it is alkaline in nature, which may lead to lung and skin disorders because of the excessive heat normally released during setting and curing (Cement Production, Hazards, and Recycling, 2011).

How does Juno XP affect the glue of concrete?

The proprietary and novel make-up of Juno XP effectively manipulates the molecular kinetics of cement hydration to increase the toughness and durability of concrete; making concrete stronger and last longer. The science behind Juno XP is a combination of pozzolanic and mineral materials that increase production of the strength-bearing microstructure. Juno XP also has a mechanical impact on fresh concrete and creates an environment that allows for a reduction of traditional cementitious material while maintaining the creaminess needed to allow grey concrete to go down the chute into the formwork.

Juno XP acts as a binder replacement to allows for a reduced the need for cement. Juno XP allows for the following:

  • Maintenance of fresh properties
  • Increase in Strength and Toughness of Hardened Concrete
  • Environment for Portland Cement reduction is created

Juno XP creates performance based concrete that delivers the same properties of traditional concrete with a reduction in both cost and environmental impacts. Juno XP, saving the world with all the concrete in it.

 

Rugged & Ready: MD3.0+ answers the call for plant integration

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MD3.0 Automated Dosing Machine for ACE FibersNow 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.

ACE Fiber Mixing Process“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.

Juno Concrete

Juno XP Continues Course

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Juno concrete binder replacement productSurface Tech has successfully commercialized its innovative concrete binder replacement product, Juno XP. Key early adopters are lab and field testing and piloting the product in various mix designs throughout the U.S.  It’s an exciting time for the concrete industry as it looks to adopt new, key technologies that enhance and compliment current long standing processes.

“As an example, the Metro Mix caisson project provides the perfect environment for testing Juno XP, due to the variety of weather conditions in Colorado, including cold weather freeze/thaw and de-icing salts, as well as summer heat,” says Jon Belkowitz, Surface Tech’s Concrete CTO.

Jon Belkowitz, director of research and development at Intelligent Concrete and Surface Tech’s Concrete CTO, is providing the vital oversight and design required for the rigorous testing processes, including Juno XP’s own C1709 certification.

“The global concrete industry recognizes that the volumes of matured supplementary cementitious materials, like fly ash, have dropped significantly in the past decade,” says Belkowitz. “Juno XP serves as a replacement for these diminishing technologies, and we are confident these tests/trials will show that Juno XP provides a workable new option for the concrete and construction industry.”

Value propositions for Juno XP:

  1. Dramatically reduces mix design cost
  2. Enhances performance characteristics including strength, toughness, durability, shrinkage control, workability (to highlight a few).
  3. Reduces CO2 emissions (through reduction of cement use) and improves carbon footprint.
  4. Easy to adopt at plant: silos, hoppers, super sack, palpable bags.

For technical details on Juno XP and the testing process, contact us.

 

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

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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?

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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.