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ACE XP Polymer Fiber Archives - Surface Tech

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

ACE XP Polymer Fiber adds strength to asphalt pavement in all directions. PROVEN IN THE FIELD. DOWNLOAD THE TEST RESULTS.