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Concrete has a fatal flaw and so does asphalt. Both can break. That means both materials have a common need — a reinforcement agent that adds tensile strength and resiliency.
To increase the tensile strength of concrete, contractors add rebar. Steel rebar adds resilience. Concrete and rebar combine to make a composite material that provides both compressive and tensile strength.
The same dynamic occurs when ACE Polymer Fibers® reinforce asphalt. Made from aramid polymers, which are five times stronger than steel, ACE provides outstanding strength, flexibility, and abrasion tolerance to asphalt. Micro roots provide this exceptional reinforcement, adding 400,000 psi of tensile strength. Millions of fibers add a three-dimensional reinforcement throughout the asphalt giving it a tensile flexibility that resists rutting during hot summers and cracking through cold winters.
To create ACE, Surface Tech bundles high-strength aramid fibers and coats them with wax. Contractors find ACE easy to adopt, especially compared to wet polymers or unbound fibers. Dosing is less expensive, more reliable, and precise with Surface Tech’s DFNDR, the world’s most accurate dosing system.
The ultimate beauty to ACE is its scalability and batch-to-batch reliability. Infallible dosing accuracy allows contractors to sell and place with confidence. Since 2013, ACE-reinforced asphalt pavements have delivered exceptional performance in hundreds of projects throughout the U.S. and Canada.
You wouldn’t pour concrete without rebar. The same goes for asphalt and ACE. It provides a time-tested, easy-to-mix, easy-to-use reinforcement that controls the aggregate matrix to prevent cracking and rutting while improving fatigue resiliency and toughness.
We believe in better, longer life pavements. That’s why we deliver solutions that provide superior performance, cost efficiency, ease of use and precise dosing. To learn how Surface Tech’s winning solutions can reinforce your next asphalt project, contact us.
Vaughan Mills Mall finds ACE XP Polymer Fibers® provide a proven solution
Vaughan Mills offers world-class retail and entertainment options for savvy shoppers in the Toronto area. Bus services regularly transport visitors to the popular outlet mall, and pavement in the heavily used bus loop had reached the end of its service life by 2017.
Engineering firm EXP was called in to evaluate the pavement and propose solutions for strengthening its structure. The usual remedy calls for increasing the thickness of the asphalt layers, but due to grade constraints, it was not a viable option. Instead, EXP turned to Surface Tech to learn how the company’s aramid polymer fibers could strengthen asphalt and allow for increasing performance from a fixed pavement thickness.
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, resulting in three-dimensional reinforcement throughout the asphalt and a flexibility that resists rutting during hot summers and cracking through cold winters.
To create ACE XP, high-strength aramid fibers are bundled and coated with Sasobit® wax to produce an easy-to-adopt asphalt reinforcement that bonds with any WMA or HMA in both drum and batch operations.
By adding ACE XP Polymer Fibers®, Forest Contractors placed both base and surface approved mixes interlaced with more than 10 million fibers per metric tonne to produce an overall 120mm thick pavement. After four Canadian winters, the pavement still sees no transverse cracking in any section of the work completed in the fall of 2018, and only slight cracking in the longitudinal joints.
For details on how you can pave smarter and stronger with ACE XP, visit https://surface-tech.com/pilot-program-acexp/
Photo: February 2022
Photo: September 2018
As a 2022 Women of Asphalt Gold Partner, Surface Tech signaled its clear support for the growing role of women in a wide range of jobs within the asphalt industry.
“We wanted to support the organization because, as an innovations platform company, Surface Tech promotes all things in our industry that we consider high value and proven cutting edge. Women of Asphalt clearly carries that mantle,” said Steve San Cruz, president.
Women of Asphalt is the brainchild of Amy Miller, national director for the Asphalt Pavement Alliance. She pitched the idea to Ashley Batson, JD, Dr. Audrey Copeland, P.E., Natasha Ozybko, and Tracie Schlich who quickly embraced the idea. In 2017, they established Women of Asphalt with the mission to encourage and support workforce development and education and promote women within the industry.
Nearly five years later, women still comprise a minority in the industry, but their numbers are on the rise.
“I learned about Women of Asphalt from Natasha Ozbyko at an industry event in 2019,” said Stacie Steele, P.E., Surface Tech Sales Representative. “I joined, and as I started seeing WofA posts on LinkedIn, I appreciated women being highlighted in the different types of jobs that are available to all in the asphalt industry.” Steel worked as an independent engineering consultant for 20 years and was hired by Surface Tech in 2021.
“Joining Surface Tech demonstrates that companies have grown to trust that women have the technical understanding of the industry. In Surface Tech’s case, I have a clear understanding of what aramid fibers can do for asphalt pavements, and the company knows I am able to speak with in-depth knowledge at both the plant and agency levels.”
Steel credits Women of Asphalt for building awareness and making it easier to step into the industry and have credibility, as opposed to the past.
“Now no one questions our credibility at the plants, and the same is true with public works agencies. Women have even achieved success as heads of departments. We’re not having to break down doors as in the past. It’s normalizing.”
For information on Women of Asphalt, visit womenofasphalt.org.
The Texas Asphalt Paving Association (TXAPA) held its third annual MAPS conference in Waco on March 8 and 9. It proved to be an eye-opening event for Surface Tech Sales Reps Stacie Steel, based in Seattle, and Mike Scardina, based in Denver, CO.
“My main takeaway was: Texas is BIG,” said Steel, “and according to an overview provided by Dr. John Epps at the event, the state has an equally big challenge that Surface Tech is poised to help solve.”
Epps stated that, if Texas could get even one more year out of the pavements on its roadways, it could save $2.5 billion each year on repaving and maintenance. Alternatively, the savings could also allow the state and local agencies to pave more roads.
Epps’ statement astonished Steel, a P.E. with more than 20 years of experience as a pavement engineering consultant who has studied the effectiveness of a wide range of asphalt reinforcement products.
“I’ve studied the science and engineering behind all of them and found most don’t stand up to their claims.”
By contrast, she finds the material science behind Surface Tech’s ACE XP Polymer Fibers™ to be provable and has repeatedly witnessed the longevity benefits it adds to real world pavements.
Steel credits Surface Tech for making significant investments in developing its aramid fiber reinforcement product, which she found so compellingly effective she joined the Surface Tech team in 2021.
“I’m impressed by the whole team and by the company’s credible case studies, research, and industry relationships. The company has built a solid foundation to operate on and has developed numerous solutions for overlays, interlayers, and accurate dosing to give any mix design the reinforcement it needs to make the pavement last longer.
“With our easy-to-adopt solutions, Texas could achieve that additional year of service life — and even longer — from their asphalt pavements. If that’s their focus, then the easiest way to do that is add ACE XP Polymer Fibers to the mix.”
For information on how you can make pavements stronger, last longer and save money, visit https://surface-tech.com/asphalt-solutions/
All Roads Construction knew it would need top-notch technology to meet tight specifications for paving an expansion project at the Fraser Port Authority Terminal in Vancouver, BC. The contractor chose a Millimeter GPS System from Topcon Positioning Systems to ensure accurate paving in tight spaces. And to ensure that various mix designs could stand up to all kinds of weather paving conditions, the company recommended reinforcement with ACE XP Polymer Fibers®.
The 120,000-ton asphalt paving project began in 2019. It will expand the terminal by 15 percent, create a new overpass on Centennial Road, and reconfigure Waterfront Road to link Canada Place to Highway 1.
A tight timeline, coupled with the need to keep as much space available as possible for shipping containers, places extreme limits on the amount of space crews can work — an average area of 7,500 square meters (80,700 square feet). All Roads must also meet intensely tight specifications, including a 5-millimeter (¼-inch) tolerance for elevations and cross falls of less than 0.5 percent.
Moreover, the port’s mix designs call for a 19 mm nominal Superpave mix for the lower asphalt courses and a 12.5 mm nominal surface course Superpave mix, both with design ESALs greater than 30 million. To make matters even more challenging, winter weather creates heightened risks for transporting the raw materials. To offset this risk and enable crews to pave in appropriate weather windows, All Roads suggested the use of ACE XP Polymer Fiber® reinforcement for certain portions of the pavement structure on the project.
The project utilizes multiple mix designs with three different binders — PG64-22, PG70-22 and PG76-22. Extensive testing of mixes reinforced with ACE XP demonstrated that a single dose of 65 grams per ton of reinforcement provided an equivalent asphalt mix to using PG70-22, and a double dose of 130 grams per ton proved an equal alternative to using PG76-22 polymer modified binder.
To ensure the accuracy of the fiber use, All Roads purchased the Sentinel fully automatic dosing system from Surface Tech. A hopper system accurately controls the dosing of the fibers, and a programmable logic controller interfaces with the variable speeds of the asphalt plant.
All Roads is the first paving company in Canada, and among the first in North America, to utilize LPS robotic stations on an asphalt paving job. The company’s interest in the latest technologies, like LPS and ACE XP, has long set them apart.
For more information on this project, visit https://theasphaltpro.com/articles/tight-timeline-tolerances-on-port-project/
To learn more about the variety of asphalt paving solutions available from Surface Tech, visit https://surface-tech.com/asphalt-solutions/
In 2018, asphalt contractor D.Crupi & Sons advised the use of ACE XP Polymer Fibers on a deteriorating roadway within the Region of York in the Greater Toronto Area. The ACE XP overlay project on Yonge Street shows no cracking after three years, and the Region now routinely utilizes ACE XP in roadways where additional reinforcement can improve the pavement’s performance.
Yonge Street serves as a major arterial route in the province, connecting the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto to Lake Simcoe. In 2018, the roadway showed signs of significant deterioration. Frequent cracking, joint separation, rutting, raveling and potholes, along with drainage issues, created a dodgy driving experience.
The planned rehabilitation did not originally call for asphalt reinforced with ACE XP, but asphalt contractor D.Crupi & Sons suggested the Region consider adding it due to Yonge Street’s high traffic loads. Since the product was new to the Region, its engineers decided to utilize ACE XP only in the 70mm base course layer.
When added to a typical base course, ACE XP Polymer Fibers™ can improve crack resistance from 25% to 60%. After three years and no visible signs of cracking, engineers for the Region have become believers in the ability of Surface Tech to provide innovative solutions that improve road performance and longevity.
In addition to improving sustainability, ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ has also achieved an Environmental Product Declaration. An EPD listing validates the sustainability benefits of ACE XP, and it can help construction projects earn credits for LEED v4 and other green building rating systems.
In August 2021, the City of Calgary identified a section of busy Edmonton Trail for repaving. An abundance of cracks and potholes plagued the driving experience, and a new solution was needed that could withstand increasing traffic loads.
Both lanes of north- and southbound traffic from McKnight Blvd. to 40th Ave. NE were repaved with a mix reinforced with ACE XP Polymer Fibers™. The two-day, 60mm mill and inlay project called for a 12.5mm PG 70-31 Fine Graded Superpave 3B mix. Surface Tech provided hands-on training and certification for the City of Calgary Asphalt Plant team to achieve the proper operation of the dosing equipment and QC/QA procedures for incorporating ACE XP into the mix.
“We appreciate Surface Tech’s coordination with the city to make this happen. I was on site and was glad to see the entire operation was going smoothly,” reported Nasir-ul Mulk, City of Calgary Pavement Engineer.
“The new pavement turned out to be a night-and-day difference with the added strength needed for the heavy traffic in the area,” said Alex Snell, Western Canada Regional Technical Sales Representative for Surface Tech. “Edmonton Trail was the first of many projects here in Calgary, and ACE XP is proving to be a good investment for the city.”
The City of Calgary has placed ACE XP reinforced asphalt on a number of streets as part of its 2021 road rehabilitation program, and engineers are planning on additional projects in 2022.
“There were no concerns from my team,” reported Michael Maas, City of Calgary Senior Paving Leader, in an email. “As expected, the mix compacted and set a bit quicker than regular mixes, but overall, we had good feedback from the team in the field.”
“I have seen these little fibers work hard from BC to Manitoba and even the Northwest Territories, and I have seen great improvements to many road systems in my years working with ACE XP,” said Snell. This project was extra special as I had the pleasure to see the technology at work in my own city of Calgary!”
For details on how you can pave stronger, longer-lasting streets with ACE XP, contact us.
Cordova Road in Oshawa, Ontario, still shows little sign of wear even after three years and extreme punishment from heavy vehicles. It was this project among others over the past four years that have convinced engineers for the City of Oshawa to include ACE XP Polymer Fibers™ as a routine part of its Annual Pavement Rehabilitation Program.
In 2019, engineers designated Cordova Road for a complete pavement removal and replacement. Located near an automotive manufacturing plant, the road carries heavy traffic from trucks that caused the pavement to suffer extreme wear and tear. The decision to employ an ACE XP-reinforced asphalt mix was an easy one for the City, due to its successful use on other roadways.
The two-day project included a full-depth removal of the existing asphalt and repaving with 865 tonnes of PG 64-28XJ mixes that included HL3 High Stability of 40mm thickness and a Heavy Duty Binder Course of 80mm and 50mm thicknesses. Surface Tech provided dosing services to paving contractor D.Crupi & Sons, which produced the mix at its asphalt plant.
In 2022, city engineers are entering their fifth year of experience with ACE XP and now place great confidence in its ability to significantly extend the life of roadways and decrease maintenance costs.
For details on how you can put easy-to-adopt ACE XP Ploymer Fibers™ to work on extending the life of your next asphalt paving project, contact us.
If engineers for the Township of Esquimalt, BC, had taken the conventional approach to a mill and infill project in the summer of 2018, they would expect to see reflective cracking within six to 12 months. Instead, they opted to try something new — their standard asphalt mix reinforced with ACE XP Polymer Fibers. As we enter 2022, the town’s Engineering Services Department is elated to see the ACE XP-reinforced overlay section is holding steady and performing well, especially given the roadway’s heavy traffic, slope, and problematic drainage.
Tillicum Road carries a wide range of vehicles, from small passenger cars to double decker buses and heavy trucks. Engineers made plans for an extensive capital budget reconstruction several years in the future, but in 2018 the road’s condition mandated a quick and relatively inexpensive fix to keep it serviceable.
The township has a history of investigating new technologies and material improvements. Once engineers learned about ACE XP Polymer Fiber, they decided to try it on a partial mill and infill operation.
From the gutter out to two meters, 50mm were tapered milled and overlaid with a 50mm pavement on both the milled and unmilled existing asphalt. In the areas of severe base damage, a small amount of fiberglass paving geogrid was placed between small patches of new base course asphalt and the ACE XP reinforced overlay.
“Overall, we are so happy with the current condition of the pavement structure,” Edgar Salamanca, Engineering Technologist III with the township, replied via email in late 2020. “No ruts or cracks observed as of today. I believe the township, as a whole, has seen the advantage of the technology and, personally, I will recommend it again if we have a similar project in the future.”
As we enter 2022, the Township reports the section continues to perform well, with no significant rutting or cracking.
Technicians trained by Surface Tech worked with Island Asphalt at their Victoria plant during the mixing and on the job site with the paving crew and Township inspectors to ensure a high level of comfort and confidence was gained working with the new technology.
For details on how you can put ACE XP to work on your next project to produce stronger, longer-lasting pavement, contact Surface Tech.
Surface Tech has completed the verification process to achieve an Environmental Product Declaration for ACE XP Polymer Fiber®, its advanced aramid polymer fiber additive.
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a transparent, objective report that details what a product is made of and how it impacts the environment across its entire life cycle. The EPD is an independently verified and registered document that can help construction projects earn credits for LEED v4 and other green building rating systems. EPDs satisfy the requirements of Product Category
Rules (PCR) and follow international standards, including ISO 14044, ISO 14025, and ISO 21930.
EPD-listed products are gaining in importance as producers seek new ways to validate the assertions made by companies about the environmentally beneficial qualities of their products. Architects and designers also increasingly specify products with transparent life-cycle-assessment-based environmental impact reports.
“We are pleased to be EPD-certifying our flagship product/technology and joining the ranks of other proven, sustainable solutions,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President of Surface Tech.
ACE XP utilizes the tensile strength of aramid to address the two major distresses affecting asphalt performance today — cracking and rutting. It disperses over 19 million para-aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix, providing a three-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, and fatigue. ACE XP makes asphalt pavement stronger and last longer, thus increasing the pavement’s life expectancy, reducing maintenance costs, and providing enhanced sustainability to asphalt pavements.
ACE XP can be easily added to any mix design with no needed changes at both batch and drum plants. It mixes, rolls, and finishes the same as any other mix. Using ACE XP in conjunction with a Balanced Mix Design can also result in a reduction in needed pavement thickness, while still achieving performance enhancements.
For more information on ACE XP Polymer Fibers®, visit surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-xp.
Surface Tech has completed the verification process to achieve an Environmental Product Declaration for JUNO C33 its advanced alternative supplementary cementitious/fine aggregate material (SCM).
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a transparent, objective report that details what a product is made of and how it impacts the environment across its entire life cycle. The EPD is an independently verified and registered document that can help construction projects earn credits for LEED v4 and other green building rating systems. EPDs satisfy the requirements of Product Category Rules (PCR) and follow international standards, including ISO 14044, ISO 14025, and ISO 21930.
SCM products are gaining in importance as producers seek new ways to decrease the amount of cement used in concrete mixes. Cement production is recognized as one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse CO2 gas emissions. Using less cement helps decrease CO2 build-up in the atmosphere and helps the environment.
JUNO C33 can be used to partially substitute traditional cement binders and/or fine aggregates in standard concretes.
In addition to offsetting the use of traditional cement, the science behind JUNO C33 focuses its mineral material composition to increase the strength-bearing microstructure of concrete, making it stronger and last longer.
JUNO C33 also has a positive impact on fresh concrete by maintaining the creaminess needed to allow grey concrete to go down the chute into the framework.
JUNO C33 is easily integrated into existing plant operations, including silo, hopper, supersacks, bags, and dissolvable bags. Using JUNO C33 as an SCM can also result in cost savings, depending on the mix design.
For more information on JUNO C33, visit surface-tech.com/concrete-juno-C33.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) takes pavement performance seriously. So much so, the agency has created its own Accelerated Pavement Testing and Research Program behind its State Materials Office in Gainesville. It’s a place where all types of pavement designs square off against a brutal machine called the “Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS).” The HVS allows FDOT to simulate highway loads in an accelerated manner within a controlled environment.
In October, Surface Tech entered its ACE XP Polymer Fiber® into this competitive arena of “additive gladiators.” Over the next few months, a battle will ensue between 3.4 ounces per ton (2.1 ounces of pure aramid) of tiny ACE XP fibers against this Goliath of a machine.
“The Heavy Vehicle Simulator is built like an upside down bridge,” said Phil Blankenship, principal of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training. “The HVS pushes down on the road using the truss to hold it in place, where as a bridge “pushes” up against the traffic load.”
The Goliath HVS machine weighs in at more than 50 tons and applies an accelerated load to the test section. A test section receives a maximum of 29,000 bi-directional testing, where the machine simulates weaving or lane changing, and also endures a maximum of 14,000 uni-directional testing daily.
Surface Tech supplied its ACE XP polymer fiber for a 20-foot test section where the (Goliath) simulator will attempt to inflict a maximum rut depth of four inches. A laser profile measures the damage inflicted in real time. The simulator can maintain a constant pavement temperature of the test section as it undergoes testing by lowering insulated, side panels
FDOT has invested heavily in accelerated pavement testing to focus on Florida’s most critical pavement issues and determine the best solutions to improve endurance and life span. The HVS test sections aid in these efforts by validating existing materials and methods as well as innovative materials and methods. ACE XP was pitted against the Heavy Vehicle Simulator in the same Superpave mix design as used for PG 67-22 and PG 76-22 that is used for all additives tested.
“Surface Tech is pleased to be included in FDOT’s accelerated testing in addition to the prestigious NCAT Additive Group study, both of which are going on now,” said Blankenship. “Surface Tech is looking forward to seeing the results and how well ACE XP stacks up against other additives, and they’re fairly confident that aramid fiber will hold up well against the severe Heavy Load Simulator test.”
Surface Tech announced today the addition of Michael Taylor to its team as Chief Operations Officer, Concrete Division. He will assume responsibility for overseeing day-to-day operational functions and will report directly to Steve Santa Cruz, President of Surface Tech.
Michael combines a wealth of experience in management, strategic planning, product development, process improvement and quality assurance in filling the role of COO. He fully understands the manufacturing and distribution process, as well as sales and inventory management.
He is well known within the concrete industry for establishing a national footprint in concrete products as diverse as pool plaster and copings, fire features, furniture and tile.
As the founder of two successful companies serving the concrete industry, Michael is well versed on the importance of applying innovation and ensuring quality in meeting customer needs. His background in product development and equipment design and engineering, along with concrete mix design and engineering, has enabled innumerable past clients to achieve greater efficiency, higher profits and predictable quality.
Michael is a results-driven professional with extensive management skills. Having directed large teams of employees in sales, marketing, finance, product development, engineering, operations, manufacturing, quality assurance and warehousing, he possesses proven capabilities to organize and motivate personnel to achieve outstanding results.
He can be reached at https://surface-tech.com/company/team/mike-taylor/
Surface Tech is pleased to announce the addition of Stacie Steel, PE, to its sales team. She brings a high-level of expertise and experience that producers in the region will find extremely beneficial.
Stacie offers a depth of experience in asphalt and concrete pavements. She has provided infrastructure-related civil engineering and project management consulting services to both public and private sector clients for the past 20 years.
Stacie’s technical expertise centers around all things pavements: Structural design, materials design and specifications, sustainability, life-cycle cost analyses, pavement management, preservation and rehabilitation, QA/QC, materials testing, and forensic evaluations.
Throughout her career, she has worked on paving projects for many national commercial retailers, municipalities, and airports. Stacie has proven leadership and organizational capabilities, as evidenced by earning the President’s Choice Award from the WTS Colorado Chapter early in her career. She currently serves on the WTS Puget Sound Chapter’s TransportationYOU Committee, and is dedicated to ensuring access to local outdoor recreation opportunities serving on the Board of Directors for the Lonesome Lake Preservation Group.
To learn how Stacie can apply her experience and knowledge to your next paving project, contact her here.
Six years out — the fiber-reinforced roadway dramatically reduced cracking
If your next asphalt pavement mix could reduce cracking by 50 percent or more compared to your current mix, would you be interested in trying it? In 2015, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) decided to do just that. They put a PG76-22 mix reinforced with ACE XP Polymer Fibers® to a real-world test against a PG76-22 control mix without reinforcement.
Both mixes were placed over a 7-inch jointed, concrete pavement. The northbound and southbound lanes were divided into four sections:
The northbound lane contained ACE XP fiber reinforced overlay in all layers. The southbound lane of Section 1 served as a control of the normal treatment of unreinforced PG 76-22 mix.
Both the northbound and southbound lanes were placed in the same year to allow for a proper comparison. Manual crack counts, recorded in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, were performed on the ACE XP reinforced section (Northbound) and control section (Southbound). Equal-length ACE XP and Control sections of 3500’ were measured annually and all transverse cracking (of any type) was documented.
As promised, ACE XP Polymer Fibers® reduced cracking, compared to the control pavement sections showing improved transverse (all types) cracking resistance of 77%, 80% and 55% in years 4, 5 and 6.
For more details on the KYTC Dixie Highway test, contact Phil Blankenship at BATT Asphalt Tech & Training (email@example.com) To learn how you can put ACE XP to work reducing cracks and expanding the life of your next paving project, visit https://surface-tech.com/pilot-program-acexp/
Learn more about the history of this project here: https://surface-tech.com/portfolio/cs-hall-paving-kytc-dixie-hwy-us-31w/
The scorching Texas sun, combined with heavy-load traffic, created an early cracking problem for the TXDOT San Angelo District on a section of busy Highway 87. Bryan Lutz, Director of Maintenance, was searching for a way to make the maintenance overlays last longer, defer maintenance costs, and start catching up on the project list.
Lutz and other TXDOT personnel, along with the producer and paver, all concluded the data presented on ACE XP Polymer Fibers® warranted a pilot project, particularly since ACE XP does not require any changes to mix design.
Field trials and paving projects have repeatedly shown that ACE XP Polymer Fibers® can extend the life of pavement by 30 to 50 percent. Extended pavement lifespans deliver significant lifecycle savings, potentially empowering TXDOT districts across the state to invest in other needed paving projects.
Rees Albert Construction Company produced the 800-ton ACE XP-reinforced PG64-22 mix for the mill and overlay project. Dosing of the fibers was done at the CSA plant, and the job was completed in July of 2021. TXDOT officials on hand during the paving reported that the product was easy to adopt, and they had no issues with any of the mix. The paving crew noted that they could see the fibers in the mix clinging to their rakes and shovels, but the fibers posed no difficulty, nor required any changes to the normal process of installing the mix.
View a video of the project here:
If longer life pavement could be the solution to your paving headaches, visit https://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-xp/. In addition to the Pilot Program, Surface Tech offers value engineering options and can help save money on today’s projects, or those up for bid in the future. Let Surface Tech show your team the power of ACE XP’s promise: To produce asphalt pavements that are stronger and last longer than any comparable product on the market.
For details on how you can test ACE XP on your next project, visit https://surface-tech.com/pilot-program-acexp/
In September, Andre LeBlanc, Vice President of Operations for Petroleum Marketing Group (PMG), engaged Surface Tech in a test of ACE XP Polymer Fiber® for the first time. He related his experience in a recent email:
Petroleum Marketing Group (PMG) owns, operates, and supplies over 1,340 gasoline, food service, and convenience store retail and wholesale locations from Maine to Florida. This year PMG took on the project of asphalting a very large gasoline truck yard in the Baltimore area, and Surface Tech was asked to participate in the project applying their expertise and ACE XP Polymer Fiber product.
Steve Santa Cruz, President of Surface Tech, and his team were hands on, and were directly involved every step of the way. Their knowledge and product quality were key factors in the project’s overall success. We believe the integration of ACE XP will add years to the life of this truck lot. Not only does it look great, it’s visibly stronger.
Steve and the Surface Tech team were professional, flexible, and willing to do what it took to get past the typical project timeline hurdles due to weather, permitting, etc. His sincere caring and positive demeanor made the project enjoyable, successful, and we trust Surface Tech.
It has been a sheer pleasure to work Surface Tech, and we will be using them, their product, and services for years to come. I strongly recommend Surface Tech and their paving solutions.
To learn how you can put Surface Tech solutions to work for your next project, contact us.
We congratulate and commend NAPA and its partners for their tireless advocacy that helped push lawmakers to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) across the finish line. Once signed by the President, the bill authorizes a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s C-minus-rated infrastructure.
Thanks to NAPA and its members, along with legislators, industry partners and coalitions, IIJA includes the following priorities that were considered essential for successfully addressing the nation’s infrastructure needs:
- A 5-year reauthorization of Federal-Aid Highway programs
- 55% growth in funding above baseline for highway and bridge programs
- $40b more in highway and bridge grants
- $15b for airfield pavement grants
- $15b for private activity bonds
- An exemption from Buy America rules for aggregates, asphalt binder, additives, and polymers
- Codifies “one federal decision” to improve project delivery
- Reauthorizes the Accelerated Implementation Deployment Asphalt Technology program, providing $30m for asphalt
- Incentivizes safety contingency funds to make work zones safer
- Contains no “Green New Deal” provisions or pavement mandates
As we take these priorities from a paper document to real repairs to our bridges, roadways, and airport runways, one vitally important question looms: How will we achieve sustainability in our improvements and repairs?
A bill like IIJA took a generation to pass. That means it’s incumbent upon our industry to ensure that the projects we undertake will last — most likely for another generation or longer.
What’s your answer to the question?
At Surface Tech, we offer asphalt and concrete solutions that help you achieve sustainability. Our question to you: Do you want to learn more?
ACE XP Polymer Fiber® underwent a rigorous test of the strength and durability it provides to asphalt pavements at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) test track in Opelika, AL, October 2021. NCAT is a partnership between the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and Auburn University, and since its inception in 1986, it has gained international recognition for stellar research on asphalt pavements.
“We are extremely honored and excited to be granted the NCAT Test Track opportunity to continue to prove the value of ACE XP Polymer Fibers® in asphalt,” said Steve Santa Cruz, president of Surface Tech.
NCAT Test Track section sponsors, which include various DOTs and FHWA, select the products they want to see tested. Five additive products were chosen for testing in the Additive Group — an SBS polymer, a dry plastic, a wet plastic, rubber, and ACE XP.
For the Surface Tech, six DOTs and the FHWA co-sponsored its full 200-foot section. Surface Tech added a single dose of ACE XP Polymer Fibers® into the dense-grade Superpave mix using the company’s Sentinel auto-dosing system at East Alabama Paving’s plant.
Sensors installed underneath the pavement will monitor load and strain. Rutting, cracking and other distresses will be monitored through repeated observations. The pavement is designed for forced early failure. Instead of the typical thick pavement layers on highways, the Additive Group sections feature one monolithic, five-inch layer.
“NCAT has succeeded in designing a perfect test platform for understanding early pavement failure,” said Phil Blankenship, principal of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training. “These are highly engineered sections of pavement that will provide excellent feedback on what works and doesn’t work. The results can be a game changer, because one real-world test is worth a thousand lab tests.”
As growth continues in SoCal, Surface Tech stands ready to answer the needs of its public and private customers by adding experienced representatives to our team.
Taylor Schmidt brings excellent experience and knowledge of all things asphalt to his new role as business development manager for the company’s SoCal Region. His experience in asphalt mix design and placement started from the ground level up on paving crews.
His background includes sales, dispatching and QC. At Titan Transportation he handled sales and dispatch and continued advancing in this area during a later tenure at California Commercial Asphalt (CCA). There he rose from dispatcher and inside salesman to handling all inside and outside sales as well as trouble-shooting jobs. A go-getter by nature, Taylor sold one million tons of asphalt and a combined 500,000 gallons of sealcoat and emulsion for CCA.
Later, as sales manager at Escondido Materials, he broke all prior sales records by putting customer needs first and ensuring the delivery of a quality product. His intense focus on quality helped reduce the amount of bad material credits by 95 percent.
His experience also includes a stint at World Oil Refining where he handled sales of paving and roofing grade asphalts statewide.
Taylor was immediately impressed with the solutions offered by Surface Tech and its commitment to innovation. He looks forward to helping customers learn of the advantages of the company’s para-aramid fiber solutions to build stronger, longer-lasting asphalt pavements. Contact Taylor Schmidt.
Russell Lindsey, president of Gilgal Stones in Abilene, TX, was no stranger to the power of aramid fiber technology when he initially reached out to Surface Tech. He understood the fibers’ tensile strength properties and was further intrigued upon hearing about Surface Tech’s ARMI Interlayer solution.
After an in-depth discussion of the solutions offered by Surface Tech, Lindsey decided to present the ARMI Plus solution to Brookshire Grocery Company. The plan called for the installation of an ARMI Interlayer composed of AQU Polymer Fibers®, covered by a surface mix reinforced with ACE XP Polymer Fibers®.
Ruts and cracks were plaguing several parking lots within the grocer’s chain of stores in Monroe, LA, and Lindsey was able to offer his customer Surface Tech’s innovative, advanced material solutions at a competitive price.
Brookshire signed off on the plan, but Diamond B Construction, which provided the asphalt mix, was concerned that the high asphalt content (8%) mix could create problems at the plant. Surface Tech QA technicians provided clear instructions, which Diamond B found easy to follow.
“Diamond B ended up being very impressed with the quality of the mix and the ease of adoption at the plant,” said Dario Alvarez, Technical Sales Rep for Surface Tech. “They faced no issues with the plant production.”
Surface Tech also provided a field technician that dosed both the ARMI Interlayer and the ACE XP-reinforced surface mix for the two-day project. With this level of support, any producer or paver can learn to make and apply the technology at the plant or on site.
“I was very impressed with the appearance of the mix and the ease of installation,” said Lindsey. “When a contractor doesn’t have to change their protocols or processes, it makes it easier to consider using a technology. And when the customer is happy with the results, it’s a win-win.”
He also appreciated the level of support provided by Surface Tech, saying it “made the process easy and added value in my eyes and the eyes of the producer.”
As a result of the success in Monroe, Gigal Stone has secured three additional Brookshire store locations, with more locations utilizing ARMI and ACE XP on the horizon.
A video of the dosing and installation can be viewed here:
For more information on innovative, aramid-fiber paving solutions, visit https://surface-tech.com
As president, Phil Blankenship brought increased focus on new technologies and innovative materials
The Annual Meeting of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologies (AAPT), held in Nashville Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, showcased many areas of change within the industry. The meeting itself, a hybrid affair that offered members opportunities to attend both in person and virtually, served as a clear harbinger of things to come. Balanced Mix Design topics were in full swing at this meeting, along with cutting-edge topics on advancements in asphalt pavement technologies.
(Pictured above: AAPT Board of Directors: Adam Hand, Audrey Copeland, Phil Blankenship, Jo Sias, Amy Epps-Martin and JP Planche)
Throughout 2021, Phil Blankenship, principal of Blankenship Asphalt Training and Technology (BATT), led the Board of Directors through the difficult decisions surrounding the organization during COVID-19. Hosting an annual meeting proved no small task, especially when incorporating a virtual component to allow all members to interact.
Most notable among his achievements as president over the past year, Phil — along with the Board of Directors — was able to formalize the structure of AAPT committees and improve transparency to members through an upgraded member website. These two actions are significant advancements that will encourage the involvement of younger/newer members and ensure the longevity of the organization. Specifically, the creation of a Communications Committee will improve information sharing to both members and non-members.
Phil has succeeded in pointing the AAPT and the industry in new and important directions, and his impact will no doubt be built upon in 2021 and we congratulate him on his many accomplishments as president of AAPT. We also look forward to continued progress for the 700+ members of AAPT worldwide, and for the entire asphalt industry, under the competent leadership of incoming president, Jo Sias.
Detailed and numerous real world case studies have clearly shown that ACE XP Polymer Fibers® can significantly decrease cracking in asphalt pavements. Yet MacRebur Southern California, a producer of asphalt containing recycled plastics, wondered if ACE XP could help them solve a long-standing problem.
Adding recycled plastics to asphalt mixes is an innovative way to help the environment by reducing the volume of waste plastics going to landfills or incineration. The right recycled plastics can also help extend and enhance the bitumen binder. Yet in past initiatives prior to the new sustainability focus, roads containing recycled plastics tended to crack more than control pavement sections.
Surface Tech initiated a pilot project with MacRebur Southern California to learn if using Surface Tech’s para-aramid overlay solution with the plastic-additive mix would solve this problem.
No changes to the mix were required, so dosing of the ACE XP Polymer Fiber® did not interfere with the plant’s production rate, and the ACE XP-reinforced mix went down smoothly.
A control sample, along with the ACE XP-reinforced plastic-additive asphalt is currently undergoing a battery of requisite and comparative tests in the lab. Stay tuned for a report on the results of this new-innovation pilot project.
For details on how you can test ACE XP Polymer Fibers ® on your next project, visit https://surface-tech.com/pilot-program-acexp/
The answer is para-aramid fibers — coated with wax for a no-mess, easy way to add to any mix. Para-aramid fibers from Surface Tech measure only 19mm or 38mm long, but they pack plenty of power. Only 3.4 ounces per U.S. ton, or 106 grams per metric tonne, is all it takes to supercharge your mix to defeat ruts and cracks and reduce your pavement maintenance costs.
The wax binds the polymer fibers to allow for a clean, controlled mixing process in the plant or on site. Once added, the wax melts and becomes fully soluble within the mix to release the para-aramid fibers in a uniform distribution. The result is a three-dimensional reinforcement throughout the asphalt and a flexibility that resists rutting during hot summers and cracking through cold winters. Best of all, you can lay it, work it, roll it, and finish it the same as any other mix. The only difference is outstanding rut and crack resistance.
Para-aramid fibers provide exceptional tensile strength to a wide range of products, and after years of painstaking research, Surface Tech succeeded in developing a para-aramid fiber additive that’s field-tested and proven to increase the lifespan of your asphalt pavement by 50 percent.
Today, the company offers para-aramid fiber solutions for the toughest pavement challenges, including overlays, interlayers and high RAP content pavements. These high-tech solutions can reduce overlay thickness and the number of overlays needed in the pavement’s lifespan. Our para-aramid fiber solutions can also eliminate expensive third-party interlayers and increase RAP content up to 50 percent. Plainly put, we pack a lot of POW! into 3.4 ounces.
City of Brooks finds ACE XP Polymer Fibers a good value for asphalt paving
In 2018, The City of Brooks in Alberta, Canada, needed a new pavement solution for a problematic intersection with a tendency to form ruts. In a leap of faith, Brooks Asphalt and Aggregate, along with the city’s public works officials, decided to try adding ACE XP Polymer Fibers® to a 75mm mill and replacement overlay project on a 1600-meter, or approximately one-mile section of Cassils Road, including a busy intersection.
ACE XP Polymer Fiber® was relatively new in Alberta at the time, but the reputation of aramid fiber, which forms the base of the product, is well established. As one of the strongest man-made materials in existence, aramid fibers provide tensile strength and durability to underwater cables, bullet-proof vests and many other products. Given this fact, city engineers wondered, “Could it also make pavements stronger and last longer?”
The answer is “YES!” Three years later, the town’s major roadway shows no signs of rutting or cracking, and city officials anticipate the new pavement will last 30 years — a 10-year life extension.
Better yet, Brooks Asphalt and Aggregate found adding ACE XP required no changes to the mix, and Surface Tech’s automatic dosing system ensured a reliable, quality end product.
As a welcome bonus the project also came under budget, proving that ACE XP Polymer Fiber® not only provides excellent value on the front end, but also lasting value in terms of less cracking, reduced rutting and longer pavement life.
For details on how you can add the exceptional value that ACE XP provides to your next paving project, visit https://surface-tech.com/pilot-program-acexp/
Mountain Highway in North Vancouver proves ACE XP can stand up to traffic and weather
In August 2017, a stretch of Mountain Highway between Lynn Valley and Frederick Roads in North Vancouver, BC, was beginning to crack under increasing levels of traffic. The road, classified by the District of North Vancouver as a minor arterial road, saw daily traffic counts exceeding 3,000 vehicles per day in both directions including bus and truck traffic.
The district needed a solution that would not require a significant modification to the existing road section, but one that would also allow the pavement to stand up to a steadily mounting number of vehicles, plus the rainy climate of the area.
BA Blacktop, working with Surface Tech, added 600 tonnes of ACE XP Polymer Fibers® to the 65mm mill and replacement overlay project. The addition of ACE XP increased the fatigue resistance of the pavement, making the 65mm thick asphalt overlay equivalent to 80mm of unreinforced asphalt.
BA Blacktop found the onsite mixing process easy, and Surface Tech’s dosing equipment ensured the fibers distributed evenly throughout the mix.
Four years later, the results speak for themselves. An inspection in March 2021 showed no observable cracking in the road section, proving once again that ACE XP Polymer Fibers® makes asphalt pavements strong enough to withstand bruising traffic and weather without cracking or rutting.
For details on how you can add the toughness of ACE XP to your next asphalt paving project, visit https://surface-tech.com/pilot-program-acexp/
Surface Tech announced today the addition of a seasoned asphalt paving professional to its team to serve the Arizona and Las Vegas areas. Travis Elliott brings 20 years of experience in the petroleum, chemical and road construction industries. His background includes more than a decade learning the operational aspects of refineries and terminals where he gained an in-depth knowledge of the variety of oils and additives used by the asphalt industry.
Over the past eight years, Elliott has concentrated on road construction and developed a passion for pavement preservation. As a sales manager for Ultrapave Corporation and Valero Asphalt Company, he worked with agencies, associations, and asphalt paving companies to help them design asphalt mixes that would mitigate common problems found within the industry.
His passion for pavement preservation makes Elliott an excellent fit for Surface Tech, a company dedicated to providing innovative, proven solutions for the construction industry. He is a results-driven professional who can bring logistical experience and a proven ability to analyze data and make common sense operational decisions to help our clients achieve asphalt mixes designed to prevent cracks and ruts and last longer.
For information on the wide range of asphalt paving solutions offered by Surface Tech in the Arizona and Las Vegas area, contact Travis Elliott.
Here are a dozen reasons why you should check it out NOW:
ACE XP Polymer Fiber®…
- Offers a revolutionary new solution to improve cracking and rutting in asphalt pavements, making them stronger and last longer. It’s not your grandfather’s fiber.
- Exceeds most other additives in adding proven crack and rut resistance to any asphalt mix — and it lays and compacts cleanly and consistently.
- Zeros out missing the density bonus because the polymer binder cured faster than the roller could compact it.
- Eliminates the mess associated with other fibers — goes into any mix with no flyaway fibers.
- Provides easy, accurate plant dosing with Surface Tech equipment.
- Offers a solid, efficient-to-place interlayer alternative (our ARMI™ solution) that does away with expensive and risky fabric interlayers and third-party contractors.
- Avoids having to clean sticky polymer or rubber mixes that build up in silos, truck beds, tools, and equipment.
- Eliminates the cost of new mix designs required with a binder bump.
- Skips the scheduling nightmares of reserving empty binder tanks for polymer jobs.
- Wins the scheduling fight with binder suppliers who only offer certain oils at certain times — you can store and use ACE XP 24/7/365.
- Sidesteps the loss of tonnage per round due to mix build-up in the bed.
- Saves money by not paying a backhoe operator to dig the rubber mix out of the truck bed.
And the best reason of all:
ACE XP Polymer Fibers® bring an end to wishing there was a better and easier way to get stronger, longer-lasting asphalt pavements!
Surface Tech announced today it is in the process of taking a major step forward in its commitment to sustainability — obtaining Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) on all of its products.
EPDs are independently verified and registered documents that communicate transparent and comparable information of the lifecycle environmental impact of products. EPDs are defined as a type III environmental declaration that is compliant with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14025 Standard.
EPDs enable planners, architects, owners, general contractors, developers and engineers to make smart decisions when choosing materials for construction projects. Project planners can also use EPD information to contribute to credits in LEED® and other green building certifications.
Submitting its products to the rigorous review required to obtain an EPD is a testimony not only to a commitment to sustainability in general, but also to the confidence the company places in its products to deliver on its promise to build a sustainable future.
China, India, Japan, US, Canada and Germany all have one thing in common when it comes to paving asphalt roads. These countries discovered how polymeric modifiers can add toughness and longevity to asphalt pavements. Yet many contractors, government agencies and developers in North America continue to abandon the technologies and or modifiers that Superpave was supposed to identify. Instead, they still utilize the same old, not-so-super asphalt mixes. Why do they persist in settling for sub-par pavements?
According to a report by Asphalt Additives Market, “the lack of awareness about asphalt additives among contractors and road builders in the emerging economies is a key challenge to the additives market.” We spend a lot of time talking to people in the asphalt industry here in the US and Canada, and we can attest that the same lack of awareness exists here, too.
Over the past five years, a variety of white papers and research studies have taken on the seemingly Herculean task of concocting the perfect asphalt mix design. They’ve studied Superpave, the Marshall method, Balanced Mix Design, the relationship between air voids and density, and more.
At this point, we have only one message to all of them, and we’re shouting it from the rooftops: Aramid polymer fibers improve any mix, any time — and they don’t require changes to the mix.
Surface Tech has developed a line of aramid polymer fiber solutions, like ACE XP® and AQU XP®, that work seamlessly with virtually any asphalt mix. The fibers are nearly invisible in the mix and don’t create a nuisance in laying the asphalt like other additives can. They simply work. They work easily in both the mix and the application process, and they yield a paved surface that has incredible tensile strength to resist both rutting and especially cracking.
Call us to find out more. We can provide tons of data, case studies and contractors you can call who have used the ACE XP® and AQU XP® products. It’s your opportunity to learn from people who have discovered the ease of adding these fibers and smoothing the mix into beautiful, strong-as-steel pavements. We can prove our products work, and work for the long haul.
So we ask you: Why settle for bad pavements when there’s an easier, better mix solution? Isn’t it time you got up to speed on what aramid polymer fiber additives can do for your next project?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your road to better pavements.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet wrestled for years with pavements that failed to live up to lifespan expectations on a busy 74-mile stretch of the Bluegrass Parkway. To add life, reduce maintenance and ease traveler’s construction woes, they turned to Surface Tech for an old problem (cracking) and extend pavement life.
In the past, the KYTC used a PG76-22 binder heavy duty mix, which virtually eliminated the rutting issues that plagued the state in the 1980s. However, the mix tended to develop premature cracking. A mix like PG76-28 would better control the cracking, but this binder grade is hard to come by and more expensive.
Five years ago, KYTC began substituting ACE XP® polymer fibers to both PG76-22 and PG64-22 binder mixes to evaluate this simple and effective way to control cracking. The fibers add an equivalent 4 to 6 degrees to the top and bottom PG grade of the final asphalt mix performance. As a result, a single dose of ACE XP® provides a mix that performs similar to a PG82-28 when added to a PG76-22, but at a substantial cost savings and readily available.
Over a three-week period in June 2019, Mago Construction Company installed 15,000 tons of ACE XP® polymer-fiber-reinforced asphalt in a 2-inch overlay on both the east- and westbound lanes of the parkway for approximately 5 miles starting in Versailles proceeding west. It was the Mago’s first ACE XP® project, and despite being a little nervous of the aramid fiber technology, they went forward and were delighted with the ease of adoption of ACE XP Polymer Fiber.
The project was sold through Site Supply and included the use of Surface Tech’s automated dosing machine. Representatives from Site Supply and Surface Tech provided training on the dosing equipment, and after day one, Mago staff ran the entire project themselves. The ACE XP® (polymer) reinforcing fibers were easily added at the plant and did not require a new mix design. Much to Mago’s delight, the project proceeded smoothly.
Two winters have come and gone with February 2021 exposing the pavement to around 4°F The pavement now has had enough time, wear, and temperature fluctuations for a standard 2” overlay using PG76-22 to begin to show early cracking. Yet the ACE XP® polymer fiber section of the Bluegrass Parkway shows no visible signs of cracking despite this unusually cold 2021 winter.
As an added bonus, when this section of the Bluegrass Parkway does require a new overlay, KYTC will be able to re-use the ACE XP® polymer fiber millings into the new mix if so desired. Contrary to paving fabrics that create a waste product, the ACE XP® fibers can be milled up and reused as a powerful RAP resource.
Want to supercharge your asphalt to resist cracking and rutting and save money at the same time? Looking for an easy way to add strength to the mix design you normally use? Tired of settling for short-lived, cracking pavements? Give us a call. We have a proven way to achieve better, stronger, longer-lasting roadways. It’s a winner. Put it to work on your next project.
The Superpave asphalt design method traces its roots back to 1984 when the Transportation Research Board (TRB) called for investments in badly needed research to create better and longer-lasting highways. Funding in 1987 and 1991 yielded a complex research process under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) of which the major portion of funding was allocated to advances in asphalt pavements. That finally resulted in the introduction of Superpave in 1992, an acronym of sorts for Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements.
Superpave outlines performance-based specifications for asphalt binder and volumetric mixture design. Performance-based means the binder needs to be classified based on its performance to temperatures and aging. Design means grounded in traffic loading and environmental conditions and also testing of the mix design to predict how it will perform.
Spring forward to 2021, now almost 30 years out from its debut, and the question begs: Is Superpave still valid for designing asphalt pavements?
Where does Superpave work well — and where does it come up short?
Superpave was launched in 1993 with three levels. Levels 2 and 3 are supposed to add performance-level testing to check design assumptions. However, only Level 1 was adopted due to the complexity of Levels 2 and 3.
“Superpave leaped the industry forward from 1950’s technology to 2000. It was lightyears ahead of what we had, where we measured viscosity and used hammers to simulate roller compaction. Like any research project, more was needed. Overconfidence in the simplified system has led to the shortcomings we see today,” said Phil Blankenship, president, Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training.
“The Superpave liquid binder specification worked well in defining high temperature rutting and low temperature cracking parameters, but the intermediate cracking parameter was defined for crude sources dating back to the 1990s.”
Modifiers, including polymers, were not included in the original binder study initially and were not well understood. As a result, the intermediate temperature parameter was not initially well-defined because of its complexity and therefore failed to correlate back to intermediate temperature cracking.
“Many believe this intermediate temperature parameter contributes to the cracking issue that we see today,” said Blankenship.
“Before Superpave, the major form of distress in the US was rutting. In an effort to eliminate that distress, Superpave administrators used a belt-and-suspenders approach. First, aggregate specifications were introduced to agg requirements for crushed faces, uncompacted voids, and more that were somewhat revolutionary. Second, to be sure no rutting would occur, administrators led with over-compaction of laboratory samples. The over-compaction produced mixtures that were most likely lower in asphalt content than needed but extremely rut resistant. This, I believe, is why we see the extensive cracking that we see today.”
How can we address the shortcomings of Superpave?
For Blankenship, the answer is simple. Move to an improved mix design method.
“The answer to fix the shortcomings call for bringing back Levels 2 and 3 in the form of the Balanced Mix Design method,” he said. “This is where we add a performance-level, or proof tests such as the Hamburg Wheel Tracker and IDEAL-CT, to verify the assumptions we make.”
Today, we call Level 2 or 3 “Balanced Mix Design (BMD)” or “Performance Engineered Mixtures (PEM)”.
What benefits do Balanced Mix Design and IDEAL-CT add to Superpave?
Both testing methods allow mix designs to vault into the 2020s — into a mix world that differs greatly from the 1990s. Aggregates sources naturally continue to vary since these sources are mined and ledges change. Asphalt binders vary too, since they are downstream (last) from the refining process, and we must take what we get.
New, cutting-edge materials, such as the polyaramid fibers found in ACE XP®, ARMI™, and REARM HR® from Surface Tech show proven capabilities to yield asphalt mixes that arrest cracks and provide the flexibility needed to resist rutting. In balanced testing alone, ACE XP® yields an improvement of 30 to 50 percent in both rutting and cracking performance.
We invite you to join us in urging Superpave adherents to take another look at relying solely on Level 1 methodology and instead embrace BMD and PEM to put the “Super” back in Superpave.
It’s a new asphalt world today. Surface Tech is committed to seek and deliver solutions to bad paving designs with new, innovative technologies and revolutionary new materials that make roads stronger and last longer. After 30 years, we believe the time has come for new thinking about a now outdated Superpave.
The bad news: Old, outmoded paving solutions die hard
We all hope the vaccines against COVID-19 will put an end to the pandemic and allow the country to return to some semblance of normal. But as the roads gradually fill up again, what problems will emerge for the paving industry?
Tight budgets, for one. Shelter-in-place orders have depressed sales and gas tax revenues, so expect to see projects pushed into the future wherever possible. However, potholes still need filling, and severely cracked, rutted and otherwise degraded roads will still command attention.
That brings us to the real problem: Time-valued paving solutions increasingly fail to live up to today’s lifespan needs and expectations. The dirty secret in our industry is the degradation of raw materials — the oil, rock and sand that help make asphalt roads stand up to wear and tear. Either they’re not available in close-by locations anymore, or what is available simply doesn’t pass muster.
Yet people keep plugging forward with a dutiful adherence to the old methods, the old mixtures — in essence, doing the same old thing, over and over again, and hoping for better results. To put it bluntly, it’s time to face reality—raw materials have changed. Why haven’t you?
In fact, over the past decade new materials have been discovered, fine-tuned, tested and proven effective at creating asphalt mixes that will stop roads from failing to live up to lifespan budget expectations.
Surface Tech has developed a line of products that utilize cutting-edge, high-tech fibers that give roads the strength and flexibility needed to minimize cracking and rutting. Our polymer aramid fibers are NOT your grandfather’s fibers, and we can prove it.
Tired of dry, cracking mixes? Wish you could use up to 50 percent RAP? Fed up with third-party fabric contractors and wish there was a better way? Does achieving greater sustainability in your next pavement project seem too hard?
Give us a call, our pavement solutions save money, time and are focused on building a sustainable future. For 2021, the choice is simple. Stick with the same old mix and hope for the best, or try something new — especially if it's proven, affordable and easy to do.
It’s time to Supercharge Your Mix with new materials. What have you got to lose?
Aspen View Homes in Colorado Springs, CO, put a concrete mix containing Surface Tech’s JUNO XP®, alternative supplemental cementitious material (ASCM), to the test earlier this month. Carlos Salcedo, Corporate VP of Operations with View Homes, was intrigued by the cost savings JUNO XP® can provide and wanted to see how the mix performed in their patio placement. Trevit Smith, Director of Construction for Colorado, and Shawna Marie, Purchasing Manager for Colorado, worked with Surface Tech’s John McConahy, Corporate Sales Director, Concrete Products Division, to get the pilot started.
The concrete batching, pumping, and placement process was monitored by Dr. Jon Belkowitz, Vice President Research and Development from Intelligent Concrete. Specs called for a 4,000 psi air-entrained mix, optimized for the addition of JUNO XP®, which allowed for a 10 percent cement reduction while still providing normal setting characteristics Colorado’s winter weather conditions. The truck left the plant at 8:06 am and arrived on site 25 minutes later.
JUNO XP® was added in 25-pound pulpable bags following the concrete’s discharge from the central mix plant into the ready-mix truck. The concrete was pumped on site to the back patio. The 4.75-inch slump concrete pumped, placed, and finished with ease without any addition of water.
Both the ready-mix supplier and the contractor — Transit Mix Concrete and PTL Concrete — were pleased with the way the concrete pumped and finished.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase JUNO XP®’s capabilities, both in performance and in cost savings,” said McConahy. “JUNO XP® is suitable as a partial substitute for traditional cement in both standard and specialty concrete applications. It is a beneficial strategy for any Ready Mix Concrete Supplier, Contractor, or Home Builder seeking to lower costs, or to meet the challenges of supplemental cementitious material shortages that now plague many parts of the country.”
For more information on JUNO XP® and what it can do for your next concrete mix, contact John McConahy.
Customer satisfaction with our products and services is the highest priority at Surface Tech, even more so as we enter an important new year. We welcome Kellen Costantino as our newest Quality Control Technician. Kellen will be in charge of attending to the full line of Surface Tech dosing equipment, with an initial concentration on the asphalt side.
As the company’s primary QC go-to, he is charged with delivering a high-level customer experience primarily at plant site. With the advent of new and upgraded equipment, Kellen will play a key role in assisting customers.
Kellen brings several years of hands-on experience with Surface Tech’s automated fiber dosing machines, so plant familiarity is engrained. To start, his service area will be concentrated in the western half of the U.S.
We look forward to the extra level of customer satisfaction that Kellen will bring to Surface Tech’s product and service offerings. Welcome aboard, Kellen!
Surface Tech is honored to have Vince Aurilio, P. Eng. join our Advisory Board. His wealth of experience in Canada, and his knowledge of Canadian pavement designs spans more than 38 years, with more than two decades of practical experience with SuperPave. Vince is a licensed professional engineer with specialization in pavement design, rehabilitation and maintenance as well as materials engineering for roadways and airports, in both the private and public transportation sectors.
Most recently, Mr. Aurilio has been advancing the use of the Asphalt Mix Performance Tester (AMPT) for evaluating and improving the performance characteristics of hot mix and warm mix asphalt for airport and roadway applications. He is also a strong proponent in the application of Balanced Mix Design (BMD) to improve pavement performance.
Mr. Aurilio’s knowledge and experience will be a great asset to Surface Tech as we continue to strive to develop cost-effective, technological solutions for the pavement industry.
For a young man, Alexei Ondrick has already logged an impressive number of years in the asphalt industry. He grew up working summers and weekends in his family’s asphalt business in Western Massachusetts.
After studying business administration at Eastern Nazarene College, Alexei officially launched his career with EZ Street Asphalt, covering more than 20 states for the company’s cold patch business sector.
Alexei became familiar with Surface Tech through a distributor company, where he was tasked with growing the ACE XP® aramid polymer fiber offering. His in-depth knowledge of the asphalt business, combined with an understanding of the benefits Surface Tech offers, makes Alexei a well-versed resource for our customers in the Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas areas.
Welcome aboard, Alexei!
Everyone can agree that 2020 was a year for the record books. As an essential industry, we certainly faced many challenges due to COVID-19. With the coming vaccine, we’re all hoping for an improved new year, at least in the area of personal health. But what about the health of the asphalt industry? Here are a few of the challenges we see on the horizon for 2021:
Congress thankfully passed a one-year extension of the surface transportation reauthorization programs this year, but a multi-year highway bill is still much needed. There is hope that the new administration and Congress can come together to address our sagging infrastructure.
Congress faces a tremendous amount of pressure from a public fed up with crumbling bridges and bumpy roads. Unfortunately, it seems unwilling or unable to create funding that provides for long-term infrastructure planning. Whether we’ll be stuck with the same old one-year-to-the-next, Band-Aid approach to funding remains to be seen.
At the state and local levels, the COVID pandemic has negatively impacted tax revenues, forcing belt-tightening. The paving industry has developed new and needed solutions to cracking and rutting problems, but a low-bid environment can make it difficult to get them into play.
Possible binder shortages
Asphalt binder is a refined product, and refineries are closing or idling due to a decrease in demand caused by the pandemic and environmental pressures. The looming binder crisis started in the mid-2000s, when the number of refineries making asphalt dropped due to improvements in coker units that enabled them to squeeze more fuel from crude. Refineries that use cokers now produce asphalt in lower-to-none quantities. Adding insult to injury, fuel demand is not expected to rebound to pre-COVID levels anytime soon — maybe never.
New fuel regulations from the International Maritime Organization calling for reductions of sulfur content may also impact the asphalt industry. The regulations could create more asphalt supply, but the regulations are voluntary, but maybe not, as it’s expected that most shippers will comply.
Polymer modified asphalt binders will be affected as well since both are derived from petroleum. Hence, polymer modified asphalt (PMA) will be increasingly hard to produce as well. It’s obvious, too, that the price for both base binders and PMAs could surpass many project budgets.
The struggle toward adopting new mix designs
The Superpave mix design method has served as the go-to for more than 30 years in the United States. It has undergone several revisions in an effort to improve the durability and performance of asphalt mixes, but it’s certainly beginning to show its age. The increased use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) now challenges contractors and agencies to find a new mix design method that will reliably produce durable, long lasting pavements. The trend over the last 20 years has been one-sided — fixing the ruts at the expense of the cracks.
The development of new design approaches, such as the Balanced Mix Design or Performance Engineered Mixes came into being to address the need for creating pavement designs that perform well in resisting both rutting and cracking. Both show exemplary results in their ability to devise mixes that perform well both in terms of workability and longevity.
Unfortunately, Superpave is as embedded in the paving lexicons as aggregate is in asphalt. Superpave5 (based on adjusting volumetric design targets) attempts to put some distance between the design methods of the 1970s, when Superpave was initially developed. But this is proof positive that Superpave’s roots in the industry go deep and pulling them toward newer, better methods will require patience and persistence.
Where are the opportunities?
Obviously, we have to get creative when it comes to meeting project needs within budget constraints. Surface Tech has developed a range of products that combine para-aramid fibers, well-researched mineralogy and advanced mix design methodologies to build stronger, longer-lasting pavements.
In the end, our industry has to wake up to the fact that smarter mixes do exist. We’ve developed mixes with ACE XP® polymer fibers that can replace typical pavement repairs with high performance, thinner overlays that improve the repair, save money and extend the service life better than overlays of the past.
We’ve pioneered mixes like ARMI™ that can cut costs in interlayer constructions by eliminating third party fabrics and extending the service life of the repaired asphalt pavement. And our REARM HR can help replace that missing asphalt supply with existing RAP piles — using up to 50 percent RAP content while still improving performance. And these are just a few examples of the solutions we offer.
Sure, there are challenges ahead, but at Surface Tech we believe in innovation, technology and never giving up. 2021? Bring it on.
Jordan Sandquist, Quality Control Manager of Hall Paving in Louisville, KY, believes in the superior performance that Surface Tech’s ACE XP® para-aramid fibers provide to his paving projects. He sees it not only in the longer life the fibers provide to the pavement, but also in the testing numbers.
“I haven’t found anything that compares to ACE XP®. I’ve compared it to the best testing numbers that others offer and compared it to testing numbers that I have run myself, and none have approached ACE XP®.”
Sandquist points out how additives often affect the properties of asphalt. When using additives, if the Gmm (Maximum Specific Gravity) goes up, the density decreases. However, with ACE XP® he sees an increase in the density even though the Gmm patterns higher. He also appreciates how easily ACE XP® reinforced pavement goes down. His crews have no complaints.
“I’m prone to say adding ACE XP® is not just a theoretical good thing. Now there’s proof. To have something like this that you can show to municipalities, and when they see how well it performs, compared to other paving options, it’s evidence. It’s not just me making a claim.”
As for long-term performance, Sandquist can point to several projects. In 2015, the company paved a couple-mile test section on heavily traveled Dixie Highway (US31). A one-mile section served as a control, and portions of the other were reinforced with ACE XP®. The ACE XP® overlay section turned out so well, the University of Kentucky’s Transportation Center will reference it in an upcoming white paper.
“The first year out there was minimal cracking in both sections. They both looked the same. But from there on out, the cracking on the ACE XP® reinforced section basically stopped. The difference is now astronomical. It proves how good this product is for overlays and for base.”
Another project paved in 2015 involved firming up an overlay on a road leading to a section of The Parklands for the City of Louisville.
“It’s doing well compared to the other side in a residential area that was paved the spring after, without ACE XP®. That side is already showing wear, even though the roadway leading to the Parklands experiences more traffic with lots of turns at higher speeds.”
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has recently begun using ACE XP® on select projects, and Hall Contracting has increased its ACE XP® reinforced paving to above 30,000 tons per year on Louisville city streets, with a goal of using even more RAP (recycled asphalt pavement) on Louisville city streets with Surface Tech’s new REARM HR™ technology.
“We’ve worked with Phil Blankenship and BATT Labs to develop innovative paving solutions. He’s the godfather of Strata and developer of Surface-Tech’s new ARMI Interlayer, and Hall has provided more of this type of work in Kentucky than almost any other contractor. Phil always promotes a different perspective and brings new options our way.”
Working with BATT Labs and Surface Tech aligns neatly with the company’s goal of developing a reputation for providing a high-quality mix that adds minimal cost.
“Several years ago, we set out to find innovative solutions that would help us compete better. We told ourselves, ‘Let’s be the most innovative and have the best asphalt.’ We now have videos on trucks to show the results we’re getting. Sometimes data is hard to quantify, but actually seeing firsthand results with ACE XP® versus traditional, it’s hard to argue with that.”
Poor performing mixes in the past have given recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) a bad rap, but Surface Tech has developed a new mix design system that can go head-to-head with lower RAP mixes in both crack and rut resistant performance.
Surface Tech’s REARM HR can help increase the amount of RAP in your mix up to 50 percent while adding toughness and tensile strength to boot. And it can all be accomplished without increasing costs. That means you can add years of life to your next pavement project and save on maintenance in the process.
Surface Tech developed REARM HR specifically to solve RAP woes. In the past, mixes with high-RAP content turned brittle and performed poorly. With REARM, you can add a higher percentage of RAP with confidence. It combines Surface Tech’s aramid fiber product with an engineered bio oil to produce a superior mix design that goes down smoothly and won’t get brittle.
Let us partner with you to help responsibly reduce those stockpiles of RAP with a high-quality mix you can count on. With Surface Tech’s REARM HR technology, you get cost control, ease of use at the plant or onsite, and plenty of supply. And you can finally tell those RAP mountains to take a hike.
For more information, contact us.
A 250-meter stretch of Mountain Highway in the District of North Vancouver was showing signs of fatigue cracking. The thin pavement endures an ever-increasing amount of traffic, but a solution was needed that would not require significant modifications to the existing road.
BA Blacktop paved a 65mm mill and replacement overlay consisting of 600 tons of ACE XP® Polymer Fiber reinforced surface asphalt. The reinforced mix increases the fatigue resistance of the pavement, equivalent to 80mm of unreinforced asphalt pavement.
The key to the strength of the reinforced pavement lies in the physical properties of ACE XP — wax-binded para-aramid polymer fibers.
Para-aramid polymer fibers provide outstanding strength, flexibility and abrasion tolerance.
To create ACE XP®, these high-tensile-strength fibers are bundled and coated with the wax to produce an asphalt additive that is simple to mix with any WMA or HMA in both drum and batch operations.
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.
With ACE XP® in the asphalt mix, you get a tougher pavement that will stand up to harsh weather and traffic conditions, even if you pave it 65mm thick rather than 80mm. For more information on how Surface Tech products can make your pavement stronger and last longer, contact us.
Hall Paving in Louisville, KY, recently discovered the sweet spot for using more RAP while keeping costs in line with traditional low-RAP pavement mixes. It’s a new development from Surface Tech called REARM HR™, the combination of a highly engineered bio-oil and aramid fibers that allows up to 50% RAP usage. This REAM HR™ project utilized the following in the 3/8” 5 NMAS; 5.6% PG64-22 total AC mix design:
Lampton Avenue Project — 10-14-2020
- 36% RAP (recycled asphalt pavement)
- TUFFTREK 4007
- ACE XP POLYMER FIBER™ from Surface Tech
A total of 900 tons was produced for the three-mile project. Hall Paving succeeded in developing a mix design that added ACE XP POLYMER FIBER™ to every ton of asphalt at a neutral cost. The mix also increased the percentage of RAP over the standard 20% RAP design, while maintaining the cracking and rutting performance of lower RAP % mixes.
ACE XP POLYMER FIBER™ aramid fibers strengthen the asphalt mix by providing increased tensile flexibility, which improves both cracking and rutting performance. TUFFTREK 4007 softens the virgin binder to compensate for the aged binder from the higher percentage RAP content. The resulting pavement resists rutting in hot weather and cracking through cold winters.
Final analysis: Pavement that lasts longer and requires less maintenance over its life span. In other words, the same up-front cost + lower maintenance costs = Big Win.
“Hall Paving was extremely excited about the way the mix went down and compacted,” said Joe Dennis, Surface Tech’s Chief Technical Officer for Asphalt. And the City was blown away by the look and performance going down. It’s really a smooth roadway.”
This mix was under the microscope! Blankenship Asphalt Tech and Training (BATT) assisted Surface Tech in testing and developing the successful formula and verified the mix with Hamburg Wheel Tracker and IDEAL-CT testing for rut and crack resistance. Surface Tech provided quality control support on site during production. S&ME was also on site to check overall quality on behalf of Louisville Metro.
Hall Paving used a pump system for adding TuffTrek 4007 from totes in line with the PG64-22 asphalt binder and dosed the ACE XP POLYMER FIBER™ into the HMA plant using Surface Tech’s Automated Micro Doser – MD3+. All parties agreed, the results were outstanding.
If you’re ready to increase the amount of RAP in your next project, plus get a tougher pavement at no extra cost, contact us.
The advent of Surface Tech’s new ACE XP pavement overlay solution utilizes one of the strongest man-made fibers in existence — para aramid. ACE XP in a hot-mix, hot-laid overlay application can go head-to-head with typical fabric interlay applications in terms of cost. But in terms of performance, ACE XP comes out on top. It’s faster and easier to apply and more effective in reducing cracks.
A mix reinforced with ACE XP can be laid, worked, rolled and finished exactly the same as a regular mix with no special steps needed from the lay down crew. And as a bonus, ACE XP is fully recyclable. With paving fabrics, millings often go to the landfill. That makes ACE XP the sustainable choice for long-term pavement owners.
“We’ve had a lot of success with ACE XP in overlays, because once contractors use it, they love it,” said Michael Scardina, Regional Sales Director. “It’s a faster install, more crack resistant, and as a plant mix product, there’s no need for third party contractors so all the job profit stays in-house.”
ACE XP turns regular asphalt into a high-performance overlay, with the advantage of a faster and more consistent installation process. And since the overall cost of ACE XP competes well with the overall cost of installed paving fabrics, the only remaining question in your mind should be, “Why haven’t I tried it?”
For more information on ACE XP and other paving innovations from Surface Tech, contact us.
REARM HR, (formerly called SMART RAP) Surface Tech’s new sustainable technology that increases the use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) in asphalt mixes, made a positive impression on ATS Construction on a recent project in Lexington.
“ATS was achieving 95 to 96 percent compaction in the field with six roller passes. They were super impressed, and the project went very smoothly,” said Joe Dennis, Surface Tech’s Chief Technology Officer for Asphalt.
Two separate roadways were paved with a mix design that consisted of 45% RAP with 5.7% total binder content. A section of Cedar Road utilized a 150-ton mix comprised of a single dose (4.2 oz. / Plant Mix Ton) of Surface Tech’s 38mm para-aramid polymer fiber product along with TUFFTREK 4007 (4.2% of total asphalt content) by Georgia Pacific Chemical, an engineered bio-oil. The Cedar Road REARM HR additives were mixed with the PG 58-28 Binder and replaced a 15% RAP mix with a 45% RAP mix.
On Mercer Road, a 250-ton mix using PG 58-22 utilized a double dose (8.4 oz. / Plant Mix Ton) of Surface Tech’s 38mm para-aramid polymer fiber with the same percentage of the engineered bio-oil. The double dose of the para-aramid polymer fiber was used to replace the PG 76-22 binder used in the 15% RAP control section to ensure rutting control in the REARM HR mix. Both mixes achieved 47.5% total binder replacement.
REARM HR solves the age-old problem of premature cracking in RAP mixes while also increasing the amount of RAP content from a typical 15% up to 50%. TUFFTREK 4007 softens the virgin binder to offset the oxidized RAP binder, while the para-aramid polymer fibers provide reinforcement to improve both rutting and cracking resistance in the final mixture.
“Overall, I have to say this project was one of the best asphalt pavements I have seen to date,” said Dennis. “We’re looking forward to working with Hall Construction in early October when we’ll place another 800 tons using REARM HR.”
LA JOLLA – REARM HR, a product from Surface Tech, LLC allows higher Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) asphalt concrete mix designs to meet performance requirements while lowering costs.
RAP, a recycled product used in hot mix asphalt, typically has to be used in lower concentrations than the dosages available with REARM HR in order to meet performance specifications.
Surface Tech’s REARM HR uses their ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ and includes TUFFTREK 4007 from Georgia-Pacific Chemicals. By varying the dosage of each product, field tests and lab studies indicate high RAP mix designs with these products can provide equal to, or enhanced cracking and rutting performance compared to that of lower RAP mixes. These high RAP designs reduce the amount of virgin binder and virgin aggregate needed, resulting in lower costs.
ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ is used to reinforce the resulting combined binder with 10 to 20 million individual high strength 38mm aramid fibers, depending on dosage. TUFFTREK 4007 is used to soften the virgin binder’s PG which compensates for the additional aged RAP binder.
“This is a SMART choice for asphalt producers,” says Joe Dennis, VP & Chief Technical Officer at Surface Tech. “TUFFTREK 4007 and ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ are introduced at the plant during production. This puts the control with the plant and allows for the HIGH RAP mixes to be started and stopped as necessary to accommodate other manufacturing needs.”
“We are excited that Surface Tech is able to use our product for this innovative asphalt additive that has the potential to reshape the way we think about high-RAP mixes in road construction,” says Ryan Lynch, Senior Commercial Development Manager at Georgia-Pacific Chemicals.
Fig 1 – IDEAL CT and Hamburg Wheel Tracker Data for Control Mix with 5.6% PG 64-22 Virgin Binder and 20% RAP. High Rap Mix with 36% RAP, TUFFTREK 4007 & 38mm ACE XP Polymer Fiber. Testing Performed by Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training.
His work on the Advisory Board will further the efficacy of Surface Tech's current and future product lines. Phil will be instrumental in shaping the culture as we lean forward into the 2021 and beyond.
Phil will also continue providing R&D support to Surface Tech as principal of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training PLLC (BATT).
“Along with Phil’s extensive knowledge and experience, the BATT Lab will serve as a testing resource for Surface Tech, in much the same roles as Intelligent Concrete and Beton serve for our concrete products. Both companies have assisted Surface Tech in driving innovation in the past, and we are pleased to solidify these relationships as we strive for continued innovation in the future,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech.
Surface Tech is pleased to announce the addition of two outstanding professionals to its Board of Directors as well as its Advisory Board.
Neil Tunmore brings an extensive background and experience at Intel Corporation in senior positions in Finance, HR, Facilities and Construction. He focuses on execution, strong leadership and clarity of strategy and vision. The challenge of driving change in the construction industry drew him to facilities management and global construction. Neil is also drawn to innovation and disruption in the construction industry and embraces trying new methods and materials.
Jeff Grillo is president of JLG Construction Management; he is a managing partner with World Wide Professional Solutions and a principal of Thornton, Grillo and Esparza. As a construction operations and supply chain executive, he has worked to create solutions that close the gap between the owner and supply chain capabilities. The three companies he stewards align to provide collaborative strategies, offer construction management teams and supply high-rise office and residential design/build solutions.
The combined knowledge and experience of both make Neil and Jeff an ideal fit for the Surface Tech Board of Directors, and we are honored to have them join us.
Surface Tech’s micro dosing machinery — the MD3 — takes the guesswork out of the process of mixing ACE XP Polymer Fibers® into produced asphalt. And now a new online course helps remove the guesswork on how to operate the system.
The MD3 dosing system delivers a highly calibrated method for adding ACE XP Polymer Fibers® to any asphalt mixture, and once you achieve certification, you’re ready to operate the MD3 and put it to work on your next project.
The entire course takes less than an hour to complete. It combines text and video to walk you through the process of set-up, operation, and tear down and storage. The certification test at the end provides instant feedback on your answers, and you can retake it as many times as needed in order to achieve 100 percent.
Contractors who have come to depend on ACE XP Polymer Fibers® to make asphalt more durable and long-lasting will definitely appreciate how the MD3 provides a foolproof process for adding the fibers to the mix.
Operators tell us they find the MD3 dosing system to be extremely user friendly. It can serve as a permanent plant fixture or be outfitted in a cargo trailer for mobility purposes. It sets up in minutes and can be operated by one person.
The training program is easy to follow, and most producers will find it’s a cinch to get certified. To get started on your certification, contact your Surface Tech representative for access.
Virginia DOT has witnessed how the Balanced Mix Design (BMD) methodology can lead to better paving solutions in the laboratory, and now the agency is taking it to the streets with a new field-testing initiative. At the end of August, Colony Construction paved two sections of Route 903 in Mecklenburg County, VA (Richmond District) using VDOT’s new BMD approach for asphalt pavement design.
REARM HR, (formerly known as SMART RAP) Surface Tech’s new sustainable technology, was chosen to be evaluated alongside a control pavement. The technology has proven effective on VDOT’s required cracking and rutting performance under the BMD Initiative, while also increasing the use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) from 15% to 35%.
Two challenges were overcome with this mix design. First, the location of Colony Construction’s Plant — 50+ miles from the worksite — posed a compaction and temperature concern. Second, the available RAP or millings, sourced mostly from county road rehabilitation where the average roadway is repaved almost half as often as other VDOT roadways, left the resulting RAP binder considerably oxidized and hard.
Colony Construction’s RAP pile graded out at PG 110 (10), which made it mandatory to soften this RAP binder before it could be used in BMD, especially since the test called for adding more than 15% RAP to the mixture. A 35% RAP content was not envisioned when the project started in lab testing.
A 1,400-ton section of Route 903 utilized a single dose (4.2 oz. / Plant Mix Ton) of Surface Tech’s 38mm para-aramid polymer fiber product along with TUFFTREK 4007 (3.4% of total asphalt content) by Georgia Pacific Chemical, an engineered bio-oil. The REARM HR additives were mixed with the PG 58-28 Binder, in a 6.0% Asphalt Content with a 35% RAP mix.
The mix was produced in Colony Construction’s plant in Burkeville, VA, which is approximately an hour away from the paving location just north of the North Carolina border. Consequently, a warm mix additive was also used to ensure proper compaction after the long haul and cooler installation temperatures.
At the end of the second day, a 200-ton section was laid using a double dose (8.4 oz./ Plant Mix Ton) of Surface Tech’s para-aramid polymer fibers while holding steady the TUFFTREK 4007, the RAP percentage and the binder type and quantity at the previous dosage amounts.
TUFFTREK 4007 softened the virgin binder in the oxidized RAP, while the para-aramid polymer fibers provided reinforcement to improve both rutting and cracking resistance in the final mixture. Surface Tech supplied a new dosing pump to ensure accurate dosing of the TUFFTREK bio-oil, and the company also utilized its own MD3 dosing machine to feed the para-aramid polymer fibers into the mix. The project was completed in two days at a production speed between 150 to 175 tph.
“We were able to provide a better performing asphalt and increase the use of RAP at the same time because of our technology,” said Joe Dennis, Surface Tech’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Asphalt.
Early IDEAL CT testing at the plant revealed a 25% to 40% increase in the CT INDEX over the control pavement for the single dose and a 50% increase for the double dose.
“It was great to see RAP used as part of the BMD initiative,” said Travis Cable from Colony Construction. “Of course, the REARM HR technology allowed this important resource to be utilized in a much bigger way while not sacrificing performance — truly amazing.”.
“Virginia DOT was pleased to see a high RAP mix, and especially to see it work so beautifully,” said Dennis.
The agency is now interested in putting Surface Tech’s new ARMI™ product to work. ARMI™ is the company’s revolutionary reflective crack relief interlayer solution that vastly improves crack resistance. A pilot project is planned for the spring of 2021.
New REARM HR achieves high-level performance in asphalt concrete
Poor performing mixes in the past have given RAP a bad rap, but Surface Tech and Georgia-Pacific Chemicals have developed a sustainable new mix design technology that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with traditional lower RAP mixes in both crack and rut resistant performance tests.
By combining Surface Tech’s AQU Polymer Fiber™ and TUFFTREK 4007 from Georgia Pacific Chemicals, you can achieve up to 50 percent RAP usage and reduce the amount of virgin binder and aggregates in the mix. The REARM HR technology (formerly known as SMART RAP) also allows you to reduce the use of polymer modified binders.
Best of all, you can chip away at those mountains of RAP, pave more roads at a lower cost and achieve an improved carbon footprint through recycling and lowering CO2 emissions. And you can kiss poor performance good-bye, thanks to the unique strengths of each product.
TUFFTREK 4007 is used to soften the virgin binder’s PG, which compensates for the addition of aged RAP binder. AQU Polymer Fiber™ reinforces the resulting combined binder with high strength 38mm aramid fibers. In lab tests, the IDEAL CT crack test (ASTM D8225) and the Hamburg Wheel Tracker rut test (AASHTO T324) demonstrate that REARM HR compares favorably to a low-RAP control mix.
Want to learn more? Give us a call. Let us partner with you to help reduce your stockpiles of RAP with a high-quality asphalt concrete mix you can count on — and that will give you important sustainable benefits.
For more information, contact us.
Surface Tech has applied its strength in innovation to create an e-tool that converts the fragmented ready-mix concrete buying process into one streamlined, user-friendly platform. Available for desktop with a mobile app feature, TRKR is a premier online ordering system designed specifically for the concrete industry. (The company reports TRKR for asphalt and aggregates is currently under development.)
Surface Tech designed TRKR based on real world experience for concrete contractors, logistics providers and ready-mix suppliers. It combines the best practices in supply and building with the particular needs of the concrete industry. The result is an elegant interface that simplifies common administrative tasks and improves onsite job safety and compliance.
For contractors, TRKR provides a direct link to RMX suppliers, allowing you to shop mix designs and customize the perfect concrete for your specific project. You can then schedule, pay and track the order from truck start to placement completion. Press Done and document all project data and media into one able repository.
As your order progresses, you’ll receive comprehensive reports on a daily or project-basis that you can share with clients or subcontractors. Simply put, TRKR takes the guesswork out of ordering. Moreover, TRKR improves ordering efficiency and compliance by providing documentation and performance measures.
The TRKR mobile app provides drivers the ability to capture all exchanges from pickup, to delivery, to completion — all in real time. Built-in safety features provide the ability to capture photos, video, notes, forms and test data that import into the project portfolio, also in real time. Drivers especially appreciate the auto-routing feature and the Safety Check List at each point of delivery.
TRKR Mobile also offers an easy-to-use documentation management and compliance system that improves job site visibility, efficiency and safety and also reduces the risk of construction defects.
Contractors and concrete producers alike can now automate ordering, scheduling and manage payments with ease through TRKR. Customers can pay with credit/debit cards up front, and even those who have RMX credit can pay using their normal invoicing routines. Add improved safety and job site performance, and you have a winning system for making your business run smoother.
Dario Alvarez comes on board as the newest member of our territory management team. He brings 12 years of excellent sales and marketing experience in the construction industry and adds a new level of service and responsiveness to our customers in Texas.
Dario spent seven years in asphalt sales, working with polymer modified mixes and asphalt emulsions and five years marketing preformed thermoplastic pavement markings. Most recently, he worked as the licensee manager at Ingevity where he collaborated with partner licensees to promote the company’s Mastic Surface sealant.
His experience includes outreach to DOTs, municipal agencies and private contractors as well as on-site customer service. Dario has a keen understanding of the needs and expectations from a territory manager. He strives to deliver quick solutions to problems and to place the customer’s needs as the highest priority. We welcome him as a capable and motivated member of our team.
In the presence of moisture and Portland Cement, JUNO XP™ chemically reacts with calcium hydroxide to form compounds having cementitious properties. Until now, the development of a consistent, high performing alternative supplemental cementitious material (ASCM) was met with mixed results. Surface Tech has succeeded in developing a product that increases the strength-bearing microstructure of concrete. JUNO XP™ raises the bar.
JUNO XP™ combines pozzolanic and mineral components in an innovative dry additive that improves the efficiency of Portland cement in soil cements. JUNO XP™ densifies the hydrated matrix, producing soil cement that has a higher strength per pound of cementitious material. This unique mineral composition ensures higher unconfined compressive strengths, leading to soil cements with expanded performance characteristics at a lower cost to produce.
As JUNO XP™ is mixed into soil cements, it consumes calcium hydroxide to produce more calcium-silicate-hydrate (C-S-H), which densifies the soil cement matrix and increases the strength. Fibril-like mineral structures within JUNO XP™ also increase the toughness of the hydrated cementitious matrix.
Several important breakthroughs have been achieved with JUNO XP™. For one, soil cements with JUNO XP™ achieve the required performance at a much lower cost, a major benefit for government budgets strained by cutbacks due to COVID-19. In essence, JUNO XP™ provides more strength and a longer life service life for a much lower cost.
JUNO XP™ also provides 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 as well as a means to achieve LEED credits and an improved carbon footprint for projects. Reduction of cement in mix designs can help contribute to earning LEED credits.
For more information on specific applications that can benefit from JUNO XP™ and its capabilities, contact us.
Elesia discovered ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ through extensive research while working with the Columbus Municipal Airport in Indiana. She convinced airport engineers to put the product to a test. The in-depth research she conducted on ACE XP led her to seek a career change with Surface Tech, and we welcome her as our newest Technical Sales Representative.
Elesia earned an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology and holds a B.S in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University. With her background experience in aviation management and airport development, combined with the research she conducted, Elesia can offer airport industry officials an opportunity to learn how Surface Tech products perform in runways, roads and other paving projects.
For information on Surface Tech's products, particularly in airports and port applications, contact us.
Surface Tech continues its efforts to increase services and technical support by adding Alex Snell to the team of highly qualified individuals focused on clients in Canada. As the team’s newest Account Manager, Alex will assist in Quality Assurance and training on the various applications of Surface Tech’s ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ product.
Alex was first introduced to ACE XP Polymer Fiber in 2018 and quickly became a leading advocate in its distribution, training, and management of projects. He has seen the product’s advantages firsthand and is eager to work with Owners and Engineers to introduce them to the innovative solutions that ACE XP Polymer Fiber can apply to their pavement challenges.
Alex brings more than 15 years of experience in the construction field in Alberta with companies like Volker Stevin and Nilex Inc. He knows the business from the ground up, having started as a laborer before moving to Quality Control, Project Coordinator and Project Manager/Sales. Through the years, Alex has established good relations within many sectors of the infrastructure industry, including oil/gas, MSE walls, and roads.
Alex holds a Business Degree in Marketing from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology – Calgary. We welcome him to the team. To learn more about ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ applications for Canadian infrastructure, contact us.
Surface Tech’s ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ is providing a new lease on life for North Harbor Drive in San Diego. This main artery, between downtown and the city’s international airport, rarely sees a letup of traffic. When the recent shelter-in-place orders greatly reduced the vehicle count, public works officials took advantage of the lull to repave the roadway.
SRM Materials mixed PG 64-10 with a single dose of ACE XP 38mm over the two-week-long project. Surface Tech’s MD3 auto-dosing equipment provided an easy plant-site system for precisely feeding the polymer fibers into the mix, and its user-friendly computer-control ensures accurate tracking and daily reporting of the dosage.
Paving of the 3.3-mile section required a 28 ton-equivalent of the asphalt mix in the 3-inch mill-and-fill project. Since North Harbor Road is the first roadway people travel when visiting San Diego, the city wanted an overhaul that would last long and stay strong under constant traffic pressure. ACE XP Polymer Fibers™ provide a 3-dimensional reinforcement to each ton of mix, increasing the resistance to reflective cracking, rutting and fatigue and making the asphalt stronger and last longer.
A similar ACE XP asphalt mixture was utilized this spring to repave a busy road in the Talmage neighborhood of San Diego with excellent results. By adding ACE XP Polymer Fibers™, the city can expect many years of crack- and rut-resistant service, and plans are in the works to continue using the product on future roadway projects.
For more information on ACE XP Polymer Fibers™ and other Surface Tech products, contact us.
Try it using our Good, Better, Best & Test Program
We recently introduced ARMI™, a new and vastly improved Reflective Cracking Relief Interlayer (RCRI) from Surface Tech. ARMI™ utilizes our ACE XP Polymer Fiber, made from one of the strongest man-made fibers in existence — aramid. That means the same fibers that provide armor for soldiers can now armor your next asphalt overlay to hold its ground against water penetration to the subgrade and deliver seven times greater crack resistance compared to standard asphalt mixes.
To help speed the introduction of this next-level RCRI, Surface Tech has developed the Good, Better, Best & Test Program.
Introducing the Good, Better, Best & Test Program by Surface Tech
Our 5-Step program begins by helping you better understand the condition of your existing pavement. It all starts with the numbers. The remaining steps guide you through determining which level of our Aramid Pavement Solution Platform, including ARMI , will work good, better or best with your numbers to achieve the level of performance improvement you desire for your budget.
As part of our program, we recommend using IDEAL-CT and Hamburg Wheel Test (HWT) to establish the cracking and rutting performance of your existing mix designs to set the baseline. Once this baseline is established, 4.2 oz. / ton and 8.4 oz. / ton of ACE XP Polymer Fiber should be lab mixed into these mix designs to establish the improved IDEAL-CT Index and associated HWT rut depth. This testing will provide a better Balance Mix Design protecting against both cracking and rutting.
The program works to match the right Aramid Pavement Solution with the cracking severity. Each project can then be categorized by cracking severity (Moderate, Severe and Very Severe). Once established, the correct Good, Better & Best solution can then be selected based on both performance and budget expectations.
What’s in your asphalt? Put an ARMI™ to work to help you find out!
Join us as we attack the ruts and cracks wreaking havoc on our nation’s pavements. Put our 5-Step Program to work for you — and for the entire asphalt pavement industry. Together, we can combine engineering know-how, investigation, quantification, mix design and testing to achieve the long-elusive goal of creating a balanced mix design, including RCRI, that finally conquers rutting and cracking.
For information on ARMI™ Reinforced RCRI and our Good, Better Best & Test Program, contact Joe Dennis, Chief Technology Officer for Asphalt.
Fairmont Avenue defines the western border of the Talmage neighborhood in San Diego. It endures heavy traffic year after year. When public works officials looked at repaving a section of Fairmount Avenue that runs from El Cajon Boulevard to Home Avenue, they chose an asphalt mixture with a proven track record — PG 64-10 reinforced with ACE XP polymer fiber.
For the Fairmount project, SRM Materials mixed ACE XP 38mm in a single dose on site utilizing Surface Tech’s MD3 dosing equipment. Paving of the two-mile section required 23K metric tonnes of the asphalt mix in a 3-inch mill-and-fill project, which was completed in 10 days despite the need for control of heavy traffic.
Brandon Milar, CalAPA Technical Director, recently co-authored a white paper released by the City of San Diego Public Works Department detailing the history, research and advantages of including polymer fibers in asphalt mixes. The department is well versed on the crack-resistant benefits of ACE XP and how it can add years of life to roadways, thus reducing the cost of more frequent replacements. Public works officials plan to utilize the product throughout 2020 and beyond.
Surface Tech, a global leader in asphalt and concrete additive solutions, is pleased to announce the hiring of David Hughes as Sales Director for Canada. David will manage the sales, marketing and service strategies of Surface Tech in that country.
David brings more than 25 years of experience in construction sales and management across Canada, including 18 years in ready-mix sales and operations.
Experienced in working with a diverse customer base, David looks forward to bringing innovative solutions to general contractors, road builders, owners, engineers and other industry professionals.
David has distinguished himself within the industry by achieving customer satisfaction before, during and after product delivery. His approach to customer service and fulfilling expectations fits perfectly with the business philosophy of Surface Tech. We understand the evolution of construction projects and strive to develop holistic solutions to address the acute needs of our customers, and we welcome the excellent caliber of individuals like David to our team.
Surface Tech welcomes Michael J. Simons, P. Eng. to our team as Technical Director for Canada. He will work to bring a greater focus and increased awareness to the company’s cornerstone asphalt product — ACE XP Polymer Fiber and launch the company’s newest asphalt product — ARMI (Aramid Reinforced Mix Interlayer).
Michael holds a B.E.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Western Ontario and has gained a considerable level of technical expertise through his 27 years of experience in the construction industry. His resumé includes work with road building contractors, civil and geotechnical engineering consultants and geosynthetic manufacturers and distributors. Over the course of his career, he has held business development, technical and senior management roles.
Michael was introduced to ACE XP Polymer Fiber in 2016 while working with Nilex Inc. as the General Manager, Ontario. He quickly became a major driving force in Canada educating clients about the benefits of adopting of polymer fiber-reinforced asphalt pavements. Working with Owners and Engineers, he will apply his extensive background in design, construction and promotion of geosynthetic systems across Canada to provide improved and innovative solutions to their pavement challenges.
CONCRETE 101 webinar:
Tues. May 19, 2020 – 1pm EDT
With fly ash and quality aggregates in short supply, the challenge to find alternative binder materials is leading the industry to discover new, cutting-edge solutions. This webinar will provide the basics of concrete as well as an overview on how various binders assist in making locally sourced aggregates workable while making concrete more economical, durable and green.
Hosted by Surface Tech, the webinar features Kevin MacDonald Ph.D., PE, P.Eng, FACI, principal of Beton Consulting Engineers, LLC and the acting CTO of concrete for Surface Tech. Kevin will provide an educational session focused on key concepts and available binder materials that make concrete stronger and last longer.
Join us as John McConahy, Corporate Sales Director for Surface Tech, moderates this informative Concrete 101 webinar that will review the basics, and how Supplemental Cementitious Materials (SCMs) and Alternative Supplemental Cementitious Materials (ASCMs) lead to performance-based and durable concrete solutions.
The two-hour webinar allows time for Q&A from the audience. Two PDH Credits are available for attending. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Asphalt Producers 101:
Using ACE XP & ARMI Polymer Fibers in Plant Production
Thurs. May 14, 2020 – 1pm CDT
This series of three webinars is exploring how performance testing can drive the future improvement of asphalt mix designs.
In this third and final webinar, Phil Blankenship of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training, will discuss advancements in mix design using ACE XP Polymer Fiber and ARMI Reflective Crack Interlayer products. Both of these innovative products help achieve a better balance between cracking and rutting.
The two-hour webinar will include plant set-up, equipment available from Surface Tech for plant blending of the Aramid fibers, plant training and certification, and how producers can make more money when utilizing these advanced technology products.
Lastly, Phil will walk you through the newest crack testing procedures for running IDEAL CT crack tests in the typical plant materials lab.
Time for Q&A is built into the two-hour webinar, and PDH credits are available for those attending.
The City of San Diego Department Public Works released a white paper detailing the history of utilizing fibers to reinforce asphalt mixes. This well-researched and documented analysis traces the route the paving industry has taken since it began experimenting with fiber-reinforced asphalt concrete (FRAC) back in the 1980s.
Co-authored by Phil Blankenship, Blankenship Asphalt Tech and Training, and Brandon Milar, CalAPA Technical Director, the paper points out that a backlog of capital needs has forced the increased use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) to overcome higher asphalt binder prices over the past 10 years. The resulting pavements have tended to be more brittle for a variety of reasons, leading to early cracking and lowered useful life.
The paper states that “solutions to this dilemma are usually solved through polymer modification and coordination with asphalt binder terminals to supply alternate asphalt grades.” And, “we should not limit solutions to aggregate and asphalt binder-only combinations when many more options are available to improve our HMA directly at the plant.”
From here, the paper reviews a variety of HMA site solutions that have been tried and tested over the past 30 years. One can readily see the progression of improvements, and the paper concludes by stating that “numerous experimental studies have shown that adding synthetic polymer fibers to dense-graded mixes can improve the field performance and their mechanical performance, particularly with regard to rutting and fatigue resistance.”
At Surface Tech, we’ve succeeded in developing an aramid polymer fiber solution that vastly improves crack resistance in both pavement and interlayer applications. Aramid is a unique, man-made, high-strength polymer fiber boasting high tensile strengths over 400,000 psi (5x steel), a superior stress/strain relationship and decomposition temperatures of 350˚F. And because of the enhanced properties generated with our additives, project costs are reduced.
For more information on the innovative, engineered polymer fiber products available from Surface Tech, visit https://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-xp/
Many of our employees are working from home, and we are observing all mandates required by governing authorities, but work continues in many areas of our operations. We stridently practice social distancing, and we keep our employees regularly updated on the virus and the necessary safety procedures required to keep them safe and well.
We continue to keep in touch with people throughout the industry via online conferencing, phone calls, texts and emails. We’re also continuing to offer informational webinars that cover a wide range of topics important to the asphalt and concrete industries.
Our next webinar, on April 16, features Phil Blankenship of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training, who will discuss advancements in mix design using ACE XP Polymer Fiber and ARMI Reflective Crack Interlayer products. He’ll also walk you through the newest crack testing procedures for running IDEAL CT crack tests in the typical plant materials lab. Register now.
Another webinar, on May 14, is geared to asphalt producers and explores advancements in mix design using ACE XP Polymer Fiber and ARMI Reflective Crack Interlayer products. For more information, visit Register now.
Staying Stocked & Ready to Help
We have product available, and production is ongoing. Our people are still working — manning the phones, shipping product, dosing onsite and working the manufacturing lines. We stand ready to help.
Mindful of the impediments of today, our team remains focused on the future. We continue to develop innovative and relevant products that impact the asphalt and concrete industries. Products and equipment the provide important value propositions to compel adoption. We have rolled out a new product early this year and have other new products slated for release soon; as well as complimentary new equipment. We also have endeavored to impact additional sales channels within each industry as a means to further penetrate benefit.
In the meantime, we extend our best wishes to all of our customers, suppliers, vendors and distributors during these trying times. Stay safe and keep in touch. We’re here to help.
The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) recognizes that ACE XP provides a real solution for making pavement stronger. As a follow-up to a project in 2015, the district once again chose Surface Tech’s ACE XP polymer fiber in 2018 to create an overlay for the upper portion of Bogus Basin Road.
Each winter, thousands of skiers take Bogus Basin Road from post 9 to mile post 16.2 to reach one of Idaho’s busiest recreation areas—Bogus Basin Ski Resort. In summer, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy tubing, wall climbing, mountain biking and riding the Glade Runner mountain coaster. It’s little wonder, then, that the road takes a beating from heavy traffic and a wide range of temperatures throughout the seasons as it winds its way up a 5,790 foot elevation.
Based on the 2015 project, ACHD knew that ACE XP would add strength, performance and service life to its asphalt pavement—and would stand up to punishing traffic and weather conditions.
The 2018 project began on June 1st and was completed on August 31st. Central Paving produced 21,000 tons of asphalt mixed with ACE XP polymer fiber at its Joplin Asphalt Plant in Boise. The district has learned from experience that adding ACE XP will increase the road’s service life by at least 50 percent when compared to the surface course without ACE XP reinforcement.
ACHD continues to look for innovation in building and maintaining its roadways in an ongoing effort to keep the cost of long-term maintenance and repairs to a minimum. And while the name of this road project may be “bogus,” the district knows the benefits of adding ACE XP to the pavement mix are verifiably real.
With 4.2 million tons of asphalt bid out last year in Kentucky, those attending the recent Plantmix Asphalt Industry of Kentucky (PAIKY) Annual Meeting were highly interested in learning how to achieve the best mix designs.
Phil Blankenship, P.E., principal of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training, provided an in depth look at Surface Tech’s innovative ACE XP Polymer Fibers product and its improvement on several mix designs. The room was full of major producers who appreciated the level of shared information, which was put forth in a transparent manner.
The interest in how ACE XP Polymer Fibers mix designs can be tested using the Indirect Tensile Cracking Test at Intermediate Temperature (IDEAL-CT) and the Hamburg index also increased, with at least one major producer committing to a lab/design aging protocol for IDEAL CT running through the 2020 season.
Contractors also showed an increase interest in ACE XP Polymer Fibers and IDEAL-CT, with several asking for assistance in designs as well as technical support on IDEAL-CT testing for specific projects.
“We’re seeing an increasing number of requests for help with mix designs, IDEAL-CT testing, and product samples for lab testing,” said Joe Dennis, Surface Tech’s Chief Technology Officer for Asphalt. “Interest is at an all-time high!”
In the West, interest in ACE XP Polymer Fibers was also high at the recent Rocky Mountain Asphalt Conference and Equipment Show. A presentation by Michael Scardina, US West Regional Sales Manager for Surface Tech, included Surface Tech’s new Good, Better, Best & Test Pilot Program for ACE XP Polymer Fibers in conjunction with the IDEAL-CT test and an overall discussion of Aramid Pavement Solutions. Participants were receptive to learning about the potential of ACE XP Polymer Fibers and the IDEAL-CT test, particularly since the test provides a reduced cost method that provides consistent results to predict field performance in cracking.
To learn more about IDEAL-CT testing and the balanced mix approach and any of our asphalt products and services, contact us at email@example.com.
He holds a PhD in Engineering Materials and has 30 years of field and lab concrete experience, including 10 years as vice president of engineering and quality at a large urban ready-mix concrete plant.
Dr. MacDonald is a licensed professional engineer in Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, and was named a Fellow of ACI in 2003. As a member of ASTM Committees C01, Cement; C09, Concrete and Concrete Aggregates; and C15, Manufactured Masonry Units; the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); and Professional Engineers Ontario.
He has published a number of papers dealing with the durability of concrete and practical aspects of the production of high-performance concrete using large quantities of recycled materials. He is a recipient of the ASCE Charles Pankow Award for Innovation for work on high-performance concretes with 98% reclaimed materials.
Dr.MacDonald’s experience includes extensive condition survey and evaluation of existing structures, including sounding of hundreds of thousands of square feet of concrete flatwork. He has a great deal of experience in testing and inspection of concrete structures, having had responsible positions in AASHTO and CSA Certified testing labs for 20 years. Dr. MacDonald is also an ACI Certified Concrete Flatwork Technician and a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute. He currently serves as Chair of ACI 132 “Construction of Concrete Floors” and ACI 132 “Responsibility in Concrete Construction.” He is also a member of ACI 318 Subcommittee A “Materials and Construction”.
Dr. MacDonald has served on the board of directors for the American Concrete Institute (ACI), a member of the ACI technical activities committee, and is the present and past chair of many ACI committees including Responsibility in Concrete Construction and Construction of Concrete Floors. We are honored to have him as an esteemed advisor.
In June 2017, the town of Castle Rock, CO decided to put ACE XP Polymer Fiber to the test on a busy section of Blackfeather Trail. With more than 40 years of experience in the paving industry, the civil engineers at Nilex were a trusted source for recommending the product as part of a thin lift repave project.
The location of this section of the road, near a middle school and recreation center, experiences continual high traffic from buses, commercial vehicles and cars. The unrelenting traffic load had created reflective and fatigue cracking. A thin lift repave of approximately 1.5 inches (38mm) was recommended as a solution that could not only withstand the stress from above and below, but also provide an lower cost alternative to expensive pavement grids.
Nilex recommended ACE Polymer Fiber for two main reasons. One, the product’s micro-fibers create a three-dimensional reinforcement solution uniquely suited to the high temperatures found in hot mix asphalt (HMA). ACE XP Polymer provides 400,000 psi tensile strength that combats rutting in summer heat as well as winter expansion/contraction cracking.
Two, ACE XP can be easily incorporated by any HMA contractor, and PLM Asphalt & Concrete, Inc. experienced no difficulties adding the fibers via vacuum line at the HMA plant. Once on site, the crews saw no change to the usual procedures for a non-reinforced installation.
For the town of Castle Rock, ACE XP proved to be a cost-effective solution for reducing cracks and future repair work. Today, almost three years later, the thin lift repave shows only minute wear and tear, and the life expectancy of this busy section of road has been extended far beyond the town’s traditional expectations.
For more information on ACE XP Polymer Fibers and how this innovative product can add strength and years of life to your next pavement project, contact Joe Dennis.
1st of ASPHALT 101 webinar series: Thurs. Apr. 16, 2020 – 12pm CDT
Where do today’s asphalt designs come from and where do they need to go for improvement? Phil Blankenship of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training will kick off the first of a series of three webinars that will explore how performance testing can drive the future improvement of asphalt mix designs.
In this two-hour webinar, Phil will introduce two main performance tests: IDEAL CT for crack resistance; and the Hamburg Wheel Tracker for rut resistance. He will also discuss advancements in mix design additives, such as ACE XP Polymer Fiber and ARMI. Both of these innovative products help achieve a better balance between cracking and rutting.
PDH credits are available for participants for each webinar, and ample time is allotted for Q&A. To register for the first webinar, click the link below.
As snow and ice bear down on the town of Monument, CO, the roads take a beating from heavy traffic, salt and brine. But come spring, one road in the town’s commercial district will emerge tough and travel worthy. That’s because Schmidt Construction Company introduced Monument’s public works officials to a new type of overlay: Fiber Reinforced Asphalt Pavement, commonly known as FRAP. Schmidt paved the heavily traveled commercial area with FRAP in March 2018.
FRAP contains millions of tiny aramid fibers, similar to the polymer fibers found in Surface Tech’s revolutionary ACE XP asphalt enhancement product. Aramid polymer fibers are five times stronger than steel and can withstand drum mixing temperatures well above 500 degrees, making them a perfect reinforcement for hot mix asphalt.
The FRAP overlays were not only stronger, but the price was less than typical interlayers, and construction time was unaffected. Since the fibers are dosed into the mix on site or at the plant, paving can follow any planned patching and milling schedule.
The minimum dosage of 2.1 ounces of fibers per ton of mix produces a 50 percent increase in rut resistance and up to a 150 percent increase in crack resistance. That’s because aramid fibers have incredible tensile strength. The mix also incorporated a 58/28 binder and still maintained flexibility at the town’s 6,975 feet of elevation.
Tri-View Metropolitan District, a large homeowners association within Monument, also tried FRAP on two streets with the town’s assistance. Initial checks on the pavements six months later revealed only tight cracks less than 2 inches long.
Pleased with the results, both the town and Tri-View have done more FRAP overlay paving, this time with Martin Marietta. And another major reconstruction overlay project in the Tri-View District was completed by Kiewit as part of the HOA’s multi-year improvement program.
All projects are seeing great results, proving asphalt made with fiber products like ACE XP can add years of life to pavement and provide an excellent return on investments for towns like Monument and HOAs like Tri-View.
We’re looking forward to sharing ideas and information at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 99th Annual Meeting. Our industry can be proud of the many accomplishments and improvements we have made to roads and highways over the past 99 years. Surface Tech will be sharing its own material advancements in two Solutions Showcase Theater presentations. Aramid Fiber reinforcement of asphalt pavements will also be presented during break-out sessions by several presenters. We invite you to join us.
Monday, January 13, 11:30AM
Advancements in Aramid Reinforcement Technology for Asphalt Pavements
•Joe Dennis, Vice President/Chief Technology Officer of Asphalt, Surface Tech
•Phil Blankenship, Chief Engineer, Blankenship Asphalt Tech and Training, PLLC
•Dr. Bill Buttlar, Mizzou Pavement & Innovation Lab (MAPIL)
rThe latest advancements in Aramid Reinforcement Technology can extend the service life of asphalt pavements. Through IDEAL CT and Hamburg lab performance testing, the improvement in both crack and rut resistance can be determined prior to any pavement being laid using ACE XP Polymer without the need for in-place monitoring programs. Dr. Bill Buttlar from Mizzou Pavement & Innovation Lab (MAPIL) will present his latest findings on performance testing using ACE XP Polymer Fiber pavement mixtures. And finally, Surface Tech will also unveil its newest product, ARMI (Aramid Reinforced Mix Interlayer) which is a Reflective Crack Relief Interlayer (RCRI) with Aramid Reinforcement.
Tuesday, January 14, 11:30AM
JUNO XP: A Revolutionary ASCM Technology
John McConahy, Corporate Sales Director, Surface Tech
Surface Tech’s pioneering product, JUNO XP®, is an advanced supplementary cementitious material that reduces the cost of concrete without sacrificing performance. JUNO XP® can be used to partially substitute traditional cement binders in standard concretes, as well as in other traditional applications, such as Soil Stabilization, Mass Concrete, Shotcrete and above-grade vertical wall construction. John McConahy will share how this revolutionary high-tech material can change the way you look at mix design.
Event 1450 – Use of Fiber Reinforcement in Asphalt
10:15 am to Noon – Tuesday Jan 14th
Sponsored by AFK 30 Committee
Raul Velasquez, Minnesota Department of Transportation
•University of Alberta
Event 1714 – Performance-Engineered Asphalt Mixture Designs
10:15 am to Noon – Wednesday Jan 15th
Sponsored by AFK 50 Committee
Thomas Bennert, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey,
Nathan Morian, Nevada Department of Transportation
•Erdem Coleri, University of Oregon State University
- AFN 10 -Chair Dr John Kreven
- Presentation: Monday 13th 2:30pm - ACSM Defined
- AFN 30 - Chair Gina Ahlstrom
- Presentation - Wednesday 15th 11am ASCM - Today’s Use Reasoning
For severe asphalt cracking or asphalt overlays over Portland cement concrete (PCC), Surface Tech has succeeded in developing a revolutionary new solution that vastly improves crack resistance. Aramid Reinforced Mix Interlayer (ARMI™) provides 7x greater crack resistance as compared to standard asphalt mixes.
ARMI™ utilizes one of the strongest man-made fibers in existence — aramid. That means the same fibers that provide armor for soldiers can now armor your next asphalt pavement Interlayer to hold its ground even after the first one to two surface layers require replacement.
The standard one-inch thick interlayer made from this next-level product can provide unparalleled crack resistance, because it is engineered every time to meet the product’s specifications in both IDEAL CT for cracking and Hamburg Wheel Test for rutting, boosting your pavement’s particular performance needs and expectations.
Best of all, it’s engineered with a special asphalt mix design and liquid binder that can be hot-mixed and hot-laid to stay in place. It withstands the extreme production temperatures of asphalt without change, while producing a three-dimensional reinforcement matrix that reinforces the interlayer against reflective cracking, thermal cracking and surface crack water penetration.
All of the advantages of this superior interlayer product add up to pavements that last longer and reduce costly maintenance and replacements over time. Combining ARMI™ with a surface-mix reinforced with ACE XP Polymer Fiber™ provides the most crack resistant solution on the market today.
ARMI™ attacks challenging projects in poor condition, even those that may have required full-depth reclamation in the past may now be candidates for an ARMI™ Interlayer and overlay solution instead, which saves money.
Put ARMI™ to the test today!
Surface Tech has developed the Good, Better, Best & Test Program as a means for testing ARMI™ on your worst cracked pavement. Our 5-Step program begins with a Surface Tech Asphalt Audit to help you better understand the performance capabilities of the existing mix designs used in your overlay programs.
In most overlay projects today, cracking is the controlling distress. So, it is important to match the right Aramid Pavement Solution with the cracking severity. Once the cracking severity (Moderate, Severe and Very Severe) is established, the correct Good, Better & Best solution can then be selected based on both performance and budget expectations.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll provide more details on the test program. If you want to get started with ARMI™ today, contact Joe Dennis.
Get ready — a unique new solution for bottom-up reflective cracking hits the market soon!
Within the next 30 days, Surface Tech will introduce a new Reflective Cracking Relief Interlayer (RCRI) product that can revolutionize the treatment of pavement suffering from bottom-up reflective cracking. If cracks in your aging concrete or asphalt concrete pavements are giving you constant headaches, stay on the lookout for the announcements. Here’s why.
The typical treatment for restoring deteriorating Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) and asphalt concrete (AC) generally employs a hot mix asphalt overlay. Unfortunately, due to the mismatch between the flexural strengths of the underlaying pavement and the asphalt overlay, cracks tend to reappear within three to five years.
Asphalt rubber interlayers, fabrics and other interlayer methods have been used to address the problem, and the performance of these methods has varied greatly—especially in cold climates.
“Early 2019 testing performed by the University of California-Berkley Pavement Research Center (UCPRC) on ACE XP Polymer Fiber reinforced asphalt mixes led the Surface Tech development team into the lab to develop a novel and unique RCRI solution utilizing aramid fibers to reduce the need for polymer modified binders,” said Phil Blankenship, P.E., a member of Surface Tech’s Advisory Committee and principal of Blankenship Asphalt Tech and Training, PLLC. Blankenship led the research and development of Surface Tech’s new RCRI product.
UCPRC found that typical asphalt mixes reinforced with ACE XP Polymer Fiber can improve the mixture fatigue life by over 90 percent at 600 microstrains and 200 percent at 900 microstrains. Further development by Surface Tech has led to a new RCRI product reinforced with aramid polymer fibers that can provide fatigue life improvement of more than 700 percent at 2000 microstrains.
“These results are significant, because most bottom-up, or reflective cracking, falls in the 600+ microstrains range,” said Blankenship. “The added performance built into this new RCRI product provides improved service life for years of crack-free performance.”
In addition to providing vastly improved crack resistance, Surface Tech’s next-level RCRI solution also reduces costs by eliminating the third-party contractors typically required for other geosynthetic interlayer products. Instead, Surface Tech’s new RCRI solution is a plant-made and paver-laid interlayer keeping the paver in control of tight construction schedules.
To successfully protect against reflexive cracking, the RCRI must be designed to meet a high-strain beam fatigue test and a rutting test and be combined with a high-quality asphalt overlay to protect the interlayer from direct traffic.
“Today’s mixtures do not have to rely on just polymer in the asphalt binder to create a highly crack resistant interlayer product,” said Blankenship. “Surface Tech’s new RCRI solution provides greatly enhanced performance and provides an RCRI system that can be engineered for all parts of the U.S., no matter the availability of binder and other raw materials.”
Surface Tech’s new RCRI product hits the market in 30 days
A recent field test for a Kentucky roadway shows improvements to the in-place asphalt modulus when adding ACE XP Polymer Fiber to the pavement section as compared to a non-reinforced control section. This important test seeks to modify the Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide (MEPDG) to accept asphalt additive data since the MEPDG relies heavily on asphalt modulus inputs to model the asphalt pavement mix design.
The MEPDG design method provides a more comprehensive method for predicting the performance of a particular design mix. MEPDG utilizes software that organizes a vast array of input data in modules such as traffic, climate and mix specifications and performs calculations to produce a trial design.
“Although this design approach has been around for a while, implementation and DOT adoption has been slow, mostly because the design software is best used when loaded with state-specific asphalt data,” said Joe Dennis, Surface Tech’s Chief Technology Officer for Asphalt. Testing of state-specific data is expensive and takes time to develop. Currently, states like Kentucky, Texas and Colorado routinely utilize the MEPDG system.
Although it includes a comprehensive array of input modules, the software does not include a means for computing the improvements available when ACE XP or other additives are added to the mix. Unlike the commonly used AASHTO ’93 Guide that primarily relies on empirical observations of pavement performance, MEPDG combines a wide range of road stress “mechanistic” data collected from the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program with empirical data to predict the level of damage over time.
To test the ability of MEPDG to incorporate additive data, Surface Tech, in concert with Site Supply, Inc., hired S&ME of Louisville, KY to perform Falling Weight Deflectometer (FastFWD) testing on a four-year-old section of northbound US-31W/US-60 in Louisville. The proposed pavement section included a three-inch ACE XP reinforced asphalt base and a 1.25-inch ACE XP reinforced asphalt surface layer over an existing seven-inch concrete base. The southbound lane served as a control, with no ACE XP added to the mix.
S&ME’s FastFWD is a non-destructive testing device that quickly and efficiently evaluates pavement structural conditions. The FastFWD is used to quantify pavement layer characteristics, evaluate the pavement structural capacity, and provide overlay recommendations through the analysis of the data. FastFWD results provide quantitative data for pavement designs, establish pavement performance and estimate remaining pavement life.
“Using S&ME’s Falling Weight Deflectometer (FastFWD) field testing, our data shows in-place modulus improvement of ACE XP reinforced asphalt from 13% to 425% compared to control sections,” said Dennis.
“This data is very important and allows us to suggest very conservatively a 10% to 15% improvement to all existing modulus data at all frequencies and temperatures when adding ACE XP to the pavement modeled in MEPDG.”
The Kentucky field test provides a good foundation for providing new ways to input additives like ACE XP to the MEPDG system.
“More work will need to be done in order for this technology and other additives to have an easy way to add the benefits into MEPDG, but this is a start.”
For more information on the field test, contact Joe Dennis.
Alternative Supplementary Cementitious Material — tune in to the second webinar in our series of three that explains ASCM in detail. Find out how this advanced material can make your next concrete placement stronger and last longer — and reduce cost!
Dr. Jon Belkowitz, Director of Research and Development at Intelligent Concrete, will lead a one-hour, all-about-ASCM presentation. This revolutionary high-tech material can change the way you look at mix design, so don’t miss this webinar!
The first part of the webinar will cover the specification that currently exists for ASCMs. An in-depth look at the ASTM that governs the evaluation and quality control of ASCMs. The second part will dive into using an ASCM in concrete mix design with examples from the residential to commercial side of the industry. Participants will get the know how to use ASCMs in concrete mix design for ready-mixed concrete applications.
*This is the second webinar in a three part series. If you missed the first webinar you can view it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aChQz5ycYo
REMINDER: You will earn a certification for attending.
Surface Tech welcomes Michael Scardina aboard as Regional Sales Director to assist meeting the increasing demand for Surface Tech’s platform of products.
“Our product refinement is now at a stage where we need solid sales stewardship to manage
Mike will rely on nearly 20 years of experience in the asphalt business, beginning as a release agent vendor in 2000. For the next 17 years, he built relationships with plant and industry customers from Seattle to Chicago to Albuquerque. relationships both new and ongoing. Mike will be a great asset, as he works to promote all things Surface Tech moving into the upcoming promotional season and beyond,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President of Surface Tech.
In 2017, Mike expanded his knowledge base by moving into Fiber Reinforced Asphalt Pavement (FRAP) after joining Nilex. While there, he increased awareness and grew the market among state and local agencies and among private asphalt producers.
For assistance, Mike is the man to call at Surface Tech. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 720-768-6854.
Surface Tech is pleased to announce the addition of John McConahy to our team as the Corporate Sales Director for the Concrete Products Division. He brings a vast knowledge and expertise in delivering thought-provoking, innovative, and proven solutions to the construction industry.
After earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, John learned the construction industry from the ground up by leading projects for both The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and Turner Construction Company. This experience laid the foundation for John to deliver performance-based solutions to owners, engineers, contractors, and concrete manufacturers
John continued to build on this foundation while at BASF Admixtures, Inc. (Master Builders) while serving in a variety of roles. He possesses a thorough understanding of the concrete industry, mix design optimization, materials, operations, and customer needs. During his last role as Market Development Manager, he played an integral part in developing and launching many innovative, performance-based concrete product solutions in use today.
If you face a challenging future asphalt paving job, let Blankenship Asphalt Tech and Training (BATT) go to bat for you. Phil Blankenship, P.E., has created a company that offers a wide variety of services, including testing, training, engineering and product development.
As a strategic advisor to Surface Tech, Phil has applied his considerable depth of knowledge and 26 years of experience to a wide range of asphalt applications. Phil recently helped us design a revolutionary new asphalt mixture and provided field support for the placement of this innovative, crack-resistant, one-inch layer of asphalt. Applied on top of a general aviation airport runway that was plagued with microcracks, it allowed the airport to reopen in short order. (See our blog post for photos + project details.)
It’s the kind of forward-thinking service you can expect from Phil, and the BATT-men team, which includes Zack McKay who joined the company to lead the laboratory testing and training. Coming from the Asphalt Institute in the asphalt mixtures lab, Zack has nearly eight years of asphalt design and performance testing experience.
“I’m committed to our asphalt paving industry and the technology of asphalt pavements,” said Phil. “I work with contractors and suppliers on customized lab test training, product evaluations, new product trials, general project support, custom designs, such as balanced mix designs and performance testing designs.”
As a member of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, TRB committees, PAIKY, and chair of ASTM 04.26, he stays abreast of the latest asphalt technologies and invites you to go to BATT with your next asphalt challenge. Learn more at https://www.blankenshipasphalttech.com/
Dr. Jon Belkowitz, Director of Research and Development at Intelligent Concrete, will take you on a one-hour deep dive into ASCMs. You’ll emerge with a good understanding of how this high-tech material holds great promise for making concrete stronger and last longer.
September 24 – 9am PST
- Material composition & engineering properties
- Impact on concrete
- Benefits to the concrete and construction industry
- ASTM C 1709 connection
- Field testing
- Status of industry adoption
Field test on residential mix paves the way for improved cold weather resistance
Ready-mix providers throughout Colorado face daunting challenges when creating residential concrete placements. Damage caused by freeze-thaw cycles, de-icing salts and excessive use can spell big trouble if the concrete fails to hold up under Colorado’s brutal winters. Homeowners generally hold concrete providers responsible if slabs, driveways, sidewalks and other residential placements don’t last through the first winter without change from shrinkage, cracking or surface deterioration.
JUNO XP’s reputation for increasing toughness and durability convinced one Colorado ready-mix provider to put it to a test. The residential mix specifications, shown in Table 1, required a designed compressive strength of 4,000 psi and 4.5 to 6.5 percent entrained air for freeze-thaw mitigation. It also needed to achieve a slump of four to six inches.
Table 2 details the fresh properties of the mix. Preliminary results show that JUNO XP maintained strength as well as slump and air entrainment properties, even though it reduced the amount of traditional cement in the mix. Moreover, JUNO XP also reduced the ready-mix provider’s cost for the mix, while still meeting specifications for compressive strength of C39 -3, -7, for 28-days. (See Figure 2 for Comparative Strengths.)
“With JUNO XP, we succeeded in setting up a concrete surface that we believe will maintain durability against freeze-thaw and de-icing salt attack,” said Jon Belkowitz, Surface Tech’s chief technical officer for concrete. “JUNO XP also delivered an enhanced concrete finish and improved roadside appeal.” (See Figures 1 and 4 for photo results of shrinkage and moisture loss on the test slabs.)
JUNO XP is an alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM) developed by Surface Tech to increase the toughness and durability of concrete, making it stronger and last longer. The Colorado residential test will continue to be monitored over the coming year. Find more information about JUNO XP here.
Table 1 – Concrete Mix Designs Evaluated
|3000, EXT, FLT WORK|
|REF||JUNO XP RPL 22%||JUNO XP RPL 35%|
|Lb Per C. Yard
|HOLCIM Type I-II||432||329||300|
|Fly Ash F||108||115||101|
|LGE # 57 / 67||1351||1377||1390|
|(gal Per C. Yard)||(29)||(29)||(28)|
|Fl Oz Per C. Yard||AEA||2.7||2.3||2.1|
Table 2 – Concrete Fresh Properties
|4000, EXT, FLT WORK|
|REF||JUNO XP RPL 22%||JUNO XP RPL 35%|
|Unit Weight (pcf)||140.2||139.8||135.6|
|Air Content (%)||5.1%||5.2%||6.0%|
The folks at Lehigh Hanson know a thing or two about cement and ready-mix concrete. So when they learned about JUNO XP and its ability to partially replace traditional cement in ready mix, they were curious. Would JUNO XP concrete be as workable as a traditional mix? Would it provide the same finish characteristics?
“We sponsored two separate field trials at our San Diego/Miramar plant,” he said, “one in November 2018 and another in May 2019.”
To maintain objectivity, he hired a third-party contractor that specialized in flatwork. The assignment: Compare and analyze how well the JUNO XP mix could close the surface.
Five mixes were put to the test and the contractor found that, even with a 20 percent reduction in traditional cement, the JUNO XP-enhanced concrete maintained excellent workability and was easy to finish. Additionally, the JUNO XP-enhanced concrete maintained important hardened properties necessary for any concrete construction application.
“Both results were promising, and we are continuing our discovery,” said Hill.
As he found out, JUNO XP is an advanced supplementary cementitious material (ASCM) that not only yields a workable concrete, but also reduces the cost without sacrificing performance.
At Surface Tech, our commitment to technology and innovative paving solutions underpins everything we do, so we’re embracing the newer approach to developing better performing asphalt mixes.
It’s called “balanced mix design” or BMD for short. The concept originated in Texas where it’s currently used to evaluate resistance to rutting and cracking. Other highway agencies, including Louisiana and California, have adopted some aspects of BMD, while still other state agencies have started to explore it.
In short, BMD is simply testing the end result mixture by incorporating two or more mechanical tests, such as a rutting test and a cracking test, to gauge how well an asphalt mixture will resist common types of distress. There are two main approaches to designing asphalt mixtures in the US:
1. Volumetric Design with Performance Verification
This involves a Superpave volumetric (only) mix design where samples are made and optimized based on the volume of aggregate, asphalt binder and air. If the mixture doesn’t pass volumetric limits, the mix design process repeats.
2. Performance-Modified Volumetric Mix Design
This Superpave mix design method establishes an initial aggregate blend and asphalt content based on Superpave volumetric design as mentioned above with adjustments permitted to meet performance tests. These performance tests typically check for rutting and cracking and are part of the BMD process. Final design may not meet all traditional Superpave volumetric criteria, but the mixture is designed so that the more improved crack resistant mixture will not rut; thus the term “balanced”.
The time is right for the adoption of BMD. Performance tests as part of the mix design procedure can help ensure the pavement meets its desired lifespan at a time when the US pavement infrastructure is in a decline.
Numerous performance tests have been developed over the past decades, including thermal cracking, reflection cracking, flexural fatigue cracking, rutting and moisture susceptibility tests. In order to include any of these mixture performance tests in the BMD procedure, the test result criteria must be based on the desired field performance.
It appears the move is on toward the widespread adoption of BMD, and Surface Tech applauds the advancement of any testing that holds the promise to improve asphalt mix properties. However, we also adhere to the philosophy that improvements in asphalt mix design need to be understood scientifically.
BMD applies a scientific approach to mix design by performing tests around rutting and cracking properties so that the mix is more balanced and not prone to immediate cracking (too brittle) or rutting (too soft). And as in all things in life, a balanced approach generally yields the best results.
To learn more about BMD, visit http://www.eng.auburn.edu/research/centers/ncat/newsroom/2017-spring/balanced-mix.html
E-tools from Surface Tech benefit both Contractors and RMX/Logistics suppliers
Take one look at the user-friendly interface, and you’ll be sold on how e-tools from Surface Tech can make future ready-mix ordering and delivery so effortless.
For Contractors, TRKR and TRKR Mobile provide a direct link to RMX/Logistics suppliers, allowing you to shop mix designs and customize the perfect concrete for your specific project. You can then schedule, pay and track the order from truck start to placement completion. Press Done and relax.
When your order completes, you’ll receive a comprehensive report on a daily or project-end basis that you can e-share with clients or subcontractors. Simply put, TRKR and TRKR Mobile take the guesswork out of ordering.
The software also works well if you’re a ready-mix supplier, because you’ll gain an invaluable logistics tool. It allows you to approve orders and schedule dispatches, including the assignment of drivers.
For your drivers, TRKR Mobile is a dream come true. It provides auto-capture of comprehensive weather conditions that may affect pick-up, delivery or completion of the load on a project-by-project basis. Drivers especially appreciate the auto-routing feature, and the Safety Check List at each point of delivery.
They also appreciate the media capture ability, which allows them to grab live or camera roll photos and video, then dictate notes to add to the images. A variety of forms and testing reports can also provide feedback. Best of all, the data captured relays back in real time and is shareable. And like the Contractor, you’ll receive comprehensive progress reports on a daily or project-end basis.
“Contractors and RMX/Logistics now have an online and transparent means to track orders and save all pertinent data to a single project repository that is shareable and will integrate with any software capture system,” said Steve Santa Cruz, Surface Tech president.
To learn more about the comprehensive capabilities of TRKR and TRKR Mobile, visit https://surface-tech.com/etools/trkr/
Fly ash, slag, silica fume — stand back. You’ve got extreme competition as an alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM).
If you’re looking for a product that can partially replace traditional cement in your next project, and you want a finished placement that can go the distance through all types of punishment, look to JUNO XP.
In a recent cracking test, we put JUNO XP to extreme conditions. Imagine 100°F and 32° relative humidity for 48 hours.
“Concrete has to crack under these conditions. It has no choice,” says Jon Belkowitz, PhD, Surface Tech’s Chief Technology Officer for concrete. “But we found JUNO XP dramatically restrained the amount of cracking that occurred.”
In a wide range of applications, JUNO XP is a proven ASCM that can partially substitute traditional cement binders without sacrificing performance. More importantly, JUNO XP can reduce the cost of the mix and it’s easy to adopt. It’s a powder that you easily incorporate into any conventional dispersion system — silo, hopper, supersacks, bags and dissolvable bags. Ease-of-use is one more feature that separates JUNO XP from other new technologies. But the big difference can be seen in performance over time and under a wide range of environmental conditions.
“With JUNO XP, we’re seeing much less or no cracking at all in real-world applications,” said Belkowitz. “In this recent test, we recreated an extremely tough environment, and we saw a dramatic difference between concrete made with JUNO XP and a traditional mix.”
For detailed information on JUNO XP’s Ultimate Cracking Test and other product information, contact us.
Adventus 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/
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!”
As 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.
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.
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.
Two, 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.
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.
“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.
More accurate than ever — just in time for the asphalt season
Last 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.
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.
“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.
Surface Tech’s asphalt advisor Phil Blankenship to take the President’s role in 2020
For 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
The 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.
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
Innovation drives us to deliver asphalt that’s stronger than steel
The 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.
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.
With 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.
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.
Chief Technical Officer Jon Belkowitz, PhD to present at Concrete Expo in 2019
Surface 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.
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.
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.
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.
Surface 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:
- Dramatically reduces mix design cost
- Enhances performance characteristics including strength, toughness, durability, shrinkage control, workability (to highlight a few).
- Reduces CO2 emissions (through reduction of cement use) and improves carbon footprint.
- Easy to adopt at plant: silos, hoppers, super sack, palpable bags.
For technical details on Juno XP and the testing process, contact us.
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 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.
Concrete producers often rely on ASTM C 618 Class F fly ash, derived from burning coal in power plants, as a partial substitute for Portland cement. Yet despite loosening regulations, the coal industry continues to suffer from America’s dwindling appetite for coal, and the unintended consequence is a shortage of coal combustion residue and fly ash. Many concrete producers now report having to use straight cement mixes, which increases cost.
Globally, significant sources of Class C fly ash exist, but the lower quality makes this product difficult to activate, and transportation adds to the cost. Class C fly ash is not as effective in mitigating chemical attack as Class F fly ash. However, there is one sure way to beat the shortage of high-quality fly ash: Switch to Juno.
Juno XP is an advanced mineral admixture developed by Surface Tech that can replace fly ash as a partial substitute for traditional cement. It can be used in standard concretes, as well as 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 combined with a graduated fiber matrix to reduce material cost. In fact, concretes that incorporate Juno as a binder often have higher performance characteristics than traditional concretes.
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 http://surface-tech.com/portfolio/juno/. To find out how you can achieve savings of up to 30 percent on your next project, contact us today.
The results are in, and JUNO has proven it can increase strength and durability as well as decrease shrinkage in the laboratory tests that have been conducted to date. Surface Tech CTO Jon Belkowitz reports the product performs well in all areas that have been evaluated. He sees JUNO as an easily-adoptable means to improve most types of concrete mix designs. The evaluation of JUNO will continue as it completes ASTM C1709 certification.
“Overall improved performance characteristics are some of the value propositions Juno is creating", says Dr. Belkowitz, who also serves as the Director of Research and Development at Intelligent Concrete, a materials laboratory that specializes in concrete research, development and education with a focus on innovation.
It’s the fine particle size, in particular, that plays an important role in the material properties of JUNO. The core technology found in JUNO employs a revolutionary building material that utilizes cutting-edge advancements in mineralogy, combined with a graduated matrix.
The result is an alternative supplementary cementitious material that can reduce the amount of traditional cement and fly ash needed in concrete, while increasing fresh and hardened properties, thus saving money on cement/fly ash in the concrete mix. And Juno reduces CO2 emissions resulting from cement usage.
Better yet, and in concert with the performance characteristic improvements, JUNO produces a concrete that maintains fresh properties and improves strength in the final product, which adds up to a longer life for the concrete.
“We’ve run a number of tests for different applications, and JUNO is proving to be a phenomenal product,” says Dr. Belkowitz.
In a further indication of the company’s commitment to producing high quality, well researched and tested products, Surface Tech announces the addition of Jon Belkowitz to its team as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Many in the industry know Jon from his work as Director of R&D at Intelligent Concrete, LLC. Intelligent Concrete specializes in concrete research, development and education with a focus on innovation. At Intelligent Concrete, Jon was instrumental in the testing and refining for commercialization of Surface Tech’s revolutionary alternative binder for concrete, JUNO.
Prior to Intelligent Concrete, Jon served in the United States Air Force from 1996 to 2006, specializing in civil engineering. There he was exposed to a wide range of concrete types and applications. Many were dependent upon the engineering practices of different host nation forces, developing nations, and disaster repair initiatives.
Jon has also worked in private testing laboratories on structural engineering proposals and materials development projects, including the application of nanotechnology in concrete. He has consulted on projects in the United States, India, Turkey, Africa, Italy, and Germany. Jon has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, with a specialty in Nanotechnology in Concrete.
Contact Jon at email@example.com
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.
JUNO represents the next level in alternative binder technology that delivers three important advances. One, JUNO dramatically reduces the cost of concrete. Two, it performs better, and three, JUNO benefits the environment.
Let’s face it, innovation is essential for the future of repairing the world’s critical infrastructure and money often matters most. So if you’re interested in providing the future to your customers in a better product for less cost, find out how JUNO can make it happen in two upcoming webinars.
Join us for this informative,
engaging and entertaining webinar
“It’s About JUNO” !
Dr. Jon Belkowitz, director of research for Intelligent Concrete, will walk you through the details and the data that backs up the incredible performance capabilities of JUNO. He should know. His firm did the research on this revolutionary new binder material.
Our webinar will cover how JUNO:
- Decreases mix costs DRASTICALLY
- Increases compressive strength
- Increases split tensile strength
- Decreases shrinkage
- Requires NO CHANGE in process
- Benefits the environment
- Meets requirements for a wide range of applications
Register today for one or both webinars:
July 9th - 8am to 9am PDT
July 11th – 1pm to 2pm PDT
Surface Tech has teamed with Intelligent Concrete to act as a third-party technical advisor for its binder-replacement product, Juno. The product provides a variety of benefits as a partial substitute for traditional concrete binders, delivering substantial value in Price, Performance and Environmental Benefits. Applications include Geo-solutions, Shotcrete, Conventional and UHPC.
Because Juno is a new product, questions can arise.
“Our customers have the ability to connect with Intelligent Concrete as an additional resource when they have questions about our concrete products, particularly Juno,” said Steve Santa Cruz, president, Surface Tech. “This state-of-the-art, accredited lab provided cutting edge technical assistance throughout the development phase of Juno and has done an excellent job of continued efficacy validation.”
Intelligent Concrete is a nationally-recognized research and product development firm headed by husband and wife team Dr. Jon, PhD, and Whitney Belkowitz. The couple brings unmatched passion, innovation-mindedness and keen discipline to the study of concrete. Their team of accredited professionals are a high-level combination of expertise, well respected in the concrete industry — both nationally and abroad.
“Intelligent Concrete is recognized globally for excellence in concrete, particularly in innovative technologies, and their team has been solid stewards in the development of Juno,” said Santa Cruz. “Their technical support will provide customers ongoing information and specifics that will enable a better understanding of the backbone that makes Juno a compelling solution for concrete.”
Ohio parking lot using ACE Fiber is one of six in the world designated as a demonstrator site for best practices in sustainable design and operation.
The Parksmart program through Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) recently recognized a new green surface parking lot at The Mason Business Center (MBC) in Cincinnati as a demonstrator site for sustainable design and operation. The MBC lot, which incorporated Surface Tech’s ACE Fiber into the asphalt, is one of only six in the world to achieve the Parksmart program designation.
The U.S. has an estimated 500 million surface parking spaces which cover more than one third of some cities’ land mass. Parking lots can add to water pollution through runoff, raise urban temperatures, and contribute litter to the landscape. Parksmart and other forward-thinking companies like Surface Tech are exploring ways to reimagine paving materials to be environmentally-friendly, socially responsible, and long-lasting.
“When designed with sustainability in mind, surface parking can help reduce energy consumption, improve air and water quality, and safely connect neighborhoods and people,” said Paul Wessel, director of market transformation and development for Parksmart.
Atlas 10 chose ACE Fiber to achieve optimum performance and extended lifespan benefits
Atlas10, a Pendleton-based pavement management company, managed The Mason Business Center (MBC) parking lot project and procured resources, including Surface Tech’s innovative asphalt additive, ACE Fiber. These high performance engineered fibers were chosen for their ability to produce a stronger pavement, which extends its lifespan and saves money by reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacement. ACE Fiber additive produces a surface of higher strength and superior resistance against cracking and rutting delaying costly maintenance and reducing the CO2 footprint of the pavement over it design life.
“Sustainable surface parking benefits the community, environment and property owners,” said Mark Schmidt, CEO of Atlas10 during his interview with BizJournals.com. “It’s an honor to work with The Mason Business Center (MBC) and the other construction partners to make sustainable parking a reality, and we are pleased that the project we orchestrated is now a demonstrator site.”
The Cincinnati parking project was recognized by Parksmart during a presentation at Mason campus on February 2, 2018, which included facility manager, Atlas 10 and partners SurfaceTech, and 10 Mile Creek.
To learn more about ACE Fiber, Surface Tech’s innovated asphalt additive, please visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-overview-2/
Find photos and more details about this project at
Phil Blankenship, principal of Blankenship Asphalt Tech & Training PLLC of KY, has signed an agreement with Surface Tech to provide top-level guidance, management and business development services for the company’s Asphalt Research Division. The now, formal relationship, grew out of Phil’s early involvement as a leading researcher on the company’s ACE Fiber product.
“Phil conducted an extensive battery of tests on the product during his stint at the Asphalt Institute. As a result, he acquired an in-depth knowledge of ACE Fiber, and combined with his expertise in all things asphalt, we expect his stewardship will prove invaluable,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech.
Phil is widely recognized within the asphalt industry through published research and as prominent speaker and trainer. His experience includes a decade with Koch Industries, where he was a platform technology developer for the company’s research into the effectiveness of high-polymer asphalt interlayers and polymer hot mix. In a subsequent decade, he was the Senior Research Engineer and mixture lab manager for the Asphalt Institute.
His work will closely align with Joe Dennis, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, to forge collaborative relationships with DOT Departments, industry trade groups and leading academics within the asphalt industry. He will also provide technological assistance to Surface Tech distributors.
(PRESS RELEASE) — Surface Tech, an innovative solutions provider for the building materials industry, is pleased to announce that Joe Dennis has been named VP/CTO of its Asphalt division.
Joe joined Surface Tech in 2017 as a Director. In his new role, he will transition more to the technical oversight of product R&D, training, and support. He will also oversee Surface Tech’s Quality Control (QC) program and the refinement of its automated dosing equipment line, which differentiates Surface Tech’s products from others in the industry. Joe will also champion Surface Tech’s role in spec provision throughout the current and intended footprint.
“Joe continues to be a valued member of our executive team and I am confident that through his expertise, Surface Tech will continue to see dramatic growth in our asphalt products throughout our geography,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech.
Surface Tech LLC was founded in 2013 and largely concentrated on the asphalt industry by way of its flagship product, ACE Fibers. ACE Fibers, a Surface Tech asphalt additive, uses aramid fibers to address the two major distresses affecting asphalt performance today; cracking and rutting.
When ACE Fiber is mixed into asphalt, it disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix to provide 3-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, fatigue and increased life expectancy. For more information visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-fiber/.
For media inquiries, please contact Sara Bouffard at 832.431.8255
TRKR is a practical e-business solution that eliminates many of the common jobsite and administrative challenges faced in the concrete industry today including ordering, delivery, measuring job site performance, billing/collection and more. TRKR Mobile is a mobile app that improves job site and transportation safety through an active compliance management system.
“Our digital platform is an innovative and efficient solution specifically designed for the concrete industry,” said John Roshala, Executive Vice President of Surface Tech’s Software Division, MAINFRAME. “With TRKR and TRKR mobile, common administrative tasks can be simplified and onsite job safety and compliance can be improved.”
TRKR and TRKR Mobile offer assistance throughout several areas including:
With TRKR, a contractor can go online and order concrete products through specific product catalogs unique to the RMX companies listed. This is a first for the industry.
TRKR eliminates the need to mail out billing statements and invoices. When the product has been delivered to the job site, the delivery notice is provided electronically. The program also helps satisfy legal compliances and allows all parties to more accurately identify any cost overruns.
Customers can now pay with credit/debit cards up front through the platform. Customers who prefer paying with cash can use services like MoneyGram or Western Union through TRKR to pay instead of having to carry cash. Of course, for those with established credit, traditional invoicing is still an option.
With TRKR Mobile, a driver must complete a safety checklist before completing a delivery. The driver also has the ability to record video, photos and notes to further document the job site experience. TRKR Mobile ensures that the driver records are up to date. If a contractor, all licensing is also kept up to date.
To learn more about TRKR and TRKR mobile, view our explainer video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=g2adxzDKCQY. You can also schedule a demo at http://surface-tech.com/demo-trkr-schedule/ to see TRKR in action. Visit us at www.surface-tech.com to learn more.
Representatives from Surface Tech will join thousands of industry professionals at the World of Asphalt convention in Houston from March 6-8. The World of Asphalt is the leading trade show for the aggregate, asphalt, pavement maintenance, and traffic safety industry sectors.
“We are looking forward to reconnecting personally with many industry colleagues at World of Asphalt and sharing exciting developments from Surface Tech,” said Joe Dennis, VP/CTO of Surface Tech’s Asphalt Division. “Our ACE Fiber technology continues to deliver impressive results alongside our innovative Quality Control (QC) program’s automated dosing equipment line.”
When ACE Fiber is mixed into asphalt, it disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix to provide 3-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, fatigue and increased life expectancy.
For more information visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-fiber/
Surface Tech’s pioneering product, JUNO, is an advanced admixture that reduces the cost of concrete without sacrificing performance. Juno can be used to partially substitute traditional binders in standard concretes, thereby reducing cost, reducing shrinkage and mitigating CO2 emission. These value propositions are compelling, particularly for those who consume large quantities of concrete.
“JUNO is a revolutionary concrete product that incorporates leading edge technologies that allows for partial binder replacement used in concrete mix designs,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “This results in an improved performance at a microscopic level as well as a significant reduction in material costs.”
JUNO can be utilized in a wide range of conventional concrete building applications, but also as a geo-solution including:
JUNO has been engineered to allow for more efficient and cost effective stabilization of the road base and subgrade. It is often custom blended for a given project based upon a site and soil conditions.
JUNO can be used to reduce the cost of Controlled Density Fill (CDF). CDF is a low-strength concrete used for backfilling holes and trenches when high compaction is needed. With JUNO, a contractor can reduce the need for cement and replace it with a lower-cost option.
JUNO can be used in Rip-Rap as a low-cost alternative to Portland Cement-based binders. Rip-Rap is essentially large stones or pieces of concrete (recycled or virgin) used to protect underlying soil from runoff due to rain or tidal erosion.
See more about JUNO at http://surface-tech.com/juno_video/.
To learn more about JUNO and Surface Tech, visit http://surface-tech.com/portfolio/juno/.
(PRESS RELEASE) – Surface Tech, an innovative solutions provider, will engage with concrete industry professionals from across the country at the 2018 World of Concrete convention in Las Vegas. and highlight the unique services and suite of products that Surface Tech provides to the concrete industry.
“From our groundbreaking digital business platform, MAINFRAME, to our portfolio of specialty concrete and asphalt products, Surface Tech provides tangible solutions that are backed by extensive research and solid results,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech.
MAINFRAME is a software platform built from the ground up specifically for the concrete industry. This business management software is designed from real-world applications from experienced concrete contractors, commercial and residential builders, ready mix suppliers, engineers, and architects.
Current offerings within MAINFRAME improve business efficiencies – including apps known as TRKR, TRKR MOBILE and CMPLYNC. These apps focus on common jobsite and administrative challenges faced in the concrete industry today including ordering, delivery, measuring job site performance, billing/collection and more. This greatly simplifies back-end functions and increases profitability.
TRKR: Digital Platform Interconnects and Simplifies Back-end Functions
TRKR is a practical e-business solution which eliminates many of the common jobsite and administrative challenges faced in the concrete industry today including ordering, delivery, measuring job site performance, billing/collection and more. Contractor orders through the supplier are kept up to date in real time.
TRKR Mobile: Mobile Application Actively Manages Concrete Project Compliance
TRKR Mobile is a mobile App that is an active compliance management system which improves jobsite and transportation safety, and reduces the risk of construction defect claims.
CMPLYNC: (Coming Soon) A First in the Concrete Industry
CMPLYNC is an app tailored to the concrete industry to provide better collaboration between concrete contractors, RMX companies, architects, and engineers.
“Our e-business solutions help improve margins and customer relations and is designed to fit the unique needs of the concrete industry,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “This is in addition to the numerous other benefits such as documentation and safety compliance, logistics improvements and overall increased efficiency.”
Surface Tech provides solutions that address many common challenges involved with concrete construction today. Our product portfolio includes branded-product solutions that mitigate cement use and basalt reinforcement, and improve the durability of infrastructure.
JUNO is a revolutionary alternative binder technology developed by Surface Tech engineers and certified technical specialists. Using cutting-edge advancements in mineralogy and nanotechnology, JUNO improves the performance of concrete at a microscopic level.
JUNO can be used to partially substitute traditional cement binders in standard concretes, as well as in specialty applications such as Soil Stabilization, Mass Concrete and Shotcrete.
JUNO can be utilized in the following applications:
JUNO has been engineered to allow for more efficient and cost effective stabilization of the road base and subgrade. It is often custom blended for a given project based upon a site and soil conditions.
Controlled Density Fill (CDF)
CDF is a low-strength concrete used for backfilling holes and trenches when high compaction is needed. By utilizing JUNO, Surface Tech’s proprietary alternative binder, a contractor can reduce the need for cement and replace it with a lower-cost option.
JUNO can be used in Rip-Rap as a low-cost alternative to Portland Cement-based binders.
“Surface Tech understands the evolution of concrete projects which enables us to develop solutions to address the acute needs of contractors,” said Bryan Goerger, VP/GM, Surface Tech. “JUNO delivers value to the bottom line by reducing the cost of concrete without sacrificing physical performance.”
Surface Tech LLC was founded in 2013 and largely concentrated on the asphalt industry by way of its flagship product, ACE Fibers. The company was reshaped in 2015; bringing a more disciplined and experienced team to the forefront. Surface Tech continues to expand its products and services across the US and Canada through its portfolio of specialty concrete products and digital business solutions. Visit us at www.surface-tech.com.
Media Contact: Sara Bouffard (c) 713.970.1069 or email@example.com
Estimating the amount of ACE and AQU Fibers into your next paving project just became much simpler with Surface Tech’s online calculators.
To obtain a quick estimate on the quantity of fibers you will need, simply enter the thickness (in inches), density and project area (square yards). The online calculator will provide an immediate estimate based on those values.
“This online tool allows customers to estimate the amount of product needed for their next project - at anytime - 24/7,” said Joe Dennis, Director of Asphalt Division, Surface Tech. “These helpful calculators eliminate the guesswork of estimating the amount of ACE or AQU needed for an upcoming project.”
Calculators for ACE and AQU are located at http://surface-tech.com/calculator-both-ace-aqu/. Customers looking for an exact and more detailed estimate can always contact the Surface Tech team through the RFQ form.
Surface Tech is committed to developing the most advanced additives for asphalt, not only adding strength and durability, but improving the sustainability of roads and other surfaces for a positive environmental impact.
To learn more about Surface Tech’s innovative ACE and AQU Fibers, visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-overview-2/.
Representatives from across the US and Canada convened in San Diego in November for Surface Tech’s Annual Sales and Distribution Partner meeting. The slogan “Elevate Your Game” served as the key message and motivator throughout the event.
“Our leadership and partners across the organization continue to work diligently preparing for 2018, which we anticipate as another very successful campaign,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech LLC.
“Surface Tech has matured since its inception through the development of our product lines as well as through the development of our distribution network. We have transitioned to a full platform solutions company in both the asphalt and concrete industries - it’s time to elevate our game by building upon this success.”
Surface Tech’s Joe Dennis marshaled the technical and QC program, while Ian Wilson and Bryan Goerger led sessions on best practices for Disruptive Technologies in Asphalt and Concrete.
Guest speakers included Erdem Coleri, PhD, Oklahoma State University who spoke on the topic of, “Quantifying the Effects of Aramid Fibers on Rutting/Cracking.” Pavana Ingios with Geotechnics spoke on “ACE Field Performance Testing (AFPT)”, and Mark Schmidt of Atlas 10 gave an overview of “ACE Fiber Performance: One Year Later”.
Surface Tech recently welcomed Joe Dennis as the Director of Asphalt Division, where he will be charged with leading the asphalt division’s North American footprint with a focus on Surface Tech’s cornerstone product, ACE Fiber.
Additionally, he will oversee its QC Program which includes Surface Tech’s newly automated dosing system, the MicroDoser. With over 30 years of experience in civil engineering and construction, Joe brings a unique perspective on where the industry has been - and more importantly where it is going.
Asphalt has been evolving since its inception and the industry is more receptive to embrace new ideas that make it even better,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President of Surface Tech. “Ninety percent of all roadways in the US are asphalt, but the industry knows that it needs a stronger, cost-effective and longer lasting asphalt so that funds can be utilized more.”
Prior to Surface Tech, Joe worked with BreakThrough Technologies where he was involved in the research and development of ACE for over two years.
“I believe in ACE Fibers and am excited to continue to be involved with its development and introduction to the marketplace,” said Dennis. “Joining Surface Tech was the perfect next step for me professionally and I am looking forward to the next chapter of ACE Fibers.”
Surface Tech LLC was founded in 2013 and largely concentrated on the asphalt industry by way of its flagship product, ACE Fibers. For more information visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-fiber/ or visit us at www.surface-tech.com.
In the chic Palm Desert region of California, the owners of the historic Marrakesh Country Club faced overwhelming roadway maintenance costs as they grappled with a history of standard mix designs that resulted in rapid weathering and failure.
Experts from California Filtration Specialists (CFS) and Surface Tech immediately realized the many benefits Marrakesh Country Club could realize by using ACE XP. After analyzing the project pavement design, Surface Tech was able to provide Marrakesh Country Club with a ¼ inch reduction in asphalt thickness, which resulted in significant cost savings.
“ACE XP reinforce the pavement so that it can withstand a harsh environment such as the California desert,” said Joe Dennis, Director, Asphalt Division - Surface Tech. “The Marrakesh Country Club team was optimistic that ACE XP could provide the exact solution they were in search of - strength, durability, and longer life expectancy.”
The project specified an ACE XP - Fiber Reinforced Asphalt Concrete (FRAC) mix design. Over 10,000 ton equivalents of ACE XP FRAC were used on the five-week project for the country club’s roadways.
About ACE XP:
ACE XP, a Surface Tech asphalt additive, uses aramid fibers to address the two major distresses affecting asphalt performance today; cracking and rutting. Doing so also dramatically improved the treated roads’ life expectancy.
When ACE XP is mixed into asphalt, it disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix to provide 3-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, fatigue and increased life expectancy.
And best of all, no specialty contractors are needed for installation. Contractors handle ACE XP reinforced asphalt the same way they handle standard asphalt. This underscores ACE XP’s technology in being easy to adopt.
For more information visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-xp/.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued new safety regulations for all truck drivers in the US, including ready mix drivers, which will be effective December 18, 2017 and will require documentation and reporting of compliance records by all drivers. The new regulations will monitor the driver’s overall hours of service.
Surface Tech’s TRKR-MOBILE e-tool will not only meet all reporting requirements for the new FMCSA regulations, but also offers enhanced safety functions.
“TRKR-Mobile offers a one-stop solution for ensuring transparency with the new regulations, as well as reducing the overall risk of construction defect claims and improving site safety,” said Bryan Goerger, VP/GM, Concrete Products. “In addition to these benefits, the app is easy to use. The TRKR-Mobile app communicates seamlessly with DOT to report the necessary information with minimal effort.”
With TRKR-Mobile, the driver must go through a safety checklist before completing a delivery. Pre-programmed mileposts for safety requirements are clicked off for documentation. The driver also has the ability to record video, photos and notes to further document the job site experience. Weather data is captured automatically at start, site arrival and completion of delivery. Tracking of the load from plant to site is also a geo-recorded documentation fed to the backroom platform.
TRKR-Mobile ensures that the driver records are up to date. All of the required details such as driver’s licenses and required eligibility stats are maintained. If a contractor, all licensing is also kept up to date. The data is synced into the platform, allowing verification via the digital platform rather than by device alone.
For more information on TRKR-Mobile and other beneficial software solutions, visit http://surface-tech.com/concrete_platform_2017/cmplync/. For further information on the FMCSA regulations please visit http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/how-to/fleets/drivers-hours-of-service-rules_o.
As the interest in ACE Fibers and FRAC (Fiber Reinforced Asphalt Concrete) continues to grow, Surface Tech distributor, NILEX, recently hosted a webinar, now available on-demand, entitled The Asphalt Revolution: The Key to Pavement Strength and Extended Service Life, which addresses many FAQs about ACE Fibers.
During the 45 minute webinar, NILEX provides an overview of the purpose of ACE Fibers, the research and methodology utilized, case study summaries from around the US, and price comparisons with and without ACE Fibers.
“There are a lot of stressors that the top layer of asphalt is exposed to, from both above and beneath the top layer. Even if conditions are perfect at the time of the installation, grades change over time including weak soil, drainage and temperature fluctuations. This is where ACE Fibers help greatly extend the life of asphalt,” said Pat Tyl, NILEX representative and webinar host. “Traditional asphalt is basically rocks and glue, while fiber-reinforced asphalt provides ‘roots’ that grab onto the asphalt particles.”
ACE Fibers uses aramid fibers to address the two major distresses affecting asphalt performance today; cracking and rutting. Doing so also dramatically improves the treated roads’ life expectancy.
When ACE Fiber is mixed into asphalt, it disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix to provide 3-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, fatigue and increased life expectancy.
To view the webinar, please visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/823398247182443521 For more information on ACE, visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-fiber/.
Blackfeather Trail is a busy asphalt-paved road in Castle Rock, Colorado which faced cracking issues after years of fatigue. The town of Castle Rock sought an innovative and cost-effective solution to repair the road and ensure its durability. Located near a high school and recreation center, high traffic volumes were certain to continue, including a large number of school buses.
Surface Tech distributor Nilex discussed with the town its need for an effective, long-term solution that would reduce costs. The existing road experienced reflective cracking and rutting, and was in poor condition. Castle Rock recognized the value that ACE XP provides to prevent these burdensome and costly issues in the future and chose Nilex and ACE XP for the project. By choosing ACE XP, the town was able to utilize a thinner pavement overlay, resulting in significant cost savings.
“One of Castle Rock’s core values is innovation,” said Joe Dennis, Managing Partner, BreakThrough Technologies. “Nilex and ACE XP align perfectly with this value while providing cost savings in addition to the anti-rutting and anti-cracking attributes required for this challenging job.”
Nilex’s successful installation resulted in a durable and strong paving solution that the town of Castle Rock can enjoy for many years with less maintenance and more reliability.
To view more project details, photos and video, visit http://nilex.com/projects/blackfeather-trail-ace-fiber-thin-lift-repave.
About ACE XP Polymer Fiber:
ACE XP, a Surface Tech asphalt additive, uses aramid fibers to address the two major distresses affecting asphalt performance today; cracking and rutting. Doing so also dramatically improved the treated roads’ life expectancy.
When ACE XP is mixed into asphalt, it disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix to provide 3-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, fatigue and increased life expectancy.
And best of all, no specialty contractors are needed for installation. Contractors handle ACE XP reinforced asphalt the same way they handle standard asphalt. This underscores ACE XP's technology in being easy to adopt. For more information visit http://surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-xp/.
Surface Tech, an innovative solutions provider, will engage with professionals from across the country at the 2017 PWX Conference in Orlando and highlight the unique services and suite of products that Surface Tech provides to the Public Works industry. PWX is hosted by the American Public Works Association and is attended by thousands of public works professionals each year.
“Surface Tech understands the challenges faced by public works professionals and offers solutions that result in significant cost savings, higher quality infrastructure and streamlined processes,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “From our groundbreaking digital business platform to our portfolio of specialty concrete and asphalt products, Surface Tech works to provide tangible solutions that are backed by extensive research and solid results.”
Be sure to visit Surface Tech’s booth (#655) and meet Bryan Goerger, Company VP, who along with other Surface Tech representatives and the FL distributor, ACF Environmental/Landsaver, will be on hand to showcase products and demonstrate our digital business solutions platform.
Surface Tech provides effective and practical products that address many common challenges involved with concrete construction today. Our product portfolio includes solutions such as high-strength, pervious, and temperature-insensitive concretes, as well as other specially-designed reinforcement options. The benefits of a few of these products are outlined below:
Juno creates slabs that are stronger and more durable with less shrinkage all which help to reduce joints, than those constructed with conventional concrete. Juno is cost effective with the reduction of joint maintenance and no special placing or finishing is required.
A revolutionary new technology for flooring, Vesta is a self-consolidating concrete that is easily placed and significantly reduces construction time and cost, eliminating the need for vibration due to its fluid and stable properties. Additionally, Vesta is easy to place and accelerates construction schedule by reducing labor and efforts onsite.
Waferium provides the opportunity to design sweeping structures with a proven material that has the strength of concrete and the flexibility of potter’s clay. Waferium’s ultra-high strength stems from a unique micro structure consisting of robust fibers and a proprietary low-porosity admixture resulting in a durable, flexible and sustainable concrete for the most challenging of environments.
To learn more about Juno, Vesta, and Waferium or to view our full portfolio of solutions, visit //surface-tech.com/concrete-2017-products/#products.
Recently Kitsap County, Washington chose ACE Fibers for a 12000 TE asphalt pavement project.
“Continuous dosing results in a very thorough blending of the product,” said Joe Dennis, Managing Partner, BreakThrough Technologies. “Because of this, there are no visible fibers in the mix, no change in laydown operations, no bulging edges, and no fibers or asphalt stick to the drum.”
View the dosing operations and application for Kitsap County here:
About ACE XP Polymer Fiber:
ACE XP, a Surface Tech asphalt additive, uses aramid fibers to address the two major distresses affecting asphalt performance today; cracking and rutting. Doing so also dramatically improved the treated roads’ life expectancy.
When ACE XP is mixed into asphalt, it disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix to provide 3-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, fatigue and increased life expectancy.
And best of all, no specialty contractors are needed for installation. Contractors handle ACE XP Fiber reinforced asphalt the same way they handle standard asphalt. This underscores ACE XP's technology in being easy to adopt.
For more information visit.
It is well-proven that adding asphalt fibers such as ACE Fiber™ or AQU Fiber™ make asphalt tougher and last longer. However, the full benefits of these fibers are best realized if incorporated at the design stage.
By introducing fiber additives at the design stage, rather than at the spec stage, the end result is an increased speed of construction and significant reduction of asphalt thickness, in addition to the fiber’s benefits of anti-cracking, strength, and improvement of road quality.
“We have demonstrated through extensive testing in both lab and field, that adding our aramid fibers to asphalt projects, we enhance and strengthen asphalt pavement,” said Joe Dennis, Managing Partner, BreakThrough Technologies. “Coupling our fibers with less asphalt ratio for the entire pavement section creates dramatic cost savings; while still adding performance and life benefits.”
“The reduction of asphalt thickness coupled with dramatic cost savings is impressive and this can be achieved when introducing fibers at the design stage,” said Dennis.
For more information on ACE or AQU Fibers, please visit www.surface-tech.com.
Many asphalt producers understand the benefit that additives such as ACE and AQU Fibers can provide to both their product and bottom line, but are intimidated by the prospect of accurately dosing a small amount of additive into tons of product.
Surface Tech heard this common concern among asphalt producers and developed an effective approach to quality assurance. This QA program is championed at the plant level, does not require new equipment or changes in the mix design or any plant processes, and can provide project certification (PE stamp) for each mix.
“Asphalt producers have been searching for a dosing QA program that is easily adopted at the producer level and is managed by engineers and other technical experts,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “Through our QA program, producers can reap the proven benefits of additives without assuming unnecessary risk with regards to proper dosing.”
Surface Tech offers options for its QA program. One option offers onsite assistance at the plant during the mix from technical and engineering staff who will coordinate directly with the plant manager to ensure a quality mix. Another option is a one-day training to certify the producer’s staff on how to dose themselves with remote assistance.
“When you are looking at mixing 4.2 ounces of fibers into a ton of product, it’s vital that an expert is on hand to ensure success,” said Joe Dennis, Managing Partner, BreakThrough Technologies. “With Surface Tech’s QA program, you can be assured that the technical aspects of dosing will be executed accurately and backed by engineers.”
Surface Tech is able to certify asphalt mixes for ACE and AQU Fibers across all 50 states and throughout all Canadian provinces. For more information Surface Tech’s QA program, please visit //surface-tech.com/portfolio/ace-fiber-mixing-process/.
Bigger. Better. Faster. Stronger. These words commonly describe a newly upgraded version of a product with which we’ve grown comfortably familiar. Sometimes, the ‘better’ version doesn’t truly back up its claims…other than offering something slightly different than the original did. Sometimes the newer “improved” version is just plain difficult to learn and use.
Building Materials is no stranger to this phenomenon. However, technology is rapidly improving for materials, even asphalt, and many are missing out on these incredible advances. Why? Because of a reluctance to adopt new technology, which is usually rooted in uncertainty that the claims will truly meet expectations. We can all relate.
Surface Tech understands these concerns, and has implemented an ongoing commitment to research/testing through several channels (lab, field, and academic), thus ensuring the benefits of Surface Tech’s portfolio of asphalt technologies and easing their adoption.
“The industry has found that new asphalt technologies are difficult to adopt because of a lack of intensity to the commitment and investment by the developers to ensure benefits can be easily realized,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “It’s Surface Tech’s marriage of lab-to-field engagement that helps provide peace of mind for those seeking new technology solutions that work.”
Surface Tech has selected and engaged with some of the country’s most accredited asphalt research laboratories; both private and academia. Its results for the myriad of accepted tests are sound, as are the refined testing applications for a product line-up that doses in such low increments. In addition, Surface Tech has engaged in state-of-the-art field testing for validation and predictability regimens as well as GIS/GPS site surveying analysis.
The results are outstanding. To learn more about our product capabilities and proven test results, visit //surface-tech.com/asphalt-overview/
Game-Changing. Innovative. Disruptive. These are a few of the common reactions describing ASMBL. ASMBL, a brand new concept for the concrete industry, bridges the gap between concrete contractors and engineers/designers by providing e-content to use for specifications for concrete mix designs offering unique performance characteristics and allow for the interface of contractor 3D software. BIM (Building Information Modeling) would be an example of where this e-content can reside and integrate.
Up until the Surface Tech platform, the concrete elements for a tool like BIM have been very basic. ASMBL allows users access to a database of concrete products, letting them understand a concrete’s performance characteristics, how to manipulate the product and how it will influence design. Users can also more accurately estimate cost of materials and labor.
“ASMBL is a win-win solution for both concrete contractors and the design community,” said Bryan Goerger, Vice President/GM of Surface Tech, Concrete Division. “Through ASMBL, concrete contractors are able to provide specs on a variety of products and the customer can then easily implement the product choice through their own software. It makes for a seamless transition that offers a customized approach.”
ASMBL offers many solutions including:
- Concrete design families which bridge structural designs and construction documents
- Concrete models which simplify and complement Takeoff, Layout and Asbuilting activities
- Value-engineered design families which leverage the benefits of high performance concretes
- Establishes a common platform for quantity take-offs, specifications and assumptions
- Simplifies bidding and estimating process
- Unmatched product and service offerings
- Access to state-of-the-art e-content library of concrete product information, service offerings and best practices
- Integrates with existing production & back-office software
Take a test drive of ASMBL today and see for yourself the innovative platform that is changing the concrete industry. Contact us for a demo.
When the City of Louisville in Kentucky wanted to extend the life and delay the maintenance cycle of a resurfacing project on West Broadway downtown, they protected their investment by adding ACE XP to the mix.
Current and historic research and case studies show that ACE XP significantly enhances asphalt concrete performance. A 140% increase in crack resistance and 60% rut resistance have been demonstrated.
“By adding ACE XP to the 1.5-inch overlay, Louisville Metro can expect it to last longer and need maintenance less often. Like all of our clients, they want to save time and money that they devote to roads,” said Jeff McConahy, regional account manager for Site Supply, the ACE XP distributor in Kentucky and Ohio.
McConahy worked on the project with the paving contractor Flynn Brothers Contracting and CBC Engineering, whose technicians added the fibers to the asphalt.
Louisville Metro will continue to monitor the improved performance of the road. Producing and installing the ACE XP Polymer Fiber reinforced asphalt went very well with no issues or changes to typical procedures.
“Mixing at Flynn Brother’s plant and paving with the fibers on West Broadway was a great experience for everyone,” said McConahy.
Construction industry leaders from across the globe gathered at CONEXPO - CON/AGG in Las Vegas earlier this month, and were intrigued by Surface Tech’s cutting-edge E-Platform technology.
More than 125k attendees visited the convention and many expressed their excitement about the capabilities and relevancy of the revolutionary E-platform intended for the concrete industry.
“The demand is clear. Our E-platform tool kit fills a big gap in the concrete software space. Our cutting-edge technology enables online e-order transactions/tracking, has mobile-field documentation/safety/compliance built in, and is scalable and easy to adopt,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech.
In meeting with experts in the construction industry at the event, representatives from Surface Tech gained insight on how the innovative E-platform can be applied in additional ways. Surface Tech representatives also focused on integration and how the E-platform can enhance existing tools.
“Surface Tech has been looking for potential integration partners for the opportunity to create an even more robust and relevant tool for Ready Mix companies,” said Bryan Goerger, Vice President/GM of Surface Tech, Concrete Division. “Our TRKR software is a game-changer and we know it will add great value where implemented.”
More information about Surface Tech’s innovative E-Platform technology can be found at //surface-tech.com/concrete_platform_2017/.
Take an opportunity to Test Drive the Revolutionary New E-platform for the Concrete Industry
Every three years, early March brings one of the largest gatherings in the construction industry to Las Vegas - the CONEXPO - CON/AGG Convention. Surface Tech will be a part of this exciting event and attendees will have the opportunity to demo its revolutionary e-platform.
“The e-platform is more than your average order fulfillment software,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “Our platform helps improve margins, improves customer relations and streamlines processes right from the very start of a project and is designed to fit the unique needs of the concrete industry. This is in addition to the numerous other benefits the e-platform offers such as documentation and safety compliance, logistics improvements and overall increased transparency.”
The e-platform works to unite processes unique to the concrete industry (from engineering, specifications, estimating/delivery through placement, testing and back-end practices) and includes three modules focused on e-content, e-commerce and mobile applications.
Through the use of these modules, clients will see opp//surface-tech.com/landing-page-asmbl/vortunities to increase margins, enhance efficiency, reduce construction defect claims, and improve job safety.
Cracking and rutting. These are two top challenges facing asphalt in the market today and the more than 100k attendees at the upcoming CONEXPO - CON/AGG Convention in Las Vegas are more than familiar with these performance issues.
Surface Tech heard the unique needs of the asphalt market and developed an innovative additive technology, known as ACE Fiber, to increase asphalt performance by reducing cracking and rutting. Testing of ACE Fiber shows a 140% increase in crack resistance and 60% increase in rut resistance.
To create ACE, Surface Tech bound aramid fibers with a wax that melts at 175F/79C, allowing for both a HMA&WMA product. The wax simply acts as a control of fiber into the mix; therefore providing a clean and deliberate means to dose the aramid appropriately. This control sets the stage for a competent fiber-dosing accuracy for all intended mixes.
When ACE Fiber is mixed into asphalt, it disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout each ton of mix to provide 3-dimensional reinforcement that increases the asphalt’s resistance to reflective cracking, rutting, fatigue and dramatically increases life expectancy.
And best of all, no specialty contractors are needed for installation. Contractors handle ACE Fiber reinforced asphalt the same way they handle standard asphalt. This underscores ACE’s technology in being easy to adopt.
Ready to learn more about ACE Fiber in conjunction with this year's CONEXPO-CON/AGG Convention? Request further information or even a demo at //surface-tech.com/contact-2016/
The glitz of Las Vegas set the stage for Surface Tech’s unveiling of its groundbreaking e-platform at the Wynn Encore Las Vegas during the World of Concrete trade show event.
Attendees at 2017 World of Concrete were invited to see first-hand the rollout of the e-platform tooklkit.
“Many likened it to Uber or Amazon for the concrete industry,” said Bryan Goerger, Vice President/General Manager of the Concrete Division. “The excitement for this tool and how it will reinvent the concrete industry was contagious. I lost count of how many times we heard the word, ‘wow!’.”
The three components of the platform, TRKR™, CMPLYNC™, and ASBML™, were shown through a series of demos over the course of three days.
ASBML™, a module of the e-platform and first for the concrete industry, simplifies and enhances the bidding process for concrete contractors and estimators while providing engineers, designers and owners e-content to use for specifications to benefit from by selecting concretes that offer distinctive performance characteristics.
The TRKR™ module eliminates many of the common jobsite and administrative challenges faced in the concrete industry today including ordering, delivery, measuring job site performance, billing/collection and more. Contractor orders through the supplier are kept up to date in real time and provides an added layer of transparency.
CMPLYNC™ is a Mobile App that is an active compliance management system which improves jobsite & transportation safety, and reduces the risk of construction defect claims.
“The industry is excited about this relevant and groundbreaking technology that will result in increased profitability and efficiency across the industry,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “We are looking forward to the next phase of implementing our E-Platform and are motivated by the excellent feedback we received from industry peers at World of Concrete.”
Representatives from across North America recently gathered in Las Vegas to engage in the first annual National Distribution Partners Meeting. The session, hosted by Surface Tech and BreakThrough Technologies, provided insights on the current asphalt market, the unique values that ACE Fiber brings to the customer, 2016 testing results and plans for 2017, special dosing protocols, and Surface Tech’s goals for 2017 and beyond.
Guest speakers, industry specialists and members of the academic community joined the sessions to provide insight on the testing, current market and meeting customer’s needs.
“The informational format of the session was a success,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President, Surface Tech. “Sharing timely go-to market topics supplied the team with valuable sales tools for 2017.”
More about ACE Fiber
ACE Fiber is formulated to address common performance issues in asphalt. ACE is made of aramid fibers and binded with Sasobit wax to add life and address the two major distresses affecting asphalt performance- cracking and rutting. When mixed with asphalt, ACE disperses over 19 million Aramid fibers throughout the mix thereby increasing asphalt’s resistance to cracking, fatigue and rutting.
And best of all, no specialty contractors are needed for installation. Contractors handle ACE Fiber reinforced asphalt the same way they handle standard asphalt. This underscores Ace’s technology in being easy to adopt. More at //surface-tech.com/asphalt-ace-fiber/
Surface Tech’s new tech-platform offers a revolutionary digital solution to enhance the concrete industry processes for concrete manufacturers and contractors. The platform brings something new to a very old trade: e-connectivity.
“We’ve applied cutting-edge solutions to a very established industry to enhance cost efficiencies, improve results and simplify processes. By using our tech-tools, we’re providing improvements inside the current supply channel,” said Bryan Goerger, Surface Tech’s Vice President/General Manager.
While there are tech-tools available to the industry, the Surface Tech platform integrates processes seamlessly, from design and estimating to back-end practices. The platform is supported by the TRKR™ (e-commerce), ASMBL™ (e-content) and COMPLYNC™ (mobile application: compliance/safety) components.
The integrated solutions offer an array of benefits including:
Value-engineering - High-performance versus standard concretes can be manipulated within a BIM model to better predict how a project will be impacted. This positively influences design, engineering and estimating. Interconnectivity enables more efficient communication at all stages, including delivery.
Integration – The platform syncs technology with existing practices. From estimating all the way to post-delivery, the platform integrates data for better planning, concrete formulation and predictability, product ordering and acquisition, delivery, job site performance, billing, payables—including both cash and credit—and compliance.
“These are exciting times for Surface Tech. We’re building on our commitment to bringing innovation, improved performance and value to the asphalt and now concrete industries,” said Steve Santa Cruz, Surface Tech President.
Surface Tech, the leading technology provider in the concrete and asphalt industries, is introducing a revolutionary software and application platform that supports concrete suppliers and contractors across the entire project cycle. The company will launch the platform at World of Concrete 2017 in Las Vegas, NV January 16-20, 2017.
The new Surface Tech concrete application, the only platform of its kind in the heavy materials industry, is designed to provide practical solutions that address the fundamental challenges experienced by concrete contractors and ready mix concrete suppliers today.
“We are excited to bring this ground-breaking digital platform to the concrete industry. The innovative application is expected to simplify processes and address problems that have been known to exist for decades,” said Bryan Goerger, Surface Tech Vice President of the Concrete Division.
Three essential pillars support Surface Tech’s platform:
TRKR – Practical e-business solution which eliminates many of the common jobsite and administrative challenges faced in the concrete industry today.
ASMBL – First-of-its kind BIM (Building Information Modeling) module for the concrete industry that simplifies the bidding process for concrete contractors and estimators while providing engineers, designers and owners the opportunity to benefit from concretes with unique performance characteristics.
COMPLNC – An active compliance management system mobile app which improves jobsite and transportation safety while reducing the risk of construction defect claims.
Surface Tech’s platform is the only software specifically designed for the concrete industry. Built by experienced concrete contractors, commercial and residential builders, and ready mix suppliers, the platform unites the best practices in supplying and building with concrete. This deep understanding of the concrete industry gives TRKR, ASMBL and COMPLNC the ability to intelligently link the functionality of the pillars, providing the concrete industry the ability to leverage technology across the entire project cycle.
“For the first time, common industry problems can be identified and solved efficiently. When we began to study the ways that today’s technology can be applied to how we work and do business, we realized the advantages that tech can bring to our industry,” said Goerger.
Lab-to-Field Testing Results Back Up Superior Effectiveness of Surface Tech Product Capabilities
Surface Tech acknowledges the importance of testing its products. Certainty in new technologies is grounded in such results.
“Many factors compel adoption of new technology, but real confidence is gained through successful use. However, such decisions are girded by the quality of and results learned from testing,” said Surface Tech President Steve Santa Cruz.
Industry testing has been primarily centered in lab environments. But the emergence of field testing to underpin, and in some cases, embolden the lab result is very much a path that Surface Tech embraces.
“We feel this combination of proof allows the specifier to confidently select our products for use in whatever pavement design stipulation” adds Santa Cruz.
Surface Tech has selected and engaged with some of the country’s most accredited asphalt research laboratories; both private and academia. Its results for the myriad of accepted tests are sound, as are the refined testing applications for a product line up that doses in such low increments. In addition, Surface Tech has engaged in state-of-the-art field testing for validation and predictability regimens as well as GIS/GPS site surveying analysis. The results are outstanding.
It’s this marriage of lab-to-field engagement that helps provide peace of mind for those seeking new technology solutions that work. For more information, please contact us at www.surface-tech.com.
Illinois Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment Protects Infrastructure Funding
The state of Illinois is on its way to safer, longer-lasting and more cost-efficient roads. At a time when the American infrastructure sorely needs attention, we’d like to congratulate the state’s voters for having the foresight to ensure a future with better highways and roads.
On November 8th of this year, Illinois enacted a transportation lockbox amendment. The Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment protects transportation funding from being redirected to other purposes. California (2010), Maryland (2014) and Wisconsin (2014) have passed similar provisions.
The Illinois amendment prohibits the General Assembly or local government from using, diverting or transferring funds from transportation revenues for non-transportation purposes.
Specifically, the amendment “provides that no moneys derived from taxes, fees, exises, or license taxes, relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports, or motor fuels, including bond proceeds, shall be expended for other than costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs of construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation, and other statutory highway purposes, including the State and local share to match federal aid highway funds.”
States and local governments often use portions of transportation funds for other purposes. Arguments for passage of the Illinois amendment stated that without it “the state will lose an additional $110 billion over ten years in vehicle repairs and congestion costs.
According to the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, compiled by the American Society of Engineers (ASE), points to a substantial backlog of long-needed maintenance throughout United States infrastructure systems. The report designates a cumulative grade of D+, within which roads received a D, bridges a C+ and transit a D. The ASE, which puts out a report card every four years, advocates for improving the country’s infrastructure.
Surface Tech encourages voters in states not yet committed to protecting transportation funding to follow Illinois, California, Maryland and Wisconsin and take the steps needed to make sure they can enjoy the safe and longer-lasting roads and highways they deserve.
Vulcan Materials Company, the largest producer of construction aggregates in the nation, had an upcoming job they knew would benefit from ACE Fiber. The Company’s Phoenix division turned to Surface Tech to provide the additive for a 1,500-ton resurface of the Christown Spectrum Mall parking lot in Phoenix, AZ.
With Cactus Paving as the contractor, the job took two days to complete. CBC Engineering of Ohio performed the mix at Vulcan’s Phoenix plant, providing daily reports and an engineer-stamped certification of the mix. The job went without a hitch, from start to finish.
The relationship Vulcan enjoys with Surface Tech is but an example of the formidability that occurs when highly respected producers independently take on its aramid fiber product with intentions of impacting geography with additional added value products that are relevant, cost effective, easy to adopt and provide impact benefit for all who use the finish product.
“ACE Fiber is a superior additive product. Coupled with its dosing certification, we find it to be a high value solution for our customers looking for fiber inclusion. Our relationship with Surface Tech is a good example of cultural alignment and dependability,” said Vulcan Materials District Sales Manager Dominick Martinez.
Surface Tech is pleased to announce the arrival of Bryan Goerger, Vice President/General Manager of the Concrete Division. Mr. Goerger comes to the company with an extensive background in the concrete industry with a focus on global products and innovation.
Mr. Goerger honed his technical expertise at some of the largest cement companies in the world including CEMEX USA, Holcim in Switzerland and then LafargeHolcim. Prior to these he held leadership positions within the construction industry.
At Surface Tech, Mr. Goerger is charged with leading the concrete division into a solutions-driven resource that will bring new technologies and services to the concrete industry.
“Bryan’s expertise and interests meld perfectly with the innovation intent that runs through our organization. We are very excited to have him as an active member of our leadership team. With his guidance and assistance, we will fulfill our goal to go beyond a product offering to deliver and innovate business solutions that will be the hallmark of Surface Tech’s approach,” said company president Steve Santa Cruz.
To learn more about the goals and commitment of Surface Tech LLC visit www.surface-tech.com/about-m/.
Following a technical presentation and thorough review, the City of Louisville, Kentucky chose to use high strength ACE Fiber asphalt additive in a resurfacing project for South Beckley Station Road.
Surface Tech’s distributor Site Supply, Inc. and Hall Contracting coordinated the project using ACE Fiber to improve the service life of the asphalt. Of particular interest to the City will be continued evaluation for performance, which includes a longer life and reduction of both rutting and cracking.
“There was no difference in the production or lay down process using ACE Fibers,” noted Hall Contractors. A clear indication of ease of adoption and usage. CBC Engineering of Ohio conducted and ultimately certified the mix; the installation took place over the course of four days. Quantity of ACE Fiber was 2,118 ton equivalents.
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A steady stream of visitors came by the Surface Tech exhibit at the recent APWA Public Works Expo (PWX) at the Minneapolis Convention Center, to learn more about our innovative ACE Fiber (Aramid) and other asphalt additive products. During the event, held August 28-31, we were pleased to discuss our patented processes, distribution network and in-house engineering capabilities, and explain why ACE Fiber makes asphalt notably stronger and more durable.
The PWX 2016 professional development conference and trade show was a first-time experience for Surface Tech. In all, the event attracted approximately 2,500 people from all facets of the public works network this year.
“It was gratifying to talk one-on-one with influential individuals and groups to further educate them about our ACE Fiber product and explore in more detail why our products are so successful,” said Steve Santa Cruz, Surface Tech president.
We found our time at our PWX booth to be invaluable. Our discussions underscored our North American distribution network and shared the details of our quality control program for on-site plant mix oversight and reporting. Visitors were also interested in our new on-site testing regiment. A more mechanistic approach to testing is what we are including in our overall testing procedures, as we feel they provide updated relevance.
The event was an excellent exposure for Surface Tech and ACE Fiber, our master distributor Breakthrough Technologies, and the area distributor, Brock White.
Collin Browning of BreakThrough Techologies LLC (BTt), master distributor for Surface Tech, sees ACE XP success stories throughout North America, including the recent conclusion of a controlled test for a county in Ohio.
“The Road Superintendent of Butler County was amazed to see the results of a year-long side-by-side comparison of control no-fiber vs. ACE XP polymer fiber reinforced asphalt,” said Collin.
Collin is co-partner of BTt. The company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, oversees Surface Tech’s north American distribution effort and offers unique value-added products and sales-related services throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, BTt provides full engineering and quality assurance/control services to deliver certified turn-key projects.
In July 2015, BTt and Surface Tech performed a county road overlay field comparison project for Butler County, OH. After seeing a presentation on the benefits and value offered by ACE XP, the Butler County Road Superintendent wanted to see for himself how effective the fiber additive could be for their asphalt overlay program.
For the comparison, Butler County used a road with moderate to severe transverse and alligator-type cracking. The main form of maintenance done prior to the test overlay had been crack sealing as needed. A quarter mile section of a two lane roadway was targeted. The control lane was overlaid with 1.5 inches of asphalt surface course without the fiber additive while the opposite lane received 1.5 inches of asphalt surface course with ACE XP.
In August 2016, Collin and the Road Superintendent returned to the test section to see how well the ACE XP side of the road held up. Over the past year, the crack underlying the asphalt on the control section had reflected up and through the new asphalt overlay, but not on the section where ACE XP had been used.
“The Superintendent said he gets many salesmen in his office trying to sell him on products that never seem to work as advertised, but the Surface Tech results really impressed him,” Collin said. “He’s an ACE XP believer now.”
Special care is essential to successfully working with a lightweight fly-away-prone product like aramid.
When disbursing ACE Fibers into asphalt, exacting preparation, dosing and oversight work in harmony to ensure ease of use and an effective and long-lasting final product.
The three major components to our process are preparation, dosing, and a Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) program. Here’s a deeper look at these important components.
Consistency and heightened quality control come to the forefront when blending aramid for delivery. We bind the aramid with wax, which tames its fly-away tendencies when being added to the asphalt mix. Because its flash point is far less than the mix temperatures, the wax totally dissipates once it has flashed.
Our process ensures a minimum accuracy of 2.1 ounces of pure aramid per Ton Equivalents (TE) as the aramid is bound by the wax. Less diligent quality control of the aramid-to-wax ratio could result in an end product with less aramid than required.
Surface Tech employs a wholesale new approach to how ACE is physically introduced into both warm and hot mix asphalts. While traditional systems include hand dosing and use of machine-fed equipment, we found them to be flawed and doses-per-ton inconsistent and unverifiable.
“We needed a new approach. Through extensive research and development, we have achieved a means to properly execute for a consistent and verifiable dosing record. We’ve engineered our new patented machines to handle the weight and dosing issue as well as the delicate nature of our product,” said Steve Santa Cruz, Surface Tech president.
Each machine features a control panel that reports by-the-minute delivery, weight and tonnage ratios. Our hand dosing system provides a simplified version of the machine technology.
Rigorous QAQC Program
The comprehensive Surface Tech QAQC program ensures peace of mind for any producer concerned with mix responsibility, plant cleanliness and safety. Our north American engineering associate performs on-site mixing with certified techs, job stewardship, daily reports and, ultimately, a stamped certification of the properly dosed mix.
Through our attention to detail in preparation, dosing and QAQC, Surface Tech has taken ACE Fiber, along with our other products, from an intriguing lab-tested interest to an essential, innovative and easy-to-use mix additive that provides meaningful benefits.
Sign up for a pilot project using 100TE of ACE Fiber to see first-hand its process and benefits. Doing so automatically enters you in the Go Pro drawing.
Surface Tech is putting ACE Fiber and our other signature asphalt additives in the spotlight at the APWA Public Works Expo (PWX) in Minneapolis, August 28-31, 2016. Visitors to our exhibit, Booth #2053, will be introduced to these innovative products and learn how ACE Fiber makes asphalt significantly stronger and longer lasting.
“The PWX Conference 2016 provides Surface Tech yet another means to showcase its new technology, ACE and AQU Fibers. First hand exposure of this technology to the conference audience will continue to solidify its adoption for all applicable road-infrastructure planning,” said Steve Santa Cruz, President.
Anyone who visits our booth during the conference will be invited to sign up to use ACE for a minimum 100TE asphalt project. Doing so will automatically enter you in the drawing for the free Go Pro Hero. To take advantage of the ACE Fiber giveaway, the winner’s pilot must install by December 31, 2016.
In our quest to help clients build stronger, more durable roads and surfaces, Surface Tech is driven to develop advanced additives for concrete and asphalt. To learn more about our patent pending asphalt additives, see our article How to Improve the Performance of Your Next Asphalt Project.
“Imagine if half of the roadways and interstates weren’t available to carry the traffic, goods, energy, and food we rely on. What happens to the economy and survival of this country?” asks Joe Dennis, Lead Engineer for BreakThrough Technologies. Interstates and roads connect our country’s people and commerce. The construction and maintenance of our roads is a critical issue – and at the very center of what Dennis calls the “40 year problem”.
The 40-year problem represents the issue based on current budget allocations and scheduled maintenance. It will take 40 years to be able to replace a newly built roadway, however most pavement sections are designed for a 20-year service life. “And most don’t even reach that full life span before requiring more maintenance than scheduled to maintain a functioning condition,” explains Dennis.
Dennis explains that are basically two possible solutions to this problem: “DOT’s can spend more money, more often to repair roads in poor condition OR Design roadways to last longer – from the beginning.”
Adding an asphalt additive, like ACE Fiber, is one way to achieve a better, longer lasting road design from the beginning.
New ways to build and maintain roadways long term are continuing to evolve, and one of the most promising is allowing more public private partnerships (P3s). P3s use a portion of tax dollars and private investment money to build new roadways in the best way suited for long term. Because these P3s are also responsible for long-term performance and maintenance, they are heavily investing in new technology, such as Surface Tech’s ACE Fiber, to ensure the roadway is being built to higher standards.
“Building better roads with the money we have will take leadership within all levels of government to achieve the correct balance of cost and service life. Starting now and demanding better performing roadways is the only way that the same old practices and mentality will change. The technology is here to help these politcos make this leadership decision and move this country into preserving the very lifeblood of our country, our roadways,” explains Dennis.
“If leadership at all levels of government demand a longer service life of the roadways being built, re-built and or maintained, this country has a chance to preserve our ability to move our commerce and connect as we always have. If we continue down the path of underfunding the required cost of maintaining our roadways while allowing continued poor performance of the roadways that are being built, then the very way of life that moves this country is in jeopardy. Poor performing or closed roadways will affect every part of our society from the increased cost of food and fuel to the elimination of travel and tourism. The freedom of movement is one freedom that makes this country great. Great performing roadways are the key.”
Want to learn more about how Surface Tech’s innovative technology can help solve this 40-year problem? Visit www.surface-tech.com for more info.
The game changing additive proven to increase strength and performance of asphalt.
Transportation officials throughout the country are already experiencing the benefits from our innovative fiber additives. The game changing patent pending asphalt additives created by Surface Tech, and known as AQU and ACE Fibers, are proven to make asphalt roadways stronger, more crack and rut resistant and longer lasting.
Concurrently, private sector owners and contractors are also taking advantage of this innovation. AQU and ACE fibers are being used for projects tied to all other asphalt surface uses. These additives also can provide a surface reduction of the topcoat, in a value-engineered manner, to help allay costs and still reap the benefit of extended life.
Are you ready to increase the quality, efficiency and life span of your next asphalt project?
With this new technology properly executed into your next project(s), you can dramatically extend the life of your current estimate and incorporate benefits such as reduced rutting and cracking even in temperature extremes. It’s a cost effective solution and easy add to an established process. So, you have to ask yourself, why not at least investigate to learn more?! Here are 4 things contractors and pavers need to know about the innovative additive for asphalt.
- ACE and AQU Fibers makes asphalt 5 times stronger than steel.
ACE Fiber, is pure aramid fiber with a wax treatment. By treating the aramid with wax, the aramid is weighted down and controlled for proper delivery into the asphalt mix. When ACE Fiber enters the asphalt-mixing chamber, the wax melts to release the fibers in the right place at the right time, increasing its strength.
- Fibers are proven to provide a 50% increase in the overall performance and life of roads compared to those using no enhancement technology.
To create ACE, we blended aramid fibers and Sasobit wax to address the two major distresses effecting asphalt performance today – cracking and rutting. Aramid is a unique fiber with 400,000 psi tensile strength and micro-roots that tenaciously anchor themselves in the bitumen of the asphalt. In the summertime when asphalt gets hot and wants to rut, the rooted aramid provides resistance to the “flow” of asphalt to mitigate rutting. In the wintertime when asphalt is cold and wants to shrink, aramid provides added tensile strength for resistance to cracking.
- Investing in higher quality, longer lasting asphalt will save you money in the long run.
Using the proper amount of aramid fiber can reduce the overall cost of your project and it can increase the life of your A.C. pavement. Paying 10% - 20% more for A.C. mix that performs over 50% better than standard A.C. mix is the simplest financial justification for using aramid fiber. However in certain situations, you can formulate aramid fiber to reduce the amount of A.C. needed for your pavement sections to save costs. Using AQU Fiber can save approximately 25% in overall A.C. costs.
- Any asphalt project can benefit from ACE Fiber…
including both newly constructed asphalt pavements as well as thin asphalt overlay projects over deteriorated asphalt or concrete pavements.
Want to learn more about how our innovative technology can improve your next asphalt project? Speak with a specialist or Request a Quote at //surface-tech.com/request-a-quote/ .
The Pringle Creek Community in Oregon uses porous asphalt streets, so its roads are part of its stormwater management system.
There are many reasons that highway engineers and motorists prefer asphalt.
Simply stated, asphalt pavements are designed and built to last. Most roads are constructed in layers, with each layer playing its part in delivering the best infrastructure possible. When it’s all put together, asphalt pavements can handle the toughest traffic punishment.
An asphalt Perpetual Pavement is designed and built to ensure that the structure lasts virtually indefinitely. Routine maintenance is simply a matter of periodically milling (about every 12 to 20 years) the surface for recycling, followed by placement of a new, smooth new overlay. Not surprisingly, these periodic overlays significantly improve the ride quality and fuel consumption of vehicles traveling these roads. Bottom line: Throughout its life, an asphalt pavement’s ride and performance are just as good as new.
Studies have demonstrated the fact that pavement smoothness is a significant determinant of vehicle fuel economy. The smoother the pavement, the lower a vehicle’s fuel consumption. But which tends to be smoother, asphalt or concrete? Well, one indication comes from state DOTs’ standards, which have specifications for newly built roads. If the road does not meet the standard, the contractor’s pay is reduced. Some states have different standards for asphalt and concrete, and in every state where this is the case, the requirements for asphalt roads are more stringent than for concrete roads.
Smoother pavements also last longer because trucks’ tires roll more easily along the pavement instead of bouncing on bumps – and such bouncing actually accelerates road deterioration. Studies show that improving pavement smoothness by 25 percent results in almost a 10 percent increase in pavement longevity. Smooth roads don’t just save taxpayers money by lasting longer, they also conserve precious natural resources.
Noise, including road noise, is a pervasive form of environmental pollution. There is no better way to reduce road noise than to treat the problem at its source. By paving roads and highways with asphalt, the noise generated by at the tire-pavement interface – noise that affects people as they go about their daily lives – can be significantly reduced. Paving with asphalt is actually more effective than building expensive, unsightly noise walls.
Speed of construction
Paving with asphalt cuts construction project time significantly and eliminates the long curing times of concrete. As a result, traffic flows more smoothly and impact on commerce is minimized. Asphalt paving projects can be planned and carried out to take advantage of off-peak periods, like nights and weekends. Asphalt is ready for traffic right after it is compacted and cooled, meaning that roads don’t have to remain closed for curing. This enhances traffic flow and minimizes closures and delays that frustrate motorists and cost money.
Maintenance is quick, cost-effective, and less disruptive than with concrete pavements.
Asphalt is best for parking lots, and for such specialized applications as airports and racetracks.
Asphalt is an economical, environmentally friendly, fast-to-construct material for parking lots. About 85 percent of the parking lots in the U.S. are asphalt.
Busy commercial airports such as Baltimore-Washington International, Oakland International, San Francisco International, McCarran (Las Vegas), Pearson International (Toronto), and Logan International (Boston) have main runways surfaced with asphalt. Boston Logan's airport has paved a runway with warm-mix asphalt, making it one of the greenest airports in the world. Asphalt is also used on 85 percent of the runways at general aviation airports. Asphalt's speed of construction makes it an ideal choice for rehabilitation of busy aviation facilities.
Asphalt pavements provide smooth driving surfaces combined with the excellent traction demanded by professional stock car racing. Of the 33 NASCAR race tracks across the country, 31 are paved with asphalt. Of the 88 race tracks listed for the NASCAR Short Track series, 64 are asphalt, 21 are dirt or clay, and only three are concrete.
Road agencies such as state DOTs and city/county public works departments use Pavement type selection processes to identify the best pavement for a given application.
The United States has 2.2 million miles of paved roads, and about 93% of them are surfaced with asphalt.
Surface Tech is extremely excited to announce our innovative product line of asphalt and concrete additives. See us at the World of Asphalt 2016 Show & Conference in Nashville. The event runs from March 22-24, 2016.
Stop by our booth #3562 and sign up to win a Go Pro Hero4 Black
Surface Tech will enter Companies who want to try its ACE product on an upcoming 2016 pilot job. Surface Tech will provide up to 100TE of ACE for your pilot at no charge; the pilot must install by Oct 2016. These entrants will be amongst those only eligible for the Go Pro raffle. One prize will be awarded on a random selection basis.