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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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.