The Importance of Asphalt Compaction

The Importance of Asphalt Compaction

Quality asphalt is shown by how long the product lasts with minimal damages. Asphalt companies need to practice good paving techniques if they want their pavement to withstand the test of time. Asphalt compaction is crucial to the performance of pavement and must be expertly executed.

Compaction Basics

The basic concept of asphalt compaction is the process of removing air from the aggregate mix so that your asphalt is dense and strong. When the air is removed, the particles become closely spaced and creates a stiff and durable pavement. It begins behind the scenes when operators start work on the density of the mix. They need to monitor the heat of the mix and make sure it gets to the optimal temperature zone. Once the asphalt is laid, the rolling pattern that is performed will affect the compaction process. Basic rolling creates static pressure and knowing exactly how much is needed is a requirement for accurate density results. Asphalt teams need to know exact drum widths, the number of passes required, and specific measurements to make sure the asphalt finishes perfectly. Proper rolling equipment and methods are what ensures the correct target density and produces a smooth surface.

Typically, there are three types of compaction equipment: a paver screed, a steel wheeled roller, and a pneumatic tire roller. They use their own weight to compress the material underneath the ground and they create a shear stress process between the ground and the compressed material. The speed at which the machines are operated also makes a big difference. Lower speeds mean a decrease in shear rate, which in turn increases the shearing stress. This results in a denser configuration of the aggregate particles. The pavement will continue to compact a little due to traffic weight and impacts. In general, vehicles from regular traffic flow can compact the pavement about 2 to 4 more percent over the pavement’s lifecycle.

Communication between everyone on the team is key to making sure compaction is being achieved on the project. The whole team must be working in sync throughout the entire process and there must be someone working quality control, closely monitoring the project in real time. Once the work is done, if everything is correct, checking the work is important. Contractors will need to use test strips to check the quality of the compaction. Usually, trial and error is the method of getting this right, so the more experience a company has, the better chance they know how to do it right for your project the first time.

Most asphalt pavements need to be able to handle extremely heavy loads, which means it needs to meet these loads with great resilience. With proper compaction, the result is a smooth pavement that will last a long time. Go Pave Utah ensures their asphalt is properly planned out, laid smoothly, compacted effectively, and sealed properly to provide a pavement that lasts as long as possible. For any questions or for an estimate, give Go Pave Utah a call.




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