Each time you cross a perfectly paved asphalt road, you feel how smooth and quiet the drive is. But it’s important to note that flawless asphalt paving is not a matter of accident. It results from perfect scheduling of every paving step, careful attention to the minute details, proper planning, and a lot of hard work. So, it’s a long and strenuous process that demands a lot of skills and experience. For example, even crack filling by using a hot crack fill machine requires adequate skill. It takes only one mishap to cause damages on the asphalt paving, which could lead to further fatal issues. This guide mentions the essential tips professional paving companies take to ensure strength and durability and avoid future damages to asphalt paving. Let’s begin.
- Paver Setup Check
A detailed inspection of all the paving components and machines is essential to eliminate any risks and ensure total safety before the work starts. Features and paving machines require a proper check so that the operation does not get affected later on.
Professionals apply a coating solution to each component that might come in contact with the construction material asphalt. This step ensures that the details do not get stuck to the metal parts. Many high-quality release agents coated on components with the help of a dedicated machine are used by well-known manufacturers.
For example, the Volvo pavers developed a unique coating system named Blaw-Kote, which helps them coat an entire machine and apply the coating to the tracks. The system is so designed that it only requires one push to the button to do all the challenging work, which previously needed much more time and workforce.
So, it’s evidently clear that a dedicated machine would save much more cost and time like the hot crack fill machine to resolve asphalt cracking. But there prevail some essential measures for machine preparation. You need to set the screed up and check the format thickness, width, and slope or crown. You must preheat the screed first before using it to remove the risks of mat dragging and sticking. For preheating, 107ºC to 135ºC (225ºF to 275ºF) temperature range is ideal.
Rotating the depth cranks to the paving depth is essential to set up the angle for the screed plate. The thickness of the mat will grow or decrease depending on the screed angle. That’s why the first tip, a thorough check-up of the paver set up, is significant to ensure life-long durability to the asphalt road.
- Quality Mat Laying
After the initial check-up is done, the second thought should be getting high-quality paving mats. Before laying the carpet, there are many things you need to check. The first being checking the paving material quality. After that, you should consider checking the level of mixture which would be applied. Then, pay attention to the paver speed to determine compaction.
The other two significant factors are equally important for ensuring the consistency of pavement. Quality mat paying is determined by a well-maintained speed of paving and the materials’ continuous surface to the screen.
- Head of Material Maintenance
The mass of the paving mix is generally known as the Head of Material. It spans the screed’s width. So, if it appears to fluctuate often during the paving process, it becomes next to impossible to create a smooth pavement surface. If the head of material increases, it will also increase the mat’s thickness, producing a wavy texture. On the flip side, if it decreases, the mat thickness will be reduced, leading to massive flaws. So, it’s incredibly essential to maintain the constant flow of the head of material to the entire screed’s width.
- The Constant Speed of Paving
Varying mat depth, ripples, and waves happen due to the inconsistent and irregular speed of paving. The exemplary operation of paving occurs only when the paver operates for the whole day nonstop. Because even a minimum change in the rate can effectively affect the evenness of the mat laying process. Specific speed changes are also directly related to the delivery of the hot mix material and timing. Usually, the untimely arrival of huge trucks hinders the constant speed of paving. Additionally, the bumping of the paver while the process of truck exchange also contributes heavily to the paving speed changes.
That’s why it is essential to consider the size and number of the trucks and the output and volume of the mixing plant. The compaction rates and capabilities of the workforce should also be considered minutely. Apart from these, the distance between the paver and the mixing plan needs to be considered.
- Compaction, Mat thickness and Temperature
The correct compaction determines how long asphalt can preserve its integrity and, thus, the reduced need for the future maintenance of the road. Unless proper compaction practices, the road will not be able to handle loads of heavy traffic. Asphalt will not remain integrated into the extreme weather conditions or in the rapid temperature fluctuations.
Excellent compaction depends on the comparative investigation of the temperature and thickness of the mat. The mix needs to have sufficient fluidity that can allow enough movement of the particles and eliminate the excessive airflow in the pavement structure. Thus, a compactor operator should have a keen eye for several materials and complete experience to determine the temperature and the thickness of the mat. That’s why many companies go for Intelligent Compaction (IC).
- Rolling Pattern
A precise rolling pattern is the most crucial step as the stability, and the smoothness of the road is very much dependent on this factor. Rolling must be completed before the temperature of the mix drops very low. You can avoid stopping in the same place time and again by simply staggering stops down the mat. It’s also advised to limit the rolling zone length to make the compactor’s job of keeping up with the paver accessible.
Final Thoughts –
To provide the correct guidance for operation, training programs should take place. Big companies like the Volvo Road Institute provided several courses conducted by professionals to teach the proper techniques to the paving contractors. Correct guidance is very much needed for asphalt paving as it’s not as simple as treating cracks with the help of a hot crack fill machine. The training course would also ensure maximum safety for contractors who risk their lives in building roads for us.