Asphalt Pavement Preservation
Asphalt has always been plentiful and affordable, so 93% of the nation's roads were eventually paved using this product. The recent volatility in petroleum markets has changed all that. Bituminous product prices were escalated to their highest levels ever, with little relief in sight from the petroleum industry. The energy cost to produce aggregate for chip seals has seen similar increases. There is an alternative being offered to prolong asphalt's useful life, and it's better than a chip seal when applied on a timely basis before major shrink cracking occurs. It has a smaller carbon foot-print, it's faster, has less negatives as listed below, and costs much less.
Aggregate makes up 94% of asphalt pavement, and aggregate does not deteriorate. The remaining 6% is made up of bituminous binders, and that will deteriorate due to the drying effects of the sun, plus the wind and rain leaching out some of its chemical components over time. The on-time application of a good penetrating sealer can replace that very small amount of chemical components, and extend the life of asphalt pavement substantially. It brings back the original elasticity and seals the surface against the intrusion of air and water. Up until now, there has been a drawback to using Asphalt Sealers for high-speed applications, but not anymore.
Safety is the primary reason asphalt sealers have been rejected from use on high-speed roads and airport runways. Penetrating chemical replacement is an inexpensive asphalt rejuvenation process that has been used successfully for 40 years, but some bad accidents have been attributed to the lack of initial skid resistance in high speed applications. An oily residue can leave a film of lubricity on the surface, which can lower skid resistance to dangerous levels until the film wears off. Recent tests have proven that excellent skid results are maintained throughout the entire process when a good penetrating sealer is applied to a Skidabraded surface.
How it works: The Skidabrader is brought in to remove the dead, oxidized crust off of weathered asphalt and around aggregate peaks with its bi-directional abrading process. Several miles can be done each night for skid resistance and safety, under traffic. The Skidabrader textures pavement to exacting specifications, in a rolling safety zone configuration. The permeability of the newly exposed bituminous surface will also absorb a maltene-based rejuvenator much faster. This product is referenced because it is an old and proven penetrating sealer, and can be applied professionally with the latest computerized equipment. It is the only one that has been tested so far, and proven to work in this process. All tests have shown skid numbers to be well above acceptable ranges, some in as little as 8 minutes behind the sealer application on the Skidabraded surface, and continued to increase for several days afterwards. Cores pulled after 15 to 20 days revealed the surface was sealed and its viscosity was restored with a .04 application rate.
Advantages of the Skidabrader/ rejuvenator process are many. It is a clean, quick, and simple repair with no loose gravel and no broken windshields. Existing aggregate is rooted solidly in the original surface with new points exposed to indent the tire for traction. There is no danger of bleed through or flushing in this process, and paint lines can be left in place if desired. The pavement engineer can expect an overall improvement in skid resistance and several years of additional service life. The owner can expect the cost to be under half that of a double chip seal on substantial projects.