Profiler manufacturers have also enhanced laser technology to improve profile accuracy. Initially, single point lasers were used to measure the pavement's smoothness, but contractors soon discovered that a pavement's texture can affect profile numbers.
"The texture in concrete surfaces and some SMA and open-graded asphalt mixes can falsely elevate the numbers," Klatt says.
To combat this, profiler manufacturers have developed multipoint laser systems like the RoLine sensor from Ames Engineering to analyze a broader surface footprint. "The single point sensor is good for tight asphalt surfaces, but the RoLine monitors 100 points across the surface, so it eliminates texture deviations," Reid explains.
Profiler software is another area where manufacturers are focusing to aid contractors in diagnosing roughness in pavements. The system's odometer mode enables contractors to precisely locate any areas of localized roughness that require attention.
"For today's paving contractor, the name of the game is accuracy and smoothness," Klatt says. "With the types of profilers and available options on the market, the contractor is able to quickly obtain accurate smoothness numbers by using the profiler as an in-process tool, and the crew uses this information to take the necessary corrective actions to deliver a smoother final product and maximum profits."
Rick Zettler is a freelancer from Cedarapids, IA.