"There are so many variables to consider, from climate to traffic count to the availability of local materials, to the customer's experience of using different treatments to how much money is budgeted for the maintenance needs of a particular road," Larson says. "All of these factors play into the decision-making process of choosing the right solution. We (SemMaterials) constantly investigate what customers are saying is important to them in maintaining and preserving the roads they're responsible for maintaining."
But Larson and others involved in developing emulsions and other products used to maintain quality roads see the preservation side asphalt roads as a growing business, with ample opportunity for those who can deliver the right solution for the right roads at the right time.
Performance is the obvious benefit of polymer modified emulsions used to maintain and preserve hot mix asphalt pavements. AEMA has documented the specific benefits of polymer additives in the following applications:
- Chip seals, sand seals, scrub seals and sandwich seals - Early chip retention; reduced bleeding and flushing; better adhesion and elasticity at low temperatures; enables the use of chip seals for high volume roads.
- Quick set slurry seals - Higher stability allows earlier release to traffic; improves durability.
- Micro-surfacing - Allows rut-filling, thicker application and very quick cure and traffic return.
- Ultrathin bonded wearing course - Thick polymer emulsion membrane has superior bond of the open mix to the existing surface and provides a moisture barrier.
- Cold and hot in-place recycling - Improved adhesion, cohesion, strength and durability of recycled mix.
- Base stabilization/full-depth reclamation - Improved adhesion, cohesion, strength and durability of the stabilized mix.
- Cold and warm emulsion mixes - Excellent moisture resistance; better adhesion to surface to prevent delamination; better cohesive strength to prevent shoving; elasticity to extend durability.
- Premium patch mix - Improved adhesion to the pothole; cohesive strength to prevent deformation and raveling; and elasticity allowing permanent patching.
- Crack sealers - Elasticity and adhesion of polymers effectively keep cracks sealed.
- Fog seals - Prevents raveling, especially useful on open-graded friction courses) and extends pavement life.
- Tack coats and moisture barriers - Adhesive property of the polymer prevents delamination between hot mix layers; the polymer modified asphalt is an effective moisture barrier.
- Emulsions for specialty applications - Whether used as a base for a recreational surface coating, auto body undercoating, soil reclamation, or whatever application that uses asphalt emulsion, polymer modified emulsions will be easy to handle and provide improved durability.