Bomag America's John Hood says the single biggest innovation in compaction is intelligent compaction systems in the roller. Used currently on rollers 66 inches wide and larger, intelligent compaction monitors the stiffness of the mat as you compact it, the mat surface temperature, and the amplitude of the roller.
"One of the bigger weaknesses is overcompaction and if you overcompact you start crushing the stone in the mix and reduce the integrity of the mat," Hood says. "Once you establish a rolling pattern intelligent compaction helps you get the density you need without a risk of overcompaction. Plus, intelligent compaction increases the consistency of the mat, can find weak spots when you're proof rolling, and can reduce the time the roller operator spends on the mat because once it's compacted you can get off."
Frank Wenzel, vice president of engineering for Stone Construction Equipment, says this is the innovation most likely to make the biggest impact on paving operations in the future. "More and more contractors will be using it because it allows the user to get a better road built, which means the lifecycle of the road will lengthen and maintenance costs might come down."