Are there any new developments or trends in asphalt testing that producers/contractors need to keep abreast of in meeting emerging road agency specifications?
Apkarian, Transtech Systems Inc.: "The biggest trend I see on the testing side is development of your quality control tech and elevating the position to equal status on the crew. The development of non-nuclear density gauges has allowed crews to obtain a vast amount of information much quicker than traditional ways in the past."
Collins, Pavement Technology: "We believe the new trend for the future will be Real-Time Quality Control (RTQC) for asphalt and aggregate plants. RTQC simply means testing materials as their being produced, not after they've been produced. Today we have the ability to monitor moisture content, gradation, asphalt content, etc.
"RTQC will allow contractors to continuously monitor materials their plants produce and allow them to make changes to their plants in a timely manner. This will allow contractors to run more materials within specification and reduce their quality control cost."
Akehurst, Troxler Electronic Laboratories Inc.: "The developments we see include permeability, stiffness/modulus, Warm Mix asphalt, and shear measurements for mix designs."
Arbelaez, InstroTek Inc.: "Our company actually has two pieces of equipment that can be used for both mix design and performance testing. The SPT-Asphalt Performance Tester has been heavily backed by FHWA as the future of asphalt performance testing. In the future, we see this product being a staple of any asphalt lab much like a gyratory compactor or NCAT Furnace.
"The CoreDry Rapid Asphalt Drying System is also a laboratory product that uses a method of drying asphalt cores that is super fast — which contractors like — extremely accurate, and does not harm the sample — which DOTs like. Indiana DOT is one of the first DOTs to experiment with asphalt warranties. They have adopted this drying method and now have a CoreDry in each of their district labs."