Hot Mix

Blastcrete Equipment Acquires Neal Manufacturing

Neal Manufacturing, a manufacturer of asphalt sealcoating equipment since 1978, has been acquired by Blastcrete Equipment Co. and has moved its operations to Blastcrete’s 70,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Anniston, AL.

According to Jim Farrell, Blastcrete president, Neal will operate as a division of Blastcrete. He said all key employees, including Eric Humphries, sales manager, will relocate to Blastcrete, joining four former Neal employees, including former Neal President Maury Bagwell, who has served as Blastcrete general manager since 2011.

“Neal fits Blastcrete like a glove,” Farrell said. “It is very unusual in a new partnership that you have the luxury of blending over 50 years of manufacturing experience. This opportunity eliminates any learning curve for us and allows us to start from day one providing our new Neal customers with world-class equipment and service.”

The Neal product line includes both self-propelled and trailer-mounted machines in several sizes, as well as skid-mounted machines. A rollout of the new partnership, including its latest technology, will be featured at National Pavement Expo, Jan. 8-11 in Ft. Lauderdale.

Blastcrete Equipment Co., established in 1950, is a leading manufacturer of mixing, pumping and spraying equipment serving the refractory, shotcrete, concrete construction and repair,

underground mining and tunneling, and power generation industries worldwide.


ACE Group Acquires Torwel Industries

ACE Group LLC, manufacturer and distributor of equipment and wear parts for the asphalt industry, has acquired Torwel Industries, a division of Sanweld Industries Inc.  Located in Bellingham, MA, Torwel Industries engineers and manufactures commercial and professional salt and sand spreaders. The acquisition allows ACE Group to expand its market area to New England and the east coast, as well as provide its East Coast customers with responsive service from a local, region-based facility. ACE Group has manufacturing operations in Minnesota and corporate offices in British Columbia. The Bellingham facility is now called Ace Torwel, Inc. 


1-800-Sweeper holds Second Sweeper Summit

The 1-800-Sweeper National Service Alliance held its second annual Sweeper Summit Nov. 11-13 in Detroit, attracting 37 sweeping companies representing 25 states.

Mike Lucht, 1-800-SWEEPER Service Alliance president, hosted an address that highlighted the rapid growth and sales success the Alliance is experiencing, and CEO Coach Cameron Herold highlighted the presentations. In addition to other speakers the Summit included a benchmarking workshop, a workshop on employee sleep deprivation.

In addition to contract sweeper a number of vendors attended the event, including X that were given presentation time: United Rotary Brush Corporation, Goodyear Tire, AmeriSource, Schwarze Industries, Nite-Hawk Sweepers, TYMCO, Johnston North America, Fairmont Specialties / Crum Forster Insurance, Stewart-Amos Sweeper Company and SideKick Blowers.


Research Claims US Geological Survey Modeling of PAH Sources Is Flawed

Policy makers have been provided with flawed environmental modeling results regarding the sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarboncompounds (PAHs) in urban sediments, according to a paper just accepted by Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM). The flawed model incorrectly identifies a specific type of pavement sealer as a significant source of PAHs even in localities where the product is not known to have been used. IEAM is peer reviewed and published by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry with the mission of “bridging the gap between scientific research and the application of science in decision making, policy and regulation, and environmental management.”

Titled Parsing Pyrogenic PAHs: Forensic Chemistry, Receptor Models, and Source Control Policy, the paper reviews the strengths and limitations of methods used to identify sources of pollution called “receptor models,” which increasingly are being used to help identify sources of contamination in environmental forensics studies.

As a case study, authors Kirk O’Reilly, Jaana Pietari and Paul Boehm of the science consulting firm Exponent ® looked at “the actions taken by researchers at the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) Texas Water Sciences Center [who] have identified refined tar-based sealer (RT-sealer) as a source of PAHs in urban sediments.”

A detailed analysis of two instances in which USGS modeling was considered by policy makers Austin, TX and the State of Washington – generated results by O’Reilly et. al. that “do not support the claim that parking-lot sealers are a significant source of PAHs in urban sediments.” Regarding Austin, the analysis presented in the case study confirms previously published studies that show sealers were not an identifiable source of PAHs in Austin sediments before or after the city banned use of the product. Indeed, Austin sediments containing the highest PAH concentrations tend to be less similar to the signature of refined tar-sealer than sediments with lower PAHs.

For details or to read the entire paper visit


U.S. Asphalt Market Demand to Rise 3.7% Annually Through 2017

Demand for asphalt in the United States is forecast to increase 3.7% annually to 27.9 million tons in 2017 according to, a research-focused website. This is equivalent to 154 million barrels of primary asphalt, the vast majority of which is refined petroleum asphalt. The site’s report notes that demand for asphalt is expected to advance from its low 2012 base, spurred by growth in highway and road construction spending and building construction expenditures, the two largest markets for asphalt. However, asphalt demand in 2017 will not reach the level seen in 2007. Rising use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) and increasing interest in rehabilitating and repairing older or worn surfaces — instead of building new roads — will serve as a check on asphalt demand advances.

The report adds that paving products, which accounted for 71% of asphalt consumption in 2012, and will remain the leading application for asphalt going forward, increasing 3.9% a year to 20.2 million tons in 2017. The passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which guarantees funding for highway and road construction projects through October 2014, provides an immediate boost to demand for paving materials. However, long-term gains will be checked by the efforts of government agencies to maintain existing road networks, rather than build new ones. The report notes that paving products demand will also be suppressed by increasing use of in-place recycling road construction methods, such as those that use RAP. These methods are favored by state transportation agencies because they are less costly; reusing old pavement to make new road surfaces reduces demand for asphalt cement, the most frequently specified paving material. As a result, demand for asphalt emulsions will benefit from rising use of RAP, as emulsions can be blended with old pavements to rejuvenate worn highway surfaces and repair moderately damaged highways.