Working with so many pavement contractors across North America it is hard to overlook an interesting development within the industry involving warm mix asphalt (WMA). In order to become more acquainted with the product and to see for myself the "workability" of the material I sought out a producer of a specific product in the WMA family.
What I found was a company called PQ Corp. who produces Advera WMA, an additive introduced to the asphalt production process at the plant. I was able to personally witness this product at the asphalt plant and then to see it applied at a large parking lot and rolled to an exceptional surface. But with conditions that were not all that different from using normal hot mix asphalt I wasn't convinced. I mean, the actual temperature of the asphalt was definitely much lower (by more than 50 F) and the plant personnel did admit that there was less emissions….I still wasn't quite convinced.
Then came Block Island, a beautiful island off the coast of Rhode Island. Here is where the story changes and my enthusiasm for warm mix asphalt began to grow quickly. To learn what I learned at a very unusual and challenging paving job on Block Island, check out the "On the Job: Case Study" article I wrote in the January issue of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction magazine.
Then, if WMA piques your interest, attend "Warm Mix Asphalt and Its Impact on Your Paving Operation" Saturday Feb. 5 at the 2011 National Pavement Expo, Feb. 2-5 in Nashville. At that 90-minute seminar James Curtis, Chec Management Systems, and Don Rooney, Pioneer Paving & Grading, will present a consultant's and contractor's perspective on the material, what it does, and how it handles….but check out my article first!
Brad Humphrey is a consultant to the asphalt and pavement maintenance industry, a regular contributor to Pavement Maintenance & Reconstructon, and a featured speaker at National Pavement Expo.