BRIDGEVIEW, IL - A group of pavement industry professionals has joined forces in the formation of a Seal/No Seal (SNS) Industry Research Committee.
According to Committee Co-Chair Scott L. Eilken, owner of Quality Saw & Seal of Bridgeview, Ill., the SNS Research Committee was formed to respond to the age-old industry question about the value of sealing concrete pavement joints. The Committee is working in cooperation with a large number of leading contractors and manufacturers responsible for the sealing and maintenance of pavement joints and cracks across the nation.
"As cost pressures continue, there is increased interest in eliminating transverse joint sealants as a means of lowering the cost of concrete pavements," said Eilken. "However, there is a lack of data in the industry to help guide owners about sealant effectiveness and the long-term impact of using or not using such sealants. Our role is to gather the necessary information to help owners make informed decisions that will ensure long-term effectiveness and best use of their concrete pavements."
The Committee is comprised of academic and transportation specialists with extensive experience in the design and construction of joint sealant systems. Committee members are:
- Co-Chair: Scott Eilken, Owner, Scott L. Eilken, Quality Saw & Seal
- Co-Chair: Charley Grady, Director, International Group, CRAFCO
- Dan Zollinger, Ph.D., P.E., Professor of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University
- Robert Rodden, E.I.T., Director - Technical Service and Product Development, American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA)
- Michael Darter, Ph.D., P.E., Director - Pavement Research Institute, Principal - Applied Research Associates, Inc.
- Larry Scofield, P.E., Director - Pavement Innovation, ACPA
- Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., P.E., Consultant
- Mark Snyder, Ph.D., P.E., Vice President - ACPA Pennsylvania Chapter
- Larry Lynch, P.E., Division Chief - US Army Corp of Engineers
- Wouter Gulden, P.E., Director - Engineering and Training, ACPA Southeast Chapter
The key priorities of the SNS Committee are to raise the necessary funds to conduct testing, as well as secure partnerships with other agencies in order to pursue the necessary research. Key objectives include:
- Develop a framework of test sections that can be evaluated for long-term performance to address the seal/no seal question for both dowelled and undowelled pavements in all environmental zones. This effort will consist of two major aspects. The first is developing new test sections, as necessary, and the second, to continue evaluation of the test sections evaluated in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) study on Sealant Cost-Effectiveness. The SNS has contracted with Soil Mechanics Engineers to conduct profile testing of several of the FHWA sites. In addition, the states of Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Minnesota have agreed to conduct profile testing of the FHWA sites constructed in their states. By conducting the 2009 profile testing of the FHWA sites, the performance period of the sections has been extended approximately 40 percent over the evaluation period possible during the FHWA study. Establishment of new test sections allows evaluation of different features and also provides additional data for analysis.
- Obtain state and local transportation authority partners in conducting evaluations of existing sites. This approach leverages needed researchers and provides additional expert knowledge and ownership in evaluating test sections.
- Conduct a literature search and document abutment movement and slab growth issues related to unsealed joints.
- Document findings and educate the marketplace.