New Smartphone Attachment Measures Asphalt Mix Temperature

A new smartphone attachment can map asphalt temperatures instantaneously

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We all know that temperature is the key to a successful asphalt paving job. When there are extreme differences in temperature and the mix gets cold, you’re like to have mat failure. However, it can be difficult to know just how hot the asphalt being put down is when you’re in the middle of paving. 

New technology has been developed to help contractors to see temperature differences in the mix, but some of those cameras can cost over $15,000.

In comparison, a new smartphone camera attachment from Seek Thermal costs as little as $250 and is changing the game of temperature monitoring for asphalt contractors. 

Monitoring Heat

On some jobs, it’s inevitable that mix sits in the bed of the truck, or multiple trucks lined up, for longer than it should before it’s dumped into the paver. At that point, the temperature of the mix could already be compromised, making it hard to achieve an end-quality mat.

“When the mix comes, you can use the camera attachment to measure where there are cool spots in the bed and mix it up before dumping it in the paver,” says Marc Okicich, director of sales - Americas for Seek Thermal. “The camera can be used anywhere where you’re looking to measure temperature: when the mix is delivered, temperature of the mat, ambient temperature, etc.” 

Quick to connect and detect, The Seek Thermal Compact or CompactPro use advanced infrared technology to let you see thermal images day or night. The smartphone attachment is designed to work with both iPhone and Android top models in conjunction with the smartphone app that contractors can download once they purchase the camera.  

This device is portable and easy to pack away. It combines powerful thermal insight with a 206 x 156 sensor, a 36-in.-wide field of view and runs off the low energy from your smartphone. Your smartphone display makes this as visual and large as your phone or tablet screen. Its detection distance can be shortened into a few inches or can detect temperatures up to 1,000 ft. away.

“With this device, you can quickly identify cold spots in the pavement,” Okicich says. “At that time, you are able to proactively do something to fix the problem before it’s too late.”

You can also use the camera to monitor just those objects that are above a certain temperature. For example, if you know something is supposed to be at or above a certain temperature, you can set a range to see only images of those times with temperatures above 200° F. 

Logging Temperatures

Just as you document density on a jobsite for proof of work, these cameras can be used to document and log temperatures. The camera can be used to get a spot temperature, take a photo, time stamp it, date stamp it and give a location. The data can be stored in your phone and then emailed or transferred to a hard drive. By doing this, contractors can have documented proof that the mix was delivered at the desired temperature for optimal laydown and compaction.

Video can also be recorded while you’re moving. This allows you to record temperatures coming out of the truck on a consistent basis. Video can also show the hottest and coldest spots on the mat for documentation and pavement performance review purposes. 

SeekThermal has devices that range from $250 to $700 and can be used in all applications from home repair, plumbing and HVAC, and even hunting. The device can also be used off the jobsite, making sure you get the coldest beer before your buddies do. For more information on SeekThermal visit