Launch Slideshow

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Tour centers on asphalt's hottest topics

Tour centers on asphalt's hottest topics

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Asphalt is big business. Financial research firm The Freedonia Group predicts that asphalt demand in the United States will rise to 37 million tons this year, for a total cost of nearly $10 billion. At the same time, materials price hikes and global-warming fears contribute to clamoring for innovations in recycling, ways to stretch longevity, and “greener” asphalt.

Enter the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). The think-tank, created at Alabama's Auburn University through a partnership between the school and the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), seeks to advance pavement technology through research and testing on structural design, construction, performance measurement, and highway safety.

In conjunction with the World of Asphalt (WOA) Show and Conference (taking place in Atlanta March 19–22), NCAT is offering a unique opportunity to tour its facility and view first-hand the testing it performs. The event, scheduled for Friday, March 23, will introduce attendees to the state-of-the-art laboratories, test tracks, engineers, and technicians that help advance the field of asphalt technology.

“This tour is an opportunity for attendees to expand their knowledge of the latest asphalt technological innovations and practical applications,” says WOA show manager Melissa Magestro. A highlight: On a new test track that opened in October 2006, NCAT works the pavement with five semi-tractor trailers 16 hours a day, five days a week to simulate the stress a highway normally endures. The 1.7-mile oval is made of more than 40 sections, each measuring 200 feet, for field-performance comparisons.

Also, the event will move through the NCAT testing labs where technicians perform open-grade friction tests, volumetric and compaction testing, strength tests, and aggregate specification tests. For more information, visit www.worldofasphalt.com.

Reclaimer/stabilizer

The CMI RS425C reclaimer/stabilizer has a drive-locking feature that divides oil flow between the front- and rear-drive motors efficiently. The feature ensures that the machine continues moving forward even if one wheel loses traction, which improves performance in deep-cut stabilization applications. Other features include a second steering cylinder, four steering modes (coordinated front/rear, crab, front only, and rear only), and a center-mounted rotor design. Terex Roadbuilding. www.terexrb.com..

Precise compactor control

ExactCompact makes it simple for the operator of a vibratory-roller compacter to maintain impact spacing. The tool uses a series of lights at the operator station; push-button control permits the user to preset the machine to 8 to 20 impacts per foot. When the roller is switched on, the stored figures appear on the display and may be adjusted as necessary. The control is standard on the company's SW850 and SW900 double-drum asphalt rollers and may be retrofitted to most other vibratory rollers. Sakai America. www.sakaiamerica.com..

Replacement track pads

TUFPADS Blues replacement track pads offer up to a third longer wear than the company's original premium polyurethane pads. The product combines protection of the work surface with a high degree of traction on construction equipment. The product—which comes in a distinctive blue color—is available in both bonded and bolt-on pad configurations, and the line offers pads that fit on any size milling machine. BLS Enterprises Inc. www.tufpads.com..

Compact milling machine

The MW-500 is a four-wheel, rear-loading machine with a standard cutting width of 20 inches. Its compact size and maneuverability make it suitable for a range of applications, including patching, trench, and shoulder milling jobs. The 30-inch drum has a maximum cutting depth of 8¼ inches; it features hydraulically raised drum side skirts and a rear moldboard for enhanced material containment and drum access. Ingersoll Rand. www.ingersollrand.com..

On-the-fly loader scale

The Tuffer “weigh-in-motion” loader scale offers rugged, accurate measurement of loader weights. It lets users load to maximum weights quickly, without having to drive out of the way to a central scale, then back to the pit or jobsite. The product can be installed on most loaders. An optional printer lets the operator print weight data from the cab, which saves time and money. Vishay Measurements Group. www.vishay.com..