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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Equipment analysis

The company provides a range of analytical services for asphalt operations. Its preventive maintenance programs offer advanced vibration analysis, ultrasonic trending, infrared thermography, training, and support to help managers get the most out of their equipment, pavement, and personnel. The company's roster of field services includes field balancing, laser alignment, ultrasonic greasing, and total equipment surveys. Round-the-clock support is available. M&R Technologies.

Crack-sealing melter/ applicator

With an oil-jacketed tank and recirculation feature, the Matrix 1500 melter/ applicator provides quick heat-up and even sealant temperatures. The 150-gallon machine offers user-friendly digital controls, which permit the user to start the 22-hp engine and step away while it warms up. The electronic ignition burner is diesel-fired, with an angled burner chamber providing 250,000 BTU. In addition, a direct-drive agitator in the tank helps maintain temperature and prevents scalding. Cimline Inc.

Tandem vibratory roller

Powered by a 33.8-hp, three-cylinder diesel engine, the BW120AD-4 has an operating weight of 5732 pounds and drum width of 47.2 inches. Maximum centrifugal force is 10,125 pounds, 6% more than the previous model. Choose from two vibration frequencies—3300 and 4200 vpm—for improved compaction on a range of materials. Maximum working speed in high-frequency mode is 4 mph. Other features include a 10.6-gallon fuel tank, 58.1-gallon water tank, standard crab-walk capability, and bolt-on oscillating articulation joint. BOMAG Americas.

Customized asphalt equipment

The company provides customized asphalt blending equipment, as well as made-to-order heated and agitated tanks. In addition, the firm assists asphalt installers in engineering mix designs, manufacturing equipment, and training employees to ensure high-quality results. D&H Equipment Ltd.

Infrared asphalt recycler

The KM 4-48 infrared asphalt recycler comes in a folding trailer design. Four independent heating zones allow the operator to recycle areas of 8 to 48 square feet at a time. Its four swivel casters allow a high degree of maneuverability in working position—simply fold the trailer unit out and position it over the area to be reheated. The infrared technology lets the user warm asphalt without destroying the pavement's physical properties. Keizer-Morris International Inc.

High-temperature filter

ThermoPleat filter elements are designed to withstand the high temperatures in asphalt plant baghouses. They offer up to three times more filtration area than traditional bags, lower operating differential pressure, increase total air flow, reduce installation time, and require less compressed air to clean. GE Energy.

Trench-filling machine

The Trench Grader attaches to any skidsteer. Used to fill trenches with asphalt, the unit can fill a trench and level it out in a single pass. It can be used on trenches from 12 to 24 inches. Trench Grader.

Surface profiling

The Simple Profiler collects high-resolution surface data, generates test results, and detects areas of localized roughness. Capable of reporting dual-wheel path reports, the product works with user-friendly Windows software programs for calibration, data collection, and analysis. The information can be exported to PDF, spreadsheets, and hard copy. An optional GPS feature can integrate data with Google Earth. Surface Systems & Instruments.

Cold planers

AP cold planers come in widths from 12 to 48 inches. Choose from models with electric or hydraulic controls. The units' open drum increases productivity while reducing re-milling, dust, noise, and uneven cuts. The front-down design contains debris in the shell and leaves it behind within the milled strip. Also, the center pivot transfers the host machine's weight directly over the drum's center point for maximum control without bouncing. Coneqtec/Universal.

Fiber stabilizer

ROAD-CEL is a cellulose fiber stabilizer for stone-matrix asphalt and open-grade friction course mix designs. The product comes in large, palletized blocks for fast and easy mixing in hot-mix plants. The blocks can be unloaded, stored, and loaded by a single person. It saves time and labor, creating a cost-effective way to add cellulose fiber to asphalt. Interfibe.

Pavement repair material

UPM is a high-performance, permanent asphalt patching material. Easy to apply in any weather condition, the product is durable and versatile. The company's chemists custom-create the material for particular jobsite conditions. They analyze raw materials to determine all relative material, then formulate a blend that matches locally available aggregate. The formulation also takes into consideration climate and season, ensuring the product will last. Unique Paving Materials Corp.

Pads for planers/pavers

Legend Series pads are two-piece, bolt-on products designed for use on high-production asphalt pavers and cold-milling planers. The items are made of heavy-duty rubber, and their design maximizes traction, wear life, steering control, and speed of installation. They are suitable for use in both hot and cold climates with no loss of traction, even on full-depth reclamation and paving jobsites. Evertire Inc.

Flexible manhole frame/cover

The Adjustable manhole cover/frame system is designed to be paved directly into the pavement surface, rather than the concrete infrastructure. It enables shock from traffic to be transmitted to the subsurface, rather than the manhole itself. Also, if the road should heave or settle, the floating system allows the frame to move with the surface, eliminating the need for expensive repairs. Several frame and cover sizes are offered. Mueller Co.

Manhole cutter

The Stehr SKF 950 manhole cutter attaches to your skidsteer. It can dry-cut through asphalt at a rate of 1 inch per minute, letting crews work quickly and efficiently. The machine's bit sizes range from 18 to 55 inches, and it cuts to a maximum depth of 1 foot. The company offers the machines for sale or for rental. Mountain Valley Equipment.

Asphalt deodorant

deScent is an additive that eliminates the unpleasant odors normally produced by hot-mix asphalt. The material was created with a high flashpoint, which makes for maximum odor neutralization. ArrMaz Custom Chemicals.

Electronic grade control

This electronic grade control system is designed to help users accurately place uncompacted asphalt. The product models a string line numerically, using the ground as a reference for all thicknesses to be placed. It reduces paving time by eliminating string-line setup, averaging beams, and laser setup/ calibration. It automatically computes compaction allowance for varying paving depths, generating an accurate compacted fill thickness to create a smooth surface. PaveSmart.

Asphalt distributor

The Maximizer 3 asphalt distributor includes the company's EZ Spray in-cab computer system, and a hydraulically controlled, variable spray bar that reaches widths up to 16 feet (or 20 feet with an added option) for tack and chip-and-seal jobs. The spray bar can be drawn in or out for maneuvering around obstacles, and it is fed by a 400-gallon-per-minute asphalt pump. The tank comes in sizes of 1100 to 4100 gallons. Rosco, a LeeBoy Co.

Electronically controlled melter with quick heat-up

The EZ Series II melter has a heated hose, electronic controls, and modular design. The machine offers a higher heat-efficiency ratio and quicker heat-up time than most competitive units. Its 2-inch rugged sealant pump enables it to apply hot-pour, fiber, and coal-tar sealants. It comes with a heated or unheated applicator hose; options such as a large air compressor, autoloader, and integrated engine gauges also are available. Crafco Inc.

Construction communication system is a real-time information system that gathers operational data from all aspects of the construction process, so that project managers obtain an overview of everything going on at a jobsite. It gathers information from the production data logger at the plant, at the transport level (truck position relative to the plant and paver), from the paver itself (position, speed, and other data), and from compactors and other moving machines. Minds Inc.

Mid-size cold mills

The W 120 F cold-milling machine has a width of 4 feet, features front-end loading of recycled asphalt via a two-part conveyor system, and can be equipped with either wheels or tracks. The machine cuts to 12.6 inches deep. The W 60 cold mill is a 2-foot-wide machine with a flexible rear loader, making it suitable for trench and channel digging; it cuts to 11.8 inches deep. Wirtgen America.

Flameless pothole patcher

The FP5 has an insulated 5.1-cu.-yd. hopper that uses electric heat to keep asphalt at a constant temperature. The machine removes material from the damaged area and squares it off with a breaker. Then, its air-and-tack wand blows out remaining debris and applies the tack coating, binding the new asphalt to the existing pavement. The material chute delivers the fresh asphalt to the prepared area, and the compactor consolidates it. The process reduces material waste and saves money. Bergkamp Inc.

Moisture/density measurement

The Apex 3430+ moisture/density gauge offers direct readout of wet and dry density, moisture, percent moisture, percent voids, and percent compaction on an enlarged four-line, 20-character display. It can store up to 999 readings, and has NiMH batteries that recharge in approximately three hours. The 3440+ model also has a remote-start keypad, USB port, and end-of-count signal. Troxler.

Cold asphalt repair

EZ Street cold asphalt can be used to fix potholes, utility cuts, edge repairs, and small overlays in any weather conditions. The product is permanent, does not require mixing, avoids the mess associated with hot-mix asphalt, and can be opened to traffic right after application. Little or no machinery is required to apply. The EZ Street Co.

Ground-tire asphalt

GTR (ground-tire rubber) asphalt contains recycled rubber from used tires—approximately 2000 tires go into resurfacing 1 mile of a typical two-lane road. The product leads to a high-quality surface with reduced road noise, and installation creates up to 15% reduced emissions compared to standard asphalt mixes. The material is highly workable, and little to no modification is required to work with conventional hot-mix equipment. Seneca Petroleum Co.

Rubber repair plates

TempRamps offer a safer temporary pothole repair than steel utility plates or cold patch. The durable, recycled-rubber repair plates are placed and fasten with anchors. When ready to permanently resurface the pavement, simply remove the anchors and store the plates; they can be reused repeatedly for years. EZ Road Inc.

Custom asphalt formulation

The company offers more than 75 different asphalt emulsions for a wide range of jobsite requirements. The materials are suitable for surface treatments, chip sealing, cold-in-place recycling, cold-mix patching and paving, full-depth reclamation, and other applications. McAsphalt Industries Ltd.

Asphalt reclaimers

The RC16000D is a self-contained, 8-ton infrared asphalt reclaimer and storage unit. The truck-mounted dumping unit features hydraulic loading and discharge doors. The machine reclaims, holds, and stores either plant-mix or previously used asphalt at working temperatures, for extended intervals. Ray-Tech Infrared Corp.