As we know, even the well-laid concrete surfaces are likely to wear out. This means we need to replace our concrete or asphalt pavements. Asphalt paving projects require appropriate preparation and proper attention throughout the process.
Since most of the homeowners, commercial property owners, and municipality employees hardly know anything about the process, a basic knowledge of asphalt pavement installation will help in getting the best results. From demolition all the way to a smooth, new surface, asphalt paving is a step-by-step process.
1. Paver setup
The process begins with proper paver setup. For smooth paver setup, the paving machine, its components, and all the gauges must work efficiently. For quick and efficient results, proper machine preparation and screed setup are crucial. Depending on the expected usage and traffic volume, the project engineer determines the mat depth of the intended pavement. The thickness of the mat depends on the angle of the screed. The screed is preheated to prevent mat sticking and dragging. Moreover, to avoid asphalt sticking to machine’s bare metal parts, a release agent or coating solution is applied to the components.
2. Laying mat
The quality of the mat largely depends on a consistent paving speed. This means great pavement is the result of paver speed and material level where consistency plays a vital role.
3. Adequate head of material
The paving mix in the front which spans the width of the screed is called as the head of material. Inappropriate head of material in front of the screed is the major cause of all material faults in asphalt paving. It is important that the head of material remains constant across the entire width of the screed for a smooth pavement surface.
4. Speed of Paving
To lay a uniform mat, consistent paving speed is crucial. If the paving speed is not constant, it will cause ripples, waves, and irregular mat depth. Therefore, the paver must work continuously throughout the day to achieve ideal paving results. Numerous factors are to be taken into account while setting the speed, such as the number and size of trucks, volume, and output of the mixing plant, rolling and compaction rates.
Compaction is responsible for extending the life of the pavement. The ability of the pavement to withstand heavy loads, high traffic and extreme weather conditions depends on compaction. To achieve durable pavement, three factors play a vital role, which is mat temperature, mat depth or thickness, and compactor rolling patterns.
6. Rolling pattern
The final step which determines the smoothness and durability of the road is the rolling pattern. To achieve target density, the operator has to make sure to complete rolling before the mix temperature goes extremely down. The compactor can keep up with the paver by limiting the length of the rolling zone.
7. Intelligent Compaction
The emergence of Intelligent Compaction (IC) technology has resulted in better record keeping, increased compaction uniformity, automation and increased productivity for road crews that ultimately saves time.
Asphalt paving requires paying careful attention to each and every step of the process. Laying durable pavement not only depends on using the best equipment but also on the knowledge and efficiency of paving contractors. The best paving contractors understand how to maximize productivity through various paving and compaction practices, as well as, machine maintenance.