Technology Advances The Paving Industry
One of the prime needs of human civilization is means of transportation. Transportation has been an important key factor behind the development and progress of human civilization (thanks to the invention of the wheel). But more importantly, we need a proper road system with vast network and accessibility for the smooth and efficient functioning of the transportation sector. Thus a well-developed transportation system of a country shows it’s status and adds to its economy. So construction and maintenance of roads are a matter of national importance which aims at looking for more advanced technology for efficient and faster progress. We reached out to the best asphalt paving contractor Fort Worth for some insight as to how the paving industry has evolved.
Asphalt pavement is not something new, it has been recorded to be used in Peru from around 1500 A.D. In modern times, the use of asphalt paving started with footpaths in the 1830s and then it was carried onto main roadways in 1850s. The first use of coal tar in the pavement was made of U.K. Coal tar, which was used as a binder has been available in U.K. as a waste material after coal gas lighting. The term ‘tarmac’ was used to refer for those pavements but it is used only for airports pavements.
With the increasing number of vehicles, it was felt the need of better roads with new innovations in the asphalt paving technology. This made people move to petroleum-based asphalt. At the same time, mechanical drum mixers and spreaders were invented. People also made use of tractors with a screed unit consisting of vertical tamping bar. After the Second World War, the revolution in pavement took place with the introduction of huge capital, new equipment and the new technique of paving were devised. Electronic level control, extra widening finisher were developed. These types of equipment reduced time of paving by making the leveling of pavements faster and paving two lanes at the same time.
By 1970s, due to environmental concerns, alternatives were made in the production of asphalt. Recycling of asphalt began which made a huge impact on the environmental threat. A large amount of carbon emission was reduced due to this recycling technique.
In 1980s new pavers were developed which would place Hot Mix Asphalt over the prepared surface very efficiently and would compact the pavement at the same time too.
New Asphalt Technology
Today a large variety of mechanical pavers are available with different capacity and power making for some great asphalt technology. Nowadays a variety of new asphalt mixtures has been developed such as High Modulus Asphalt Concrete which uses very hard Bitumen of grade 10/20 which has a high modulus of elasticity of about 13000 Mpa. This concrete has very high fatigue resistance too. Another special asphalt concrete developed is Stone mastic asphalt which has a strong wearing surface, it is used in heavy traffic load roads. One of the advanced technologies used for repairing of a road is LIDAR technology instead of convention road milling process which caused a lot of problems like excessive resource usage, time-consuming, traffic congestion. In LIDAR technology a laser is used to map the size, shape, and dimensions of potholes and cracks which are then used to create an asphaltic mat of desired shapes and with the help of variable screed the potholes can be filled very efficiently in a single pass.
Thus new advancing technologies are helping a lot saving time and resource in Asphalt Pavement.
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