Warm Mix Asphalt used on A66 in Cumbria
Photo Credit To Hanson Asphalt

Warm Mix Asphalt used on A66 in Cumbria

Hanson spreads the benefits of warm asphalt

Use of warm asphalts promises environmental benefits of energy saving, lower emissions and enhanced durability and to this list can now be added technical advantages, including extended compactability in cold weather and quicker reopening of roads to traffic.

Hanson is one contractor which has taken these technical advantages on board and has used warm asphalt to reinstate one of Cumbria’s busiest roads; the A66 at Crackenthorpe, west of Appleby.

“Carriageway closures were restricted to night time during last winter,” said Hanson North Technical Services Manager, Aggregates and Asphalt, Jon Sharp. “We had to get in at 19.30pm, complete the milling out and replacement work, and get away for traffic to be running by 08.00am the next morning.

“Time was short considering the amount of work we had to do each shift. We needed materials that could be well compacted despite the cold temperatures and which would rapidly harden the new asphalt pavement layers. Our client Kier (contractor to Highways England) agreed to the low temperature solutions we proposed.”

The challenge was to lay two layers of asphalt base course at 90mm each, plus an asphalt binder course of 70mm, adding up to a total of 250mm. A Tuffgrip thin surfacing of 40mm was then paved on top to provide a skid resistant wearing course. This had to be accomplished between 22.00pm (after milling off the existing pavement) and the morning cut off point.

Hanson proposed lower temperature asphalt for the base and binder courses. Use of a warm asphalt containing Nynas Nypave PX50 allowed the asphalt to be mixed at a lower temperature (140oC, providing a 30oC reduction).

This rapid turnaround meant Hanson could lay the subsequent layers sooner and to the right level of compaction. “Nypave PX50 allows for lower temperature compaction and rapid hardening of the asphalt which, in turn, permits two to three layers to be laid at night, in the cold, in short order,” says Nynas Asphalt Support Engineer Jukka Laitinen.

The asphalt – supplied from both Hanson’s Shap and Keepershield asphalt plants – proved highly suited to the job, even though subsurface conditions were less favourable than expected; and the contractor found itself milling out to a greater depth and having to install not three, but four layers, of base and binder.

Due to issues relating to the existing pavement levels, the programme was revised and more time was provided for paving, meaning that the speed of completion for the base and binder layers was no longer critical. This meant Hanson could move to a conventional 40/60 penetration bitumen in the asphalt.

However, it stayed with Nynas Nytherm PMB 75 bitumen for the 40mm thick Tuffgrip surface layer. Specially modified, this bitumen allowed for production of high performance asphalt mixtures at lower temperatures displaying enhanced compactability in cold weather.

Hanson uses the product in summer too, for its early traffic opening potential, as well as its environmental credentials, which make it an obvious option when sustainability is on the agenda.

Post source : Asphalt Industry Alliance

About The Author

Neil Davis is the Technical Director of Highways.Today, and the MD of ANGDavis Associates. A Civil Engineering Consultancy with over 75 years of real international contracting and consultancy experience.

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