If you are faced with a paving job, you probably already have a pretty clear idea about whether to go with concrete or asphalt paving. Parking Lot Pros, paving experts out of Dallas Texas, advise that concrete is the best option for the more environmentally minded (containing all-natural products) and that asphalt is the better option for more long-term durability and for when road grip for fast-moving traffic is a priority. However, new paving technology is changing many of the old assumptions many of us have about paving.
In asphalt paving, new technology is also having a significant impact. There are new innovations when it comes to preparing the site while the laying process itself has also been revolutionized by new technology. The result is a smoother, more versatile, and more durable asphalt.
New Technology in Asphalt Paving
So, what is this new technology and how is it changing the face of asphalt paving? The best way to set this out is to look at the different stages of the paving process, as new technology has made its mark in each one. Here is how asphalt paving is being brought into the 21st century:
The first stage in any paving job is, naturally, preparing the site to be paved. In the past, it was necessary for contractors to look through the site. This can be time-consuming, and a contractor would have to use a plumb bob and a linker rod to find the target.
Now, laser technology is gradually being phased in. Laser-guided transit allows contractors to decipher the height and distances involved in a paving job in an incredibly short space of time. To ensure adequate drainage, the same technology allows the contractors to accurately and instantly determine slope and grade over the entire site.
Removal and Tear Off
This stage applies when the area being paved already has old asphalt or concrete over it. In the past, a road saw had to be driven over the entire area to rip up the old paving, ready for removal.
These days, new hydraulic technology is being brought to bear on this task. New machines allow this task to be completed in a fraction of the time, which, in the world of contractors, means a great deal of savings to be made. The job has not only become more efficient, therefore, but cheaper too.
Sub Base Evaluation
Before any asphalt can be laid, it is necessary to even out and then test the sub-base to ensure it is durable and stable. The sub-base is the coarse aggregate base over which the asphalt is poured. In the past, there was no tangible way of testing its durability, and the integrity of the project relied on the quality of the over-paved asphalt.
New subbase evaluation technology now exists. Proof rolling is the process of running a 72,000-pound quad axel truck over the entire sub-base in order to find areas of lesser density. Onboard electronic technology can now accurately determine these areas of weakness.
After all that preparation, the asphalt itself can be laid. New innovations here involve a greater diversity of asphalt types and are suitable for different conditions that can be chosen. There is now Hot Mix, Warm Mix, and Cold Mix asphalt available, meaning paving can be done in pretty much all conditions.
When it comes to road paving, innovation and technology undoubtedly play a role – and you should make sure your contractors are making the most of what is now available.