FTG performed testing and inspection services for the placement of asphalt at the SAFStor facility in Temple Hills, MD. Asphalt placement is a rare occurrence in the winter due to how its quality control is heavily dependent on both the ground and air temperature. The colder the temperatures, the faster the asphalt cools and the less time the contractor has to fully compact the asphalt. Proper compaction is key or there can be long term issues with settlement, cracking, rutting, etc. after placement.
Typically, asphalt has to be fully compacted before it cools to approximately 175°F or else the asphalt will become too cold to compact and any further compaction will cause the asphalt to break down. The time it takes for asphalt to cool from the temperature of placement (around 300°F) to 175°F can take upwards of over 90 minutes in the hot summer months but as little as 30 minutes in colder temperatures. The time it takes for the asphalt to cool depends on many factors including ground and air temperature, wind, precipitation, cloudy/sunny weather, lift thickness, and warm mix additives.
Placing asphalt in winter is a race against time, and FTG was there to closely monitor the asphalt temperatures and compaction to ensure a quality product and aid with the rapid placement and compaction of the asphalt. Results of temperature and compaction were quickly and constantly relayed to the contractor to ensure movement of the equipment, reduction of wasted time, and proper compaction across the entire paved area.
By applying an aggressive inspection routine to clearly defined specifications, FTG, Inc. promoted quality control and assurance for increased performance during the winter months.