Asphalt Surface Treatment
First introduced to the asphalt market over forty years ago, the use of lightweight aggregate in the United States exceeds 3,000 miles of asphalt pavement annually.
Lightweight aggregate asphalt paving has been used throughout the country because it offers many advantages over asphalt made with ordinary aggregates including but not limited to competitive total installation costs.
When bonded to asphalt, structural lightweight aggregate chip seal creates a significantly improved asphalt bituminous surface treatment that is safer, more economical and longer lasting than conventional aggregates. Wet or dry, road surfaces of lightweight chip seal provide superior skid resistance that is maintained throughout the surface life. Lightweight aggregate does not polish as it wears. Because it is light in weight there are trucking and handling cost advantages to the contractor.
When used as a de-icing aggregate (a.k.a. ice chat), rotary-kiln lightweight aggregate delivers excellent performance to efficiently provide traction on icy roadways and bridges.
Lightweight aggregate avoids many of the storage and spreading issues associated with commonly used sand and limestone screenings. Due to its long-term storage feature, municipalities nationwide appreciate having de-icing aggregate available before the storm arrives. When storms are predicted or in progress, it is often too late to place an order and safely deliver the material to the storm area.
The application of de-icing aggregate helps motorists avoid unsafe driving conditions and allows for a faster, safer return to normal roadway usage during and after a winter storm. De-icing aggregate provides significant benefits, including:
- • Truck load volumes almost double limestone or sand loads
- • Easy to spread
- • Dark color alerts motorists to icy conditions
- • Free-flowing (wet or dry)
- • Freeze resistant because of insulating properties
- • High skid resistance due to particle properties
- • Does not harm vehicle windshields, paint or body
- • Leaves minimal residue for easy post-storm clean up
- • Does not clog storm drains
- • Does not create dust clouds during application
- • Can be a carrier for magnesium chloride
As a multi-use aggregate for other street maintenance projects, lightweight aggregate is used in squeegee, strip, scrub, edge and chip seals; air injection pot hole patching machines; bleeding asphalt pavement treatment; hazardous spill control; and as filler in blade-mixed or pug-milled oil dirt.
When the Nebraska Department of Roads needed a way to economically extend the life of 6 ½ miles of pavement on State Highway 61, just south of Ogallala, they turned to a chipseal solution utilizing expanded shale lightweight aggregate from Trinity Lightweight, for both its excellent performance and its economical cost.
The surprisingly extreme winter conditions in North Texas produced uncommon amounts of accumulated precipitation – ice and snow – in the first two weeks of February 2011. Although the inclement weather curtailed sales to most of our customers, the weather did provide the opportunity to address needs in the maintenance marketplace.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) understands the value of protecting their investment. Virtually half of their available funding is dedicated to pavement preservation and lightweight aggregate is a big part of their ongoing maintenance programs.