Efficiency of Intelligent Compaction Discussed at Grand Rapids Conference

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

A presentation on the benefits of intelligent compaction was given at the Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan's (APAM) 51st Annual Asphalt Paving Conference & Equipment Show in Grand Rapids in February.

Intelligent compaction allows the paving operation to operate at increased speeds by limiting or eliminating over-rolling. It also decreases the amount of needless inspections and enhances communication between inspectors and the contractor.

Under the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) Percent Within Limits (PWL) specifications, contractors are penalized for low and excessive variability in core density testing results. Intelligent compaction provides a tool to measure and achieve more uniform mat densities.

Intelligent compaction is expected to lower the overall risk on PWL projects and warranty work and it is expected to provide better quality pavements by not damaging or over-rolling.

MDOT reported that under the 2007 PWL specifications, continual production of non-conforming material at a reduced price in lieu of making adjustments to bring the material into conformance will not be allowed.

It was also reported that as a result of implementation of results from the National Center for Asphalt Technology's (NCAT) test track at Opelika, Ala., there is:

  • More use of fine-graded mixtures.
  • More use of modified asphalts.
  • More use of stone matrix asphalt (SMA) and open graded friction courses (OGFC) based on good performance at the track.
  • Increased asphalt content.