What’s Next: The Value of NCAT and MnROAD Research
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Posted by: Kristi Olson
As illustrated in many of the findings shared at the 2018 NCAT Test Track Conference, March 27-29, 2018, in Auburn, AL, results of these research experiments are helping to grow both acceptance and usage pavement preservation and recycling. In addition to sharing valuable performance findings, the 2018 conference enabled the more than 200 attendees representing contractors, owners, agencies including 17 state DOTs, and international researchers to come together for valuable knowledge exchange, actual observation of condition and performance, and discussion.
As founding members and continuing supporters of FP2, the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association, the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association, and the International Slurry Surfacing Association, actively participate in enabling the valuable research taking place at the National Center for Asphalt Technology and the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s MnROAD test track facilities.
Through FP2’s direct financial sponsorship of the Pavement Preservation Group (PG) Study at NCAT, and now also at MnROAD, members are reaping the benefits gained as quantitative research results validate that effectiveness of pavement preservation treatments. As reported elsewhere in PPRA Connections, findings regarding the effectiveness of CCPR in creating perpetual type pavements has led to growing use and implementation, as evidenced by the VDOT I-64 project.
Pavement preservation experiments are slated for continued measurement and research as NCAT enters its seventh testing cycle and MnROAD continues its Phase III research. The next phase of PG study research at both NCAT and MnROAD will focus on the continuation of performance monitoring of all the test sections. Cracking, rutting, roughness, texture, friction and other characteristics such as moisture intrusion into the base and the effects of the treatments on the pavement base. Performance in these areas will be measured under a pooled fund study managed by MnROAD.
In addition, in its seventh testing cycle beginning in 2018, research at NCAT will include continued CCPR testing sponsored by VDOT on sections N4 and S12, a new section by AEMA member Cargill on a high RAP rejuvenator, as well as continuation of the cracking group experiment, new test sections on balanced mix design, rejuvenators, reflection cracking mitigation treatments, and more.
While the value of research is substantial, active participation in the conference and interaction with all industry participants provides the additional opportunity to further the discussion regarding pavement preservation and recycling.