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Asphalt paving is seeing innovative new technology

First publishedin World Highways
March 2013
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BOMAG's new BF900C is now the firm's top-of-the-range model

With new machines coming to market, the asphalt paving sector is seeing an array of sophisticated technology now available - Mike Woof reports

European, US and now Chinese manufacturers are now competing hard with new asphalt paving machines and an array of new models is coming to market for all sectors and size classes, from compact units up to large highway class machines. Competition is increasingly tough between the firms and across all global markets too, especially as the Chinese companies are increasing export levels.

What Ammann describes as its most compact finisher, the 3.5tonne AFT270 being showcased at Bauma has been equipped with a new gas or electric-powered ramming and vibrating screed, said to ensure top quality finishing. With an operating weight of 5.2tonnes, the AFT 270 offers finishing widths of 140-330cm and two operating concepts: standing operation on a pedestal and an operating platform with a sliding/rotating seat and operating console. Ammann says the AFT270, like all its finishers, comes with complete functionality, including reversible track finisher, hydraulically height-adjustable and reversible material screws and a hydraulically extendable screed.

Bomag continues to develop its asphalt paver range with the introduction of a new top-of-the range machine, the BF900C. This features an S300M screed and offers maximum paving widths of up to 13m. In addition, the firm is also developing its smaller pavers and is now offering the BF300C with its new S340-2 screed, with paving widths from 1.7-5m, as well as a new compact paver, the BF223C. The Fayat Group’s sales and marketing manager Jacques Bonvallet said that the machine retains the heavy screed design from the earlier Marini models. “They’ve long had the heaviest screens on the market and now this is one of the key points.”

He explained that a heavy screed is crucial for achieving high pre-compaction. The new S300M screed is also equipped with an effective screed heating system, which features integral aluminium plates to ensure an even heat distribution and fast heating. In addition, the integrated heating rods are protected by the aluminium plate shells, boosting service life and reducing maintenance and service needs. The S300M screed is equipped with a simple, but quick and secure coupling system that allows faster set-up times and reduces downtime.

Meanwhile the compact BF300 paver comes with the new S340-2 screed and this also features the novel quick coupling system. The screed can be set to pave widths of up to 5m in minimum time and the firm says that the versatile paver can be quickly and easily adapted to site requirements. As with the larger screed this features an easy access adjustment mechanism, a robust guide for extending parts and the proven screed heating system with aluminium plates.

A hydrodstatic propel system for smooth control is said to be a key feature of Cat’s new AP300D paver. Described as versatile and manoeuvrable, the AP300D offers paving widths that are easily adjusted with standard hydraulically extendable widths of 1.7m-3.2m, and a 4m maximum width with bolt-on extensions. Using a reduction attachment narrows the paving width to 650mm.
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AP300C paver from Caterpillar
The compact AP300C paver from Caterpillar now comes with additional functionality
Caterpillar’s new paver has a turning radius of 1.65m and fast travel speeds of 16km/h said to boost manoeuvrability and productivity. This helps improve its versatility as the machine has been designed for use in urban repair applications such as in Europe where space is at a premium and where it may also have to travel from one working area to another.

Another sophisticated paver from the firm is its AP555E with the AS4252C screed, which features the Cat Grade and Slope system, Mobil-Trac undercarriage, and fumes management system. The AS4252C screed is a double-extending, high-density tamper bar screed with a paving range of 2.55m-8m. It is equipped with an electronic control module that is compatible with CAT Electronic Technician for simplified diagnostics and service.

A compact, powerful and reliable machine with the laying capacity of 300tonnes/hour is how Dynapac describes its new F1200 CS paver. Its versatility for different working widths and material filling possibilities makes the Dynapac F1200CS suitable for a numerous variation of job sites, according to the company. It features the newest technology with a four-cylinder Stage IIIB/Tier 4 Interim Deutz engine for smooth running behaviour and significant low emissions level. The 54kW engine allows the machine to pave up to 200mm thick and 3.2m wide even under difficult conditions. The machine also features longer tracks, providing greater ground contact and traction.

Meanwhile Dynapac says that its MF2500C is the only 2.5m feeder on the market and offers easy and cost-effective transport.

The machine ensures an even material flow for all kind of asphalt and gravel layers. The core of the Dynapac MF2500C is its high-performance conveying system, which can feed 27tonnes of gravel, sand or asphalt in 35?seconds. The design of the conveyor belt, which is reinforced with tightly-arranged metal bracing, provides a high load capacity. The feeder has a short conveyor and is able to use an additional swinging belt to be mounted behind the short belt for side feeding applications. The working place is automated: steering, distance and feeding sensors automate the complex feeding process and enable the operator to focus on production capacity.
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Vögele new range of asphalt pavers
An entire new range of asphalt pavers has been developed by Vögele, with emissions-compliant versions for Europe, the US and Japan as well as variants for other markets
Monitoring system specialist MOBA is aiming to improve paving quality and cut contractor’s costs with its sophisticated heat measuring package for asphalt pavers, as well as its new sonic ski system. Called the PAVE-IR, this heat measuring system provides accurate temperature scanning and monitoring of mat temperature during asphalt paving. This can be documented for an entire project and allow contractors to optimise processes and verify the quality of paving work. Marketing manager Christine Seidel said, “The early generation system was successful in the US.” However she added that the mounting on a bar could restrict movement around the machine for the paving crew. She continued, “But this new generation system is mounted on a mast so it’s not an obstacle to machine operation. You can see in real-time when you start to get cold spots and you can collate all this data and send it to the office.”

She explained that this allows the contractor to identify potential problem areas and taking remedial measures, before leaving the operation, with a notable reduction in repair costs over the long-term. And overall, the quality assurance offered by the availability of data will also cut contractor’s costs considerably and provide useful data to the client.

The system uses a sophisticated temperature scanner over the entire paving width of up to 8m to measure the temperature of the asphalt. The measurement width can be set individually. The temperature profile is displayed in real-time on the display and the operator can react if irregularities occur. In addition, the profile is stored with the GPS position data and transferred to a USB stick and using the firm’s PAVE Project Manager software, the contractor can evaluate and document the data in the office.

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Shantui new asphalt paving equipment range
Shantui is now offering a new asphalt paving equipment range
Shantui says that its SRP95M paver can handle mat widths from 2.5-9.5m and mat thicknesses up to 350mm. Weighing in at 22tonnes, this highway-class paver features a gas-heated screed as standard with double vibrating and eccentric vibratory compaction technology. Hopper capacity is 14tonnes and the machine has a maximum throughput of up to 800tonnes/hour.

Power comes from a Deutz diesel rated at 148kW and this allows a gradeability of up to 20%, with travel speeds of 0-2.4km/h and paving speeds of 0-18m/min.

The machine has been designed to be used with the latest ultrasonic sensing control technology and it is also said to offer even material separating and feeding without segregation, and high pre-compaction performance.

From Vögele comes new generation pavers that offer higher performance, productivity and finish quality, along with lower emissions and running costs. The new machines are the 1900-3, 1300-3 and 1100-3 tracked pavers, as well as the 1303-3 and 1103-3 wheeled pavers. These come in addition to the existing 2100-3, with the 1600-3 and 1800-3 due shortly. Customers can opt for dash 3 machines or the dash3i pavers that meet the latest US, European and Japanese standards, which allows the firm to offer the latest paving technology in western markets and developing nations.

A number of features help reduce fuel consumption. According to marketing director Roland Schug, “The machines offer fuel consumption savings of up to 25%, which can save €7,000-12,000 on fuel/year for the average customer.”

The machines are equipped with the novel PaveDock Assistant system first seen on the 2100-3 paver introduced in 2012. This allows communications between the paver operator and the driver of the feed vehicle and ensures that the mix is supplied without jolts. In addition, Vögele also fits the innovative PaveDock push-rollers as an option, a robust system that absorbs impacts when the feed vehicle docks onto the paver.

The novel ErgoPlus operating system has been further improved with additional features. The advanced AutoSet function allows the operator to move the paver quickly on-site and reduces the risk of damage to the deflectors or augers.

As well as its new paving range, Vögele is offering improved screed technology for European paving. The new AB500 and AB600 extending screeds are designed to pave widths from 2-9.5m and feature a novel, infinitely variable single-tube telescoping system and these can be equipped with various compaction systems, depending on the paver model.
The new Volvo P6870C ABG wheeled paver with its Stage IIIB-certified engine and a new design is said to now be quieter, more productive, and be up to 30% more fuel efficient while reducing CO2 emissions. A new fume extraction system, set to be available on the P6870C later in 2013 (and already available on Volvo’s tracked pavers), is said to remove bituminous fumes from the working environment at 83% efficiency without significantly increasing fuel consumption and noise, or obstructing the operator’s view into the auger channel.

The paver, which has a basic paving width of 2.5m (maximum 9m) and a capacity of 700tonnes/hour is equipped with paving, shunting and transport drive modes. In paving mode, smart power mode is the default setting, and this is said to cut fuel consumption by as much as 30%. In shunting mode, paving functions are deactivated, and active steering is engaged for turning with a tight inner radius of 2.5m. In transport mode, full travel speed is initiated for quick relocation, and automatic idle occurs when the paver is not in motion.

A spacious, comfortable and ergonomically-designed operator environment gives the operator a commanding 360º view of the entire paving process. The P6870C also features the electronic paver management II (EPM II) system, which guides the operator through working functions in addition to monitoring fuel consumption. The EPM II also features real-time onboard diagnostics notifications. The P6870C ABG comes equipped with a fully independent, no-axle, six-wheel drive system, with the larger rear wheels delivering power, while the four front wheels provide assistance and steer with hydrostatic drive. Volvo screeds are available with electric or gas heating.

Emulsion option

Asphalt emulsions have been used widely around the world for many years and, for example, were first used in Spain in the early 20th century. But the use of emulsions has not been given the profile of other road surfacing technologies, according to Spanish industry specialist, Luis Sánchez-Marcos.

He explained that Spain has been a leader in the development of asphalt emulsions for making mixes for road pavements. Continuous research and development has resulted in the successful use of warm asphalt mixes for thick reinforcing layers. There have also been advances in cold-prepared micro-surfacing for thin layers for rejuvenating wearing courses, which protect surfaces and increase skid resistance.

Sánchez-Marcos explained that modifying and improving the properties of asphalt emulsions with exclusive additives can provide high resistance, friction and durability to the resulting mixes. These can also be manufactured and spread without a need for special machinery, using conventional equipment.

A shortage of financial resources coupled with demands for cost reductions and environmental concerns means that warm asphalt and micro-surfacing mixes offer high quality, low prices, energy savings and lower CO2 emissions. In Spain these techniques are now accepted by the Public Works Ministry for the reinforcement of road sections. Further success has been seen on the 2,000,000m2 applied on runways at key airports, including Barajas in Madrid and El Prat in Barcelona. In these last applications the performance has been proven under the extreme demands made by aircraft landings and take-offs.

This innovative, cutting-edge paving technique is now well-proven in Spain and also meets European sustainability policies for transport infrastructure. Test sections have also been carried out successfully in other countries such as the US. And Sánchez-Marcos explained that the new features of warm and cold mixes with modified asphalt emulsions widen the options available for road pavements with a view to providing safer, more efficient, more economic and greener roads.

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