A Few Fierce Facts About Asphalt Infrared Repair

A Few Fierce Facts About Asphalt Infrared Repair

Property managers and owners have to invest in regular asphalt maintenance and repair to keep the pavement in mint condition and slow down deterioration so it can last for decades without the need for resurfacing or repaving. There are various techniques and methods that are used to repair and protect the asphalt pavement, one of which is asphalt infrared repair.

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What is Asphalt Infrared Repair?

Asphalt infrared repair is a relatively new repair process where the existing deteriorating asphalt is removed and replaced. An in-place infrared heating unit uses radiation to heat up the damaged surface until the material becomes malleable, workable, and soft. The softened asphalt is raked so all the failed aggregate can be removed. A rejuvenator is applied to replenish lost oils, and new asphalt or reclaimed asphalt is added to the voids to bring it to the proper level. A multi-ton vibratory roller is used to compact the surface. The reclaimed or new superior asphalt is reheated to bond the patch with the pavement to form a strong and durable pavement.

Facts About Asphalt Infrared Repair:

1. The asphalt infrared repair method is used to repair uneven surfaces and other surface-level issues.

2. Asphalt infrared repair will not work if there is a subgrade failure because this is a surface-level repair, so it will temporarily solve the issue, but in a few months, the subgrade failure will put pressure on the patch, causing it to fail.

3. There are multiple layers in an asphalt pavement. Each layer should be individually heated and raked off because the layers below will not absorb sufficient heat to make them malleable enough for removal.

4. The properties and percentage of asphalt like Polymer grades, age of the material, and mix designs affect heating times. For example, aged asphalt that has turned light gray or white will not absorb heat as well as new black asphalt. Typically, carrying out the infrared repair on one to three inches of existing aggregate takes 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the depth season and air temperature.

5. Moisture (including rain and snow) can cause damage to the pavement during infrared asphalt repair, so the surface needs to be completely dry. The infrared heating unit causes the water to evaporate, which will result in excessive heat in the damaged area, while the porous section of the pavement remains wet.

6. Ambient temperature and wind affect heat times and the duration of how long the material will remain workable.

7. Blacktop patch prep is essential to obtain lasting results from the repair. After the old damaged material is heated and removed, the edges need to be squared off and tapered so there is a greater and smoother surface area, which will help the new asphalt form a good bond with the old pavement.

8. When using new and reclaimed asphalt in the repair, the two should be thoroughly mixed. Raking the asphalt in the repaired area will prevent both materials from becoming segregated.

9. Rejuvenators are used to restore the maltenes (light oils present in the asphalt cement) that were oxidized out of the material over the years or due to heating done during the repair process. Rejuvenators can be added before heating aged asphalt to restore its black color and lessen the heating time.

10. Heat shields may need to be used as the state and/or local regulations do not allow heating to be done near drainage or sewer components. A thin sheet of aluminum can be placed on top of the area to deflect heat and radiation.

National Pavement Partners offers premium paving and maintenance services in Denver, Colorado. Click here to get a free estimate.