Illustrated Technical Manual
Introduction
This manual is intended to serve as a guideline for those interested in planning...
Prologue
Nothing is more important when engaging in building roads than a clear understanding
of soil improvement and grou...
basic soil behavior knowledge. Over time, a number of soil behaviors and responses
has been observed, which are now well u...
Driving Surface - Assorted Size Particles
One of the quickest ways to raise the likelihood of success in any paving projec...
through the rocks to the bottom, but rather remain suspended well mixed in the well-
graded aggregate with the help of the...
rocks) with a layer of geofiber (thin, light color in the picture), it will prevent "pumping".
The water table will be abl...
Polymer Considerations
Considering the number of variables you need to streamline in order to get your soil to
play nice, ...
about the performance of your polymer. That is why PolymerPaving.com offers you the
most suitable polymer that you can pos...
work faster you can also do the following 4 step procedure: apply aggregate (soil or rock
mix) and spread to 1 inch thick ...
"Poor" Soil Contingencies
A soil is considered "poor" if it has been determined or tested to have inadequate or
insufficie...
application. Another term commonly used is "marginal" and it applies when a soil comes
very close to meeting these require...
Soil Type Classification by Particle Size
1. Gravel
2. Sand
3. Silt
4. Clay
A "sieve analysis" is a process where a given ...
Shear Strength
Soil is different from other engineering materials because it tends to fail in shear
rather than from direc...
to acceptable levels for the desired lifespan. These regions rarely see bad weather or
rain, or the deleterious effects of...
PolymerPaving.com
POLYMERPAVING.COM 15
Soil Densification and Consolidation
Soil densification is a process by which the air pockets are removed from soil throug...
trying to achieve. Different soil types will present diverse characteristics that will affect
the soil improvement decisio...
Weight and Number of Passes
Although mathematically you should get the same result by adding the weight between
the number...
Requesting a Laboratory Test
So you are interested in polymer paving, perhaps because it is eco-friendly, or because
it is...
Conclusions
Building an eco-friendly road with in-situ soil and polymer binder is really a process of
self-development, of...
procedures. Clean, affordable, long-lasting roads are just a result of accumulating that
knowledge and experience. I hope ...
of 21

Polymer Paving Starter Guide

This manual is intended to serve as a guideline for those interested in planning, financing, managing or executing soil improvement and ground modification projects, such as building hard driving surfaces using copolymers as particle binders. One of the most common applications when using polymers to harden soil and rock mix, is to build hard driving surfaces. Every project where a structure of any kind must be built on the ground (soil) must follow certain rules, for example the expected loads must be supported without ground failure. While these rules are not inherently complicated, it is imperative that they are well understood before proceeding with a project.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Environment      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Polymer Paving Starter Guide

  • 1. Illustrated Technical Manual Introduction This manual is intended to serve as a guideline for those interested in planning, financing, managing or executing soil improvement and ground modification projects, such as building hard driving surfaces using copolymers as particle binders. One of the most common applications when using polymers to harden soil and rock mix, is to build hard driving surfaces. Every project where a structure of any kind must be built on the ground (soil) must follow certain rules, for example the expected loads must be supported without ground failure. While these rules are not inherently complicated, it is imperative that they are well understood before proceeding with a project. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 1
  • 2. Prologue Nothing is more important when engaging in building roads than a clear understanding of soil improvement and ground modification techniques. Fortunately, this knowledge is easy to acquire and the fundamentals are easy to understand. I hope you can use this short introduction as a springboard to build your own library on the subject and continue to learn in depth about the rules of working with soils. Having this knowledge, and with it the ability to spot and avoid problems, will help you deliver many successful projects, and give you much satisfaction in your professional career. It is very important that you request on site help from someone experienced with polymer paving on your projects as you start, or that you work with experienced geotechnical engineers. Skipping the proper expertise is not the place to save money. The savings is inherent to the process and it comes from the reduced logistics when possible, depending on the situation. Soil Considerations When a site is selected for raising a structure, such as a road or a building, special consideration must be given to the ground's ability to support and respond to the load that will be imposed upon it. This knowledge generally falls in the domain of geotechnical engineers, and much of what you need to know to work with polymers is PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 2
  • 3. basic soil behavior knowledge. Over time, a number of soil behaviors and responses has been observed, which are now well understood by civil engineers. These soil behaviors occur in response to man-made loads or to other natural / environmental factors. Before raising any structure on soil / with soil / made of soil, we should gain a basic understanding of how to best prepare a work site, select an aggregate, and conduct a job by minimizing or counteracting possible negative soil behavior in accordance with the load requirements and guidelines of each project. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 3
  • 4. Driving Surface - Assorted Size Particles One of the quickest ways to raise the likelihood of success in any paving project, is to ensure the particle mix has the proper gradation to interlock during compaction. The ratio of the various sizes of soil particles determines the suitability and effectiveness of the soil in a weight bearing application. The best soils for supporting weight are made of a mixture of different size particles. Sufficient Fine Particles and Mixing If your soil has an adequate mix of particles of different sizes, then your next concern is ensuring you have sufficient fine particles to cover all the spaces between the larger rocks so that the mix of water and polymer, when thoroughly mixed, will not flush PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 4
  • 5. through the rocks to the bottom, but rather remain suspended well mixed in the well- graded aggregate with the help of these fine particles (allow water surface tension), and provide lubrication to the compaction process, and then later harden into place in between the rocks, locking all the individual rocks into place, for a solid and long lasting hard driving surface. Preparing a Road Base Jusl like a building needs a proper foundation, a proper road requires a road base. At a minimum, if working on top of excellent soil, the soil on which you build the road (the subgrade, the lowest layer in the picture) needs to be well compacted. If certain soil weaknesses are to be expected, a base layer should be added, preferably made of larger rocks. If you separate the subgrade (native compacted soil) and base layer (large PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 5
  • 6. rocks) with a layer of geofiber (thin, light color in the picture), it will prevent "pumping". The water table will be able to raise and lower through the larger base rocks (the thickest middle layer in the picture) without driving subgrade sediment into the road structure. An additional low cost measure to compensate for a weak subgrade is to encase the base layer (larger rocks) into a geocell grid (height of geocell you order must match the estimated height of this layer). This additional support creates a matrix that has been proven to provide excellent road performance even on some of the weakest subgrades. Adding geosynthetics (geocell, geogrid, geofiber, gabion mesh, etc) to your project ensures substantially superior performance and longevity at low cost. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 6
  • 7. Polymer Considerations Considering the number of variables you need to streamline in order to get your soil to play nice, we firmly believe that it would be smart to avoid additional concerns or doubts PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 7
  • 8. about the performance of your polymer. That is why PolymerPaving.com offers you the most suitable polymer that you can possibly find, at a competitive price. When you use the KompaFlex MX formula, you can rest assured you are already using a product that will give you top notch repeatable performance time after time. Having the peace of mind that comes with using the best product, frees you to focus on ground improvement methods to bring your project to the desired performance standards. I speak from experience when I tell you that if you get caught between trying to do ground improvement while still having doubts about the performance of the binder, you will never finish a project. So do yourself "a solid" and start with KompaFlex MX, and enjoy the peace of mind that you already selected the best possible polymer, and the freedom of focusing strictly on ground improvement, which is what we will discuss for the remainder of this manual. Polymer Mix-In Methods The best way to achieve a perfect mixing of aggregate and polymer is by pre-mixing (image 2). However, when the size of the job makes pre-mixing too slow, in order to PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 8
  • 9. work faster you can also do the following 4 step procedure: apply aggregate (soil or rock mix) and spread to 1 inch thick (2-3 cm); Use a spraybar to apply the proper amount of liquid (water and polymer in the correct ratio) to reach optimum moisture (image 1). Then immediately mix the liquid into the aggregate using a scarifier or power rake (image 3). Repeat this process (add soil, spread, spray, scar/mix) until the desired road surface thickness is achieved, then grade the surface to the correct angles, compact, and allow it to cure. Follow-up with a sealing coat, regardless of the method used. After 8-24 hours, clean remaining debris (loose rock and dust) from the surface with a power broom, and apply a second and final sealer coat to the surface. Another fast method is to use a reclaimer connected to a water tank truck preloaded with the water and polymer mix; this combination vehicle can wet and scar/mix the soil at the same time while advancing without the need to stop, except to reload the tank. Optimum Moisture Content is a humidity level that ensures all particles will receive polymer treatment, and compaction is well lubricated. If you see liquid on the compactor wheel or puddles, you have exceeded OMC. Never work below OMC. Exceeding it a little is not critical, but exceeding it by a lot can reduce ability to achieve high compaction. Try to make a ball in your hand with the mixed soil; if it crumbles in your hand it is too dry. If you have liquid seeping through your fingers you are applying too much liquid. When it holds shape without excess liquid showing, it is perfect for compaction. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 9
  • 10. "Poor" Soil Contingencies A soil is considered "poor" if it has been determined or tested to have inadequate or insufficient engineering characteristics to meet the minimum requirements of the PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 10
  • 11. application. Another term commonly used is "marginal" and it applies when a soil comes very close to meeting these requirements but doesn't quite make the cut. Here are common methods for approaching these situations: • Excavate the "poor" soil and replace it with good aggregate. • Redesign the project to be able to work with the poor soil (for example reinforce with geocell or a similar mechanical reinforcement). • Modify the soil through soil remediation methods (mixing with other available soils / rocks, mechanical or chemical, etc). • Abandon the project - this approach is selected when you can pick a more suitable alternative location, or when the cost of fixing the soil insufficiencies exceeds the allocated budget. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 11
  • 12. Soil Type Classification by Particle Size 1. Gravel 2. Sand 3. Silt 4. Clay A "sieve analysis" is a process where a given quantity of soil is passed through a certain size of mesh to see how much passes and how much remains, determining whether a soil has a "variety" or a "uniformity" of particle sizes. Generally speaking, soils with a variety of particle sizes are called "well-graded" and are desirable for their ability to be cohesive and to compact well. Soils with mostly uniform particle size do not have good cohesion or compaction characteristics and should be avoided or modified. Crushed rock (angular) is desirable in the mix. Round particles (river rock, beach sand) are to be avoided; they may pass for "acceptable" when paving with asphalt because it is a full ring aromatic, but round particles will not work when paving with polymer as your binder because there isn't enough surface in contact with the particles surrounding it. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 12
  • 13. Shear Strength Soil is different from other engineering materials because it tends to fail in shear rather than from direct tension or compression. With this fact in mind, imagine how much stronger and resilient to shear forces the soil on the left is (compacted, mixed size [well graded], interlocked, angular rocks) compared to the soil on the right (silt / clay). Foundation: Bearing Capacity & Slope Stability Nothing is more important or critical to success than a strong foundation, whether you construct a road or a building. This becomes particularly important when the foundation soil (subgrade) is poor or marginal. When the soil and the climate are optimal, you can throw a road surface right on top of a good soil compaction without problems. Many roads in Arizona and California are built just like that and they perform PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 13
  • 14. to acceptable levels for the desired lifespan. These regions rarely see bad weather or rain, or the deleterious effects of water penetration or frost heave. Building a road in most other regions require a properly designed foundation to compensate for the natural forces that work against you. For instance many tropical areas see non-stop rain for six months out of the year. In such an instance, a large portion of your effort and budget should be aimed at effective drainage and building the road above the water table. When you work in muddy or volcanic silt (such as in most of Southeastern Europe) you need to explain to your beneficiaries the importance of building roads the same way they build their railroads (with a solid crushed rock base that allows for water drainage and frost heave), if they want them to last as long. You should seek additional reading on "shallow foundation design" to understand bearing capacity failure. You can imagine the risk of slope stability failure when you think that every few square feet of your compacted pavement surface weighs tons by itself, and there are enormous natural shear pressures acting on a slope, especially when the pavement structure is imbibed with water molecules in between the soil particles (a very important phenomenon that is worth exploring in detail, to have it well understood), and subjected to additional traffic weight. That is why we strongly recommend the use of geosynthetic materials for reinforcement, not as a luxury, but as a way to raise project longevity and to prevent catastrophic failure due to unforseen events (bad winter, floods, earthquakes, liquefaction, etc). No other materials offer a better price to performance ratio for enhancing the desirable characteristics of a road and/or road base (and also for other soil projects - embankments, overpasses, etc). PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 14
  • 15. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 15
  • 16. Soil Densification and Consolidation Soil densification is a process by which the air pockets are removed from soil through compaction. Soil consolidation is a process by which water is removed from soil. There is sufficient technology available today to literally be able to say that "no soil is unsuitable" if you have the budget, the equipment, and use the right methods to fix it, or to compensate for the respective defficiencies. Types of Compactors There are various types of compactors available, each designed for specific tasks, and some are more suitable than others for specific jobs. It is important to know what kind of compactor to use depending on your soil type and the desired end result which you are PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 16
  • 17. trying to achieve. Different soil types will present diverse characteristics that will affect the soil improvement decisions you make. Smooth Drum Rollers: a static load roller used for compaction of soils and asphalts, they provide even weight distribution over the width of the roller and a smooth finished surface. Also good for "proof rolling" during base preparation (to identify soft spots that need reinforcement). Pneumatic (rubber tire) rolles: these are engineered to apply very high static loads to a wide variety of soils, pavements, bases and subgrades. They are even better suited at finding soft spots, particularly because individual tires have the ability to move up and down a small distance independently. Combination rollers: easily identifiable as having both a steel drum and a set of pneumatic roller wheels, with the ability to use either. Vibratory rollers: they look similar to static rollers, with the ability to provide impact and vibration to the soil beneath. If you have granular soils (poor cohesion aggregate) a vibratory roller will help overcome the frictional resistance and achieve better compaction. Sheepsfoot / Padfoot / Wedgefoot rollers can apply very high static loads by concentrating extreme weight on a small contact surface. These are ideal for breaking hard dry boulders inherent in clay, silt and other cohesive soils, and in this way allowing high and uniform compaction. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 17
  • 18. Weight and Number of Passes Although mathematically you should get the same result by adding the weight between the number of passes, field experience shows that if you don't get the desired compaction after 5-7 passes, you should perhaps switch to a heavier compactor. One exception to this rule may be saturated sands, which have shown to improve up to 15-20 passes. However, since one of the "commandments" of working with polymer is to never use sands or other round particles, this detail is irrelevant in our context. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 18
  • 19. Requesting a Laboratory Test So you are interested in polymer paving, perhaps because it is eco-friendly, or because it is affordable or maybe because it is easy to complete and maintain. Perhaps it is for a combination of reasons, or perhaps someone asked you to look into it. Many of the variables you need to determine, including the suitability of a soil, can be easily and inexpensively resolved by sending a soil sample and a small fee to our laboratory, where we can test your soil for you and provide you with a report of your general situation. This way you have a much better idea which approach / method / procedures we would recommend as the most suitable for your particular project. PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 19
  • 20. Conclusions Building an eco-friendly road with in-situ soil and polymer binder is really a process of self-development, of becoming really good at soil improvement and ground modification PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 20
  • 21. procedures. Clean, affordable, long-lasting roads are just a result of accumulating that knowledge and experience. I hope this brief guide served to introduce you to (or to remind you of) some of the basics of sound soil engineering. Success in polymer paving only requires a dilligence in following these proven and time tested principles. Soil improvement methods are generally applicable in almost any other type of construction, not only road building. We look forward to working with you. PolymerPaving.com is a division of Option Quest LLC, which manages the following properties: • www.polymerpaving.com • www.greenroadbuilder.com • www.optionquest.com • www.incentiveserver.com • www.responsiveglass.com • www.language-queen.com • www.law-register.com • www.mobileactivator.com PolymerPaving.com POLYMERPAVING.COM 21

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