The asphalt (and concrete) driveway installation industry has experienced tremendous growth and development. Contractors have turned to new technologies that make their projects easier to implement and manage. Importantly, the latest technology used in driveway paving helps contractors save time and money. According to drivewaysbydesign.ie, the savings driveway paving crew make, in turn, help to reduce the overall cost of paving driveways for homes and businesses.
Herein, we’ll delve into some of the latest techs that the driveway pavers industry is turning into as we move into the future.
3D Paving Control
There is a shift from traditional 2D paving controls to the more modern 3D paving controls. Traditionally, contractors have used string lines and paint markings to reference elevation and grade. Additionally, contractors have relied on manually changing the screed to match. Consequently, the traditional control methods tend to result in waste and overruns.
Turning to 3D control methods allow contractors to reference the design of the driveway directly. The contactor can dynamically adjust the pavement screed to either match the elevation or cross a slope. Importantly, 3D controls allow contractors to minimise waste and overruns, which helps finish the project on time and on or under budget.
Use Of Advanced Materials
Emerging technology in driveway paving is the use of ‘smart’ materials. These are materials that impart advanced properties and qualities to the resulting pavement. The most notable advances in the materials front are self-healing materials and the incorporation of Nanomaterials in asphalt (or concrete).
#1. Nano Materials
In the case of asphalt paving, clay Nano-particles are the most common Nanomaterials added to the asphalt. However, the range of Nano-particles used in polymer-modified asphalt includes nanotubes and nano-silica. The Nanomaterials are typically used as a second modifier to improve the ageing resistance and storage stability while improving the fatigue resistance and rutting of the asphalt mixture.
#2. Self-Healing Materials
Traditionally, asphalt and concrete have relied on passive protection mechanisms against damage. However, incorporating self-repairing materials and processes in the asphalt and concrete allows pave ways and driveways to repair themselves after damage. For instance, smart bituminous pavements can heal themselves over time and return the paved surfaces to their original state.
We also have bacterial concrete that has self-healing properties that heal and self-fill cracks due to bacterial action. When the cracks form, the dormant bacteria is exposed to the environment and activated. Once activated, they help seal the cracks, restoring the concrete pavement or driveway to its former glory.
Thermal Mapping Using On-Board Temperature Sensor
Homogenous paving temperature is critical for the quality compaction and durability of the driveway. Paving crews can change operability, fine-tune their work in real-time, and choose the best solution in case intervention is necessary. The infrared sensors installed at the front and the back of the paver measure the surface temp of the material just before or after the paver compaction. The non-contact thermal scanners provide straightforward, practical, and dependable data. These sensors enable real-time mapping of asphalt surface temperatures using GPS technology. McNamara Fencing also uses this same type of technology.
Importantly, contractors and homeowners can use the resulting thermal maps to identify the cause of premature failures after the completion of the project.
Compaction is an essential step in driveway paving. The better compaction you get, the better the quality of your driveway and the longer it will last. Smart compaction or intelligent compaction describes the compression of driveway paving materials using vibratory rollers outfitted with integrated measuring systems, advanced computer reporting systems, and mapping based on the Global Positioning System that provides the paving crew optional feedback control.
The systems behind intelligent compaction collect and provide information on stiffness, pass count, and temperature. By continuously measuring the stiffness of the surface, the paving crew can make real-time adjustments as needed, improving the quality of workmanship and negating the risk of incurring expensive reworks.
Seamless sharing of information between the different machines allows the paving crew to coordinate their work. As such, they can coordinate the rolling patterns and keep the operators and project managers adequately informed. Importantly, machine-to-machine communication negates the problem of missed coverage and improper temperature control. With the information on the progress available across all vehicles and with more eyes monitoring the various processes, it is easy to get everything right the first time.
Process monitoring gives operators the ability and capacity to distribute all necessary supplies when and where they are needed. From the plant to the paver, every movement of supplies can be monitored in real-time. The project manager can also connect to the system using smartphone applications, watch each time cycle of the truck, spot any anticipated delays, calculate waiting times along the route, and make the necessary adjustments. Tracking every aspect of driveway paving enhances efficiencies, which translates to reduced waste, reduced carbon footprint, and, notably, huge savings.
Ground Penetration Radar
Ground penetration radar is an instrument that uses electromagnetic energy to detect any anomalies present beneath the ground. To use the equipment, the crew pushed and pulled the device over the work area, allowing the device to pulsate electromagnetic rays into the ground. Detecting the reflected rays creates a representative picture of what lies beneath the ground.
This equipment is especially important when it comes to detecting buried utilities such as water, gas, sewer, and pipes. Paving companies are also using the equipment to detect the presence of graves, soak pits, walls, caves, concrete slabs, tanks, and much more. Using ground penetration radar, the paving crew can remove the guesswork involved in identifying hazards lying beneath the ground. And with the results of the study available fairly quickly, the team can reduce the time it takes to prepare for driveway installations.
These technologies make it possible for contractors to pave driveways much faster, more efficiently, and importantly at a lower price point. The resulting savings are typically passed onto customers, who enjoy better quality and more durable driveways at lower price points. Additionally, with improved quality, homeowners and businesses can expect their driveways to last longer without needing constant reworks.