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Paving Equipment Operator

Any individual who operates large heavy equipment that is specialized for paving operations. Examples include milling machines for asphalt pavements, material transfer vehicles, and diamond grinding equipment for concrete pavements.
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General Guidance

  This is an informational resource on hot mix asphalt (HMA). It contains a general overview of all HMA aspects. It is intended to assist those who work with HMA in any way including architects, engineers, contractors, students, and homeowners. Pavement Checklist Pavement Distress Top-Down Cracking References Suggested Reading Asphalt Institute. (2001[1]). HMA Construction. Manual … Read more »

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Construction Noise

Noise Basics Healthy humans can hear audible sound with a range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz with a maximum intensity at 3,000 Hz. (Hz = Hertz, or cycles per second.) Frequencies below 20 Hz are called “infrasound” and above 20,000 Hz “ultrasound.” The numerical magnitude of a sound typically expressed as sound pressure level … Read more »

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HMA Placement Considerations

There are, of course, many considerations to take into account when placing HMA. Many are dependent upon local materials, weather, crew knowledge and training, and individual experience. This subsection presents a few of the basic considerations that apply in virtually all situations: Lift thickness. A “lift” refers to a layer of pavement as placed by … Read more »

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HMA Placement

Mix placement and compaction are the two most important elements in HMA pavement construction. Mix placement involves any equipment or procedures used to place the delivered HMA on the desired surface at the desired thickness. Mix placement can involve complicated asphalt paver operations or simple manual shoveling. This section provides a basic description of HMA … Read more »

Figure 3. Limerock base course undergoing final grading.

HMA Pavement

HMA pavements are classified as “flexible” pavements because the total pavement structure deflects, or flexes, under loading. A flexible pavement structure is typically composed of several layers of material. Each layer receives the loads from the above layer, spreads them out, then passes on these loads to the next layer below. Thus, the further down … Read more »

Figure 2. Large vibratory steel wheel roller (17 tonnes (18.7 tons), 213 cm (84-inch) wide drum).

Compaction Equipment

There are three basic pieces of equipment available for HMA compaction: (1) the paver screed, (2) the steel wheel roller and (3) the pneumatic tire roller.  Each piece of equipment compacts the HMA by two principal means: By applying its weight to the HMA surface and compressing the material underneath the ground contact area.  Since … Read more »

Figure 2. Side tie bar inserter.

Tie Bar Placement

Tie bars are typically placed after PCC placement either by hand or using a tie bar inserter attachment (slipform paving only). When one lane at a time is paved, tie bars are inserted at mid-slab depth and bent back until the adjacent lane is ready to be paved (see Figure 1). On slipform pavers, tie … Read more »

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Bituminous Surface Treatments

A bituminous surface treatment (BST), also known as a seal coat or chip seal, is a thin protective wearing surface that is applied to a pavement or base course. BSTs can provide all of the following: A waterproof layer to protect the underlying pavement. Increased skid resistance. A filler for existing cracks or raveled surfaces. … Read more »

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Surface Preparation

Before a pavement is placed the surface to be paved must be prepared. Adequate surface preparation is essential to long-term pavement performance. Pavements constructed without adequate surface preparation may not meet smoothness specifications, may not bond to the existing pavement (in the case of overlays) or may fail because of inadequate subgrade support. Surface preparation … Read more »

Figure 1: 6-inch ACB layer under 1.5 inches of State Mix IV (Coin Shown is a Quarter)

Asphalt Concrete Base (ACB)

Asphalt concrete base (ACB), also called asphalt treated base (ATB), is a dense-graded HMA with a larger nominal maximum aggregate size (1 inch) intended for use as a base course or binder course (see Figure 1). In addition to site paving benefits, ACB can be advantageous because it can provide: A waterproof barrier to prevent … Read more »

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