Chemical stabilizers and dust palliatives are used in road construction and maintenance in order to improve the characteristics and performance of available materials in terms of lower dust levels, improved riding quality, reduced gravel loss, and improved all-weather pass ability. Numerous products are currently available to the road industry. However, the level of research and usefulness of the findings differs from product category to product category. In many instances, no effort has been made to quantify the benefits and cost-effectiveness of additives over longer periods of time (e.g., five years) and little attempt has been made to compare the performance of treated roads with untreated roads in terms of reduced gravel loss and reduced maintenance. Only limited information on material requirements and application techniques are available, and there is minimal information on rejuvenation. This lack of understanding has culminated in general skepticism in the road industry regarding chemical dust control and stabilization with so called "alternative stabilizers". This situation is further aggravated by poor marketing because many sales representatives have little or no engineering background and there is little understanding within the roads industry and insufficient information to provide adequate technical backup. Discussions with road authorities and consulting engineers indicated that a "fit-for-purpose" certificate for each product, issued by an independent certification body and justified by following a comprehensive research protocol, would contribute to confidence in the use of the products. A research protocol for the assessment of road additives, entailing a product description, categorization, laboratory screening, laboratory environmental and performance testing, field-testing, data analysis and guideline preparation has since been developed. A certification body in South Africa has been approached with regard to developing a certification system, which is currently being finalized under the guidance of a steering committee with representation from road authorities, consulting engineers, product suppliers and academia. This paper discusses the development of a research protocol and fit-for-purpose certification for road additives.


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  • Accession Number: 00964341
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 087659229X
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 15 2003 12:00AM