January 20th, 2012
FIELD TESTINGPreserve Infrastructure, by Catherine Higgins.
UDOT field tests products to find effective and efficient solutions to construction and maintenance needs.
Central Maintenance Methods Engineers, Central Materials and the New Products Evaluation Panel, Traffic and Safety Division, Structures Division, Region Maintenance Engineers, Maintenance Area Supervisors, Station Supervisors, Resident Engineers, vendors, contractors, all conduct field testing and evaluation of products. Some evaluations are conducted according to FHWA’s Experimental Features Program.
UDOT Research Division provides support when needed. “Speaking for the Research Division, we’re here to help as we can,” says engineer David Stevens, Research Project Manager. The lessons learned are generally very much worth sharing, no matter which unit in UDOT performs the evaluation.”
Testing and sharing information about field tested products is always a team effort. The Research Division performs field evaluations by request as time and resources allow. Suppliers often participate by donating product and giving guidance on how to use new products. Maintenance and construction personnel often attend test demonstrations to find out about products.
Here are two examples of some recently field tested products:
PolyQuick polyurethane concrete pavement patch. A “catalyzed product,” PolyQuick heats as two primary ingredients are combined and a chemical reaction occurs, explains Dennis Reeves with Alta Paint and Coatings.
Reeves recently demonstrated a new application method on I-15. The old method of application used a bucket to combine the ingredients. However, since the product cures quickly, any unused product can become a “boat anchor.” A new applicator mixes product right at the tip and reduces waste.
PolyQuick has a similar structural value to concrete pavement. The differential movement that can occur under traffic when concrete pavement and patch materials have disparate structural values can cause the patch to pop out. And once applied, the product cures quickly so expensive and inconvenient lane closures can be minimized.
DuroMaxx steel reinforced polyethylene pipe. Using strong and durable pipes maintenance workers won’t have to excavate and repair drainage systems as often. DuroMaxx pipe, manufactured by Contech, is being tested on Manhead Road in Rich County. The pipe has been in place for a year and UDOT testers have observed about half the amount of deflection as compared to ADS pipe
UDOT relies on field tests to find the best products for the job.