Asphalt Compaction Tips

Asphalt Compaction Tips


How to Effectively Compact Asphalt


When it comes to road building projects, asphalt compaction is a critical part of it. You want to deliver a smooth road surface that is durable and long lasting. The question is, how can you be sure to produce the results the job requires? We’ve put together several asphalt compaction tips and best practices that we’ve gathered from the experts in the business.


Your Mix Temperature Is Key


To produce optimal asphalt compaction results, you need to keep your mix at the right temperature throughout the entire road building process. Typically, the higher the temperature, the better. Different types of rollers have different ideal temperature ranges, but reaching adequate material density is easiest when you’re at the highest temperature for the type of roller you’re using. 


Use the Right Rolling Pattern


The best way to complete asphalt compaction is to start at the seams and then move along the edge of the pavement. In bends or turns, the operator should compact the lane that has the smallest radius first and press down the pavement on the next pass. It’s important to stop roller forward motion at a slight angle to prevent bumps and depressions in the pavement. Always stagger stops down the mat to avoid stopping in the same place, and change direction slowly to avoid imperfections. 


Repeat these steps in subsequent passes and then finish the entire operation with a final roller pass to remove any remaining imperfections left by the previous passes.


Leave Enough Time to Cool


In order to ensure your asphalt compaction is as high quality as possible, it must have adequate time to cool. The temperature of the air, temperature of the base, wind speed and cloud cover all affect the cooling rate of the mix and the amount of compaction needed.


Train Your Team

Preparation, planning, and training are key components of achieving optimal asphalt compaction. Your road building team and operators should know their machines inside and out, understand how different base conditions (for example, sub grade soil, new asphalt concrete, concrete pavement, etc.) affect the level of compaction needed on new layers, and what environmental conditions affect density and cooling rates. 



For more information on how to compact asphalt on your next road building project contact our team!