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1 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler


GD van Zyl, Mycube Asset Management Systems, Cape Town, South Africa J Muller, Sasol Technology, Rosebank, South Africa D Sadler, ex Tosas (Pty) Ltd, Wadeville, South Africa

ABSTRACT Bitumen emulsions, in various forms, are used extensively in South Africa as prime coats, for sprayed seal construction and rejuvenation, as well as slurry seal application. Emulsion types include cationic and anionic emulsions, inverted emulsions as well as polymer modified emulsions. Several lessons have been learnt through use of emulsions in different climatic conditions, with different aggregates, seal types, from low to high volume traffic spectrums and with different construction methodologies. This paper endeavours to collate the current best practice in South Africa for using bitumen emulsions in sprayed seals.

2 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler INTRODUCTION Background Bitumen emulsions were first manufactured in SA in 1929. They soon became the preferred binder for several of the Municipalities and Provincial Administrations construction and maintenance units in South Africa. Government drives towards privatisation since 1980 resulted in sealwork being contracted out to the private sector. They in turn, preferred to apply hot binders due to cost factors and production rates. Currently, new drives towards more environmental friendly products, safety and the need to maximise sealwork throughout the year could result in emulsions again becoming the preferred choice. Scope and layout The paper provides a short background to the components and manufacturing of bitumen emulsions, different types of emulsions available in South Africa and applications related to sprayed seals. The paper then focuses on the benefits of using emulsions in sprayed seal operations and discusses good practice and lessons learnt. BITUMEN EMULSION COMPONENTS AND MANUFACTURING Components Emulsions are droplets of immiscible liquid suspended one in another. Polar liquids like water and organic nonpolar liquids like oil are examples of such immiscible systems. Mechanically the two liquids can be suspended but will separate completely in two different layers, like when cooking oil and water is shaken into suspension. The droplets can however be kept in suspension by surface-active agents. The suspension is made possible by the fact that these surface-active agents has both organic (non-polar) and polar functional groups present in its chemistry and will orientate themselves in such a way that the droplets will stay in suspension. Milk is a typical example emulsions found in nature and surface-active agents in soap allows us to dissolve fatty substances in water. Bitumen is organic in nature and is largely non-polar and will therefore by its nature not mix with water. Furthermore bitumen is a liquid only at elevated temperatures above the boiling point of water. Yet by careful selection of physical, chemical and mechanical conditions it is possible to manufacture bitumen emulsions. As bitumen can only be applied at elevated temperatures typically above 100C, emulsified bitumen enables us to apply bitumen at ambient temperature conditions, reducing the risk of burns, the requirement to work at such dangerous temperatures. Manufacturing Manufacturing of bitumen emulsions requires sophisticated equipment and a thorough understanding of the physical properties of bitumen, the chemistry of bitumen and emulsifier systems and that of water. Bitumen, the organic non-polar phase, is typically heated above 120C in order to reduce the viscosity to such a level that it can be mechanically sheared into fine droplets. Emulsifiers are reacted and activated chemically in the water (inorganic and polar) phase. The two phases are introduced into the colloidal mill separately. The emulsified bitumen will then be allowed to cool down and depending on the droplets size, the type of emulsion and emulsifier system used in the process, the bitumen emulsions will have a range of stability, reactivity and physical behaviour required in various applications. Specifications Bitumen emulsion are classified depending on the chemistry of emulsifier systems into either anionic (electronegative), non-ionic (neutral) or cationic (electropositive) emulsions. Specifications for bitumen emulsions are therefore set in order to distinguish in terms of the chemistry and the physical nature of the product required in the application. The bitumen emulsion properties related to the stability, electric charge and behaviour of the bitumen emulsion in the application is regulated to distinguish between the types of emulsion, break rate and set rate of the product. The most important factor in emulsion specification is related to the viscosity which is mostly depend on the binder content but can also be controlled by the addition of visco-enhancing technologies.

3 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler TYPES AND PURPOSE OF BITUMEN EMULSIONS USED IN SOUTH AFRICA Emulsion Classification Two types of emulsions are used in road construction in South Africa. Anionic bitumen emulsions are regulated by the South African National Standards for Anionic Emulsions (SANS 309) (1) and the requirements for Cationic Bitumen Emulsions are regulated in the SANS 548 specification (2). Depending of the stability and reactivity of the emulsion, the types of emulsions are classified in term of set and break rate into three different categories; Stable Set, Medium Set and Rapid Set emulsions. Depending on the application, the grading and type of the aggregates, the type and the class of the bitumen emulsion are selected. The break rate and set rate of anionic emulsion are largely dependent on evaporation whereas cationic emulsions will also be influenced by the chemical break rate of the bitumen emulsion Emulsion Selection Aggregate properties are also split into electro positive or electro negative types. Most of aggregates in South Africa are electro negative. Granite, dolerite and quartz-like aggregates contain siliceous compounds in the mother rock which introduce a negative charge on the aggregate. Electro positive aggregates, like dolomite, contain calcareous deposits and exhibits. In principle, since opposite charges attract, an emulsion with the opposite charge to that of the aggregate will exhibit the best adhesion. Although the general perception is that the Anionic Bitumen Emulsions work better with Electropositive aggregates and Cationic Bitumen Emulsions work better with Electronegative aggregates, other factors and chemical components in the mother rock will attribute to the successful application of emulsion with a similar charge in slurry seal, fog spray and sprayed seal applications. Cationic Bitumen Emulsions are generally preferred for sprayed seal applications in South Africa and anionic emulsions are largely used in slurry seals and the construction of emulsion treated bases. Polymer Modified Emulsions Polymer modified cationic emulsions have been developed to reduce the temperature susceptibility of the base binders used in the manufacturing of emulsion. Modification of bitumen emulsions results in reduced temperature susceptibility. Emulsification of modified bitumens increases the complexity of the emulsification processes as a result of physical properties requiring higher temperatures. A simpler way to produce polymer modified emulsions is to add the polymer in the form of latex emulsion after the bitumen emulsification. Pressure units and heat exchangers are therefore required to prevent the emulsion temperature exceeding the boiling point of water. Inverted Bitumen Emulsion Primes When water droplets are suspended in an organic phase, the resultant emulsion is called an inverted emulsion. Inverted bitumen emulsions are manufactured using cutback bitumens. With a further reduction in the viscosity of the binder by the addition of organic cutters, it is possible to manufacture an inverted emulsion. These inverted bitumen emulsions are used primarily in prime applications with difficult base materials where conventional cutback bitumen primes are not performing well in terms of penetration and drying time. Other Emulsion Primes In recent years emulsified cutback bitumens were developed to overcome penetration problems experienced with cutback bitumen primes. In South Africa the use of tar primes were discontinued in 2006. This lead to the development of bitumen emulsion primes. These emulsion primes are classified as more environmentally friendly than the tar prime. These emulsion primes contain between 15 and 40% water resulting in much reduced net binder in the final application. Experience and attention is required to ensure the correct application rate being used for the emulsified cutback primes to perform adequately. The use of non-crude derived cutters in such systems adds to complexity and cost and although the organic cutters used in such products are sourced from renewable sources, the impact on environment from carbon footprint perspective is not fully understood by the end-users and authorities specifying the Environmental Friendly Primes.

4 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler TERMINOLOGY Terminology for bituminous surfacings and specifically sprayed seals vary throughout the world. For purposes of this document Figure 1 provides a classification of sprayed seals in the context of surface dressings.


Asphalt overlays

Surface dressings

Micro Surfacing

Slurry Seals

Sprayed Seals

Combination Seals

Sand/ Grit Seal Single Stone Seal Multiple Stone Seal

Graded Aggregate Seal

Notes: Prime refers to a bituminous binder applied at 0.8 1.2 l/m2 on a newly constructed granular base. Tack coat refers to the first binder application of a sprayed seal Penetration coat refers to the second binder application when a multiple aggregate seal is constructed. Blacktop spray (cover spray or fog spray) refers to an emulsion or diluted emulsion application on the final aggregate layer of a single or multiple aggregate seal. Emulsion Treated Bases and Dust Palliative application are not classified as surface dressings but are often trafficked as if they are final surfacings

FIGURE 1 Classification of bituminous surfacings


Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the typical surface dressings applied in South Africa. Bitumen emulsions are used in the tack coat, penetration coat and as fog sprays.

fog spray optional

Single Seal

stone tack coat existing substrate

fog spray optional 2nd layer - stone

Double Seal

penetration coat 1st layer - stone tack coat existing substrate

fog spray optional 2nd layer - stone

1 " Seal

penetration coat 1st layer - stone tack coat existing substrate

fine slurry (1 or 2 layers)

fog spray

Cape Seal

stone tack coat existing substrate

nd n layer of slurry2 -

Slurry Seal
existing substrate

Sand and Grit Seal

sand or grit tack coat existing substrate

FIGURE 2 Most common surface dressings in South Africa

6 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler


Geotextile Seal

penetration coat thin layer of aggregate tack coat existing substrate

3rd layer - stone penetration coat 2nd layer - stone

Split Seal

1st layer stone tack coat existing substrate

2nd layer - stone

Choked Seal

1st layer stone tack coat existing substrate

2nd layer - stone

Inverted double seal

penetration coat 1st layer stone tack coat existing substrate

Graded aggregate seals (Otta seals)

sand tack coat graded aggregate tack coat existing substrate

FIGURE 3 Other surface dressing applied in South Africa Note: The Split Seal in Figure 3 is gaining popularity due to its ability to accommodate high traffic volumes

OTHER APPLICATIONS Rejuvenation sprays Periodic rejuvenation of dry and open textured surfacings (e.g. stone seals) is still considered standard practice within some road authorities in South Africa. The preference is to use anionic stable grade emulsion, normally diluted with water (50/50) and applied at approximately 1 litre/m2 (This relates to approximately 0.3 0.35 litre/m2 residual bitumen). Should the surface still require additional binder, a second application could be considered. For the rejuvenation of dense textured surfaces (e.g. airport runway edges), proprietary products marketed as rejuvenators (typically consisting of cut-back inverted emulsions, containing high boiling point aromatic oils), are also locally available. Experience with these products resulted in the recommendation only to be used on very low volume roads and with low application rates. The typically 0.4 0.5 l/m2 application may take from 5 hours to 4 days before the surface can be opened to traffic. Practitioners further recommend application during the dry season and not to use spray grade emulsions for rejuvenation purposes. Additional binder to prevent stripping soon after construction Sealwork done on high trafficked roads in South Africa require that binder application rates are kept on the low side to minimise the risk of bleeding and to retain high macro texture for purposes of skid resistance. This

7 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler strategy results in sprayed seals being sensitive to adverse weather conditions and colder micro climatic areas (e.g. shady areas) soon after construction. Recommendations from practitioners are: Add a cover spray of cationic spray grade emulsion (normally diluted) in shady areas or when cold night temperatures are expected (addition of 0.2 to 0.4 litre/m2 net bitumen), and if considered necessary to accommodate early traffic, blind with coarse sand (no fines) Provide for additional diluted cationic cover spray in contracts when sealwork is expected to be done close to winter time. Monitor adhesion and potential stripping and apply fog spray, if necessary. Longitudinal joints often cause problems. Additional binder applied in the form of an emulsion cover spray (only on the joint), reduces the risk of joint stripping.

PHOTOGRAPH 1 Emulsion spray on longitudinal joint Pre-treatment before resurfacing Old bituminous surfacings, especially multiple stone seals, are often dry/brittle and porous. Good practice suggests application of stable grade diluted emulsion to fill capillaries within the existing surfacing before resealing.

PHOTOGRAPH 2 Brittle and porous surfacing

8 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler BENEFITS OF EMULSIONS IN SPRAYED SEALS General Benefits Benefits of bitumen emulsion when compared to hot bituminous binders are well known and include: Environmental friendliness and safety Reduced energy as a result of low temperature application No harmful solvents released into the atmosphere Worker safety as a result of low temperature and no hazardous fumes Practical aspects Increased working time via extension of construction window Reduced risk of stripping due to seal structure Improved adhesion Labour intensive seal work More forgiving transverse distribution Ease of additional binder application Ease of construction (Less rolling required) The abovementioned practical aspects are briefly discussed in the following section. c Working time Specifications in South Africa calls for road surface temperature of minimum 25C when using 80/100 Pen Bitumen and standard summer grade modified binders. Emulsions allow working at minimum road surface temperature of 10C, which result in much longer working time and increased production. Reducing risk of stripping due to seal structure Several binder types are used in South Africa for seal construction and include straight run bitumen, cut back bitumen, polymer modified bitumen, bitumen rubber as well as bitumen emulsion and polymer modified emulsion. Application of emulsion cover sprays increases the aggregate surface area in contact with the binder and, therefore increasing the bond strength, without a significant risk of bleeding. Observations and twodimensional scanning shows the filling of the voids and the additional bond between the adjacent aggregate particles. The effects of emulsion cover sprays are shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5.

FIGURE 4 Emulsion filling voids (Typically achieved with stable grade anionic emulsion)

FIGURE 5 Bond between aggregate particles (Typically achieved with spray grade cationic emulsion)

9 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler The ionic charge and setting rate of different emulsion types, result in different effects. Anionic stable grade emulsion (Photograph 3- left lane) and cationic spray grade emulsion (Photograph 3- right lane) were applied as cover sprays, at the same application rate, on a newly constructed double seal. Whereas some stripping occurred on the anionic emulsion treated lane occurred, no stripping could be observed after a year on the cationic emulsion treated lane.

PHOTOGRAPH 3 Effect of Anionic stable grade versus Cationic spray grade emulsion as fog sprays Improved adhesion Several aggregate sources produce dusty aggregate, requiring washing and or precoating before use to improve adhesion. Emulsions are known to improve adhesion more than most hot binders. Although it is not common to precoat aggregate in South Africa when using emulsions, good experiences have been recorded. Practitioners recommend the dampening of the aggregate and road surface before sealing with emulsion. The majority of seal aggregates in South Africa are negatively charged, resulting in better initial adhesion when using cationic emulsions, however, if the stone is precoated, the effect of ionic attraction is minimised. Labour intensive sealwork Stable grade emulsions are commonly used for labour intensive sealwork. Although cationic stable grade emulsion is recommended, several cases have been recorded where seals have been constructed with hand labour using anionic stable grade emulsions. Particular conditions where anionic emulsion is favoured are: High atmospheric temperatures When cationic emulsion still breaks to fast When improved penetration is required (lower viscosity) Safety The temperature required for the spray application of hot binders varies between 130 200C depending on the binder type. Emulsion can be sprayed at between ambient and 60C, thus they are the preferred choice, especially with inexperienced contractors. Transverse distribution The success and good performance of a sprayed seal is highly dependent on the uniform application of the binder. The low viscosity of emulsion, lower spray application temperature and road surface temperature result a much more even distribution of binder. Although blocked nozzles are not acceptable, the end result is more forgiving when using low viscosity binders such as emulsions. Photograph 4 shows the effect of a too low spray bar setting when using a high viscosity hot

10 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler binder. Photograph 5 shows a blocked nozzle and the more forgiving effec t due to the easy flow of the emulsion.

PHOTOGRAPH 4 Sensitivity of high viscosity binders to transverse distribution

PHOTOGRAPH 5 Emulsion flow - even with blocked nozzle Ease of compaction Experience has shown that seals constructed with hot high viscosity binder require at least double the number of roller passes to obtain the same aggregate /binder contact area. In addition to this, the binder temperature rapidly reduces to the prevailing road surface temperature, requiring a high degree of control and short following distance between the spray tanker, chip spreader and rollers, when using hot binders. Ease of additional application Evaluation of the binder content in the sprayed seal after rolling could result in the need for additional binder. The minimum hot 80/100 Pen bitumen that could be accurately applied is considered to be 0.65 l/m 2. Making use of diluted emulsions allows application of down to 0.24 l/m2 net bitumen. This is valuable when adding additional binder to longitudinal joints or in shady areas. GOOD PRACTICE AND LESSONS LEARNT Principles of emulsion in sprayed seals One of the most important recommendations when using emulsion in sprayed seals is to split the binder into more than one application e.g. for a single seal the binder is applied as a tack coat (first application) and a cover spray (second application). When splitting the binder into two applications, the second spray is normally applied at a higher rate than the first. This strategy reduces the run-off potential of the low viscosity emulsion. The first stone layer is bound with the minimum amount of binder to allow construction traffic. This results in a much coarser surface texture, which can then accommodate the higher application rates without the risk of run-off. Example: On a flat grade with, say 0,7mm macro texture, the maximum emulsion application rate before run-off occurs could be in the order of 1.3 l/m2. If a 65% emulsion is used the residual bitumen on the road would be 0.85 l/m2. From


11 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler Table 1, as recommended in the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) (Technical recommendations for highways; TRH3), the maximum stone size recommended would be a 13,2 mm stone (3).

TABLE 1 Minimum quantity of net cold binder required for tack coat (TRH3 Table 7-5) (3) Aggregate size Only construction traffic 9,5 mm 0,5 /m2 13,2 mm 0,7 /m2 19,0 mm 1,0 /m2

Recent winter seal experiments using emulsions at different application rates, with and without an emulsion or diluted emulsion cover spray, confirmed much improved performance when splitting the binder into two applications, due to increased aggregate surface area in contact with the binder and bonding between adjacent aggregate particles.

PHOTOGRAPH 6 Single seal without and with emulsion cover spray Even though the total net bitumen for the two seals in Photograph 6 is the same, the seal without the cover spray soon started to show signs of aggregate loss (stripping). The effect of the emulsion cover spray (normally cationic spray grade emulsion), from observations and stone retrieval, is similar to the effect shown in Figure 5. Run-off due to steep grades Current manuals in South Africa recommend a maximum application rate for emulsion (typically 65% Bitumen) of 1.5l/m2 {in TRH3 (3)} and of 1.75 l/m2 {Western Cape Materials Manual (4)}. However, this latter rate can only be applied on a coarse textured surface where the road grade is relatively flat. Combining the opinions of practitioners, resulted in the following recommended maximum application rates. TABLE 2 Maximum emulsion application rates (65% Emulsion) Grade Macro texture < 0.7 mm 1.0 mm < 4% 1.0 1.5 4 6% 1.0 6-8% Notes: Grade refers to the maximum gradient/cross fall combination Viscosity of the binder is dependent on the bitumen content and temperature Porous surfacings will allow higher application

>2.0mm 1.7 1.3 0.8

Road surface temperature and ionic charge difference between the aggregate and emulsion will influence the setting time and therefore also the potential run-off


12 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler

Sensitivity to wind Due to the low viscosity of emulsions, spraying at wind speeds in excess of 30 km/h is not recommended. Changing the overlap configuration (typically triple overlap applied in South Africa) to a double overlap by lowering the spray bar reduces the sensitivity to wind (Refer Figure 6)

PHOTOGRAPH 7 Effect of wind on emulsion spray

FIGURE 6 Reducing wind sensitivity by lowering spray bar


13 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler Slow breaking due to low temperature and humidity Most emulsions rely on the evaporation of water to break. Low road surface temperatures and high humidity (typically > 70%) could result in slow breaking of the emulsion and delays in the opening of the road to traffic. Cover spray or rejuvenation spray stays tacky and pick-up often occurs. The main reasons identified are: Presence of cutter in the emulsion Too high road temperature >50C Too dense / Fine textured surfacing Dust on surface Road opened too early Polymer modified emulsions Too high binder application Polymer modified cationic emulsion tends to stay tacky much longer than conventional cationic emulsion. In the case of cover sprays, this could result in delays opening the road to traffic. Problems to accommodate traffic have been overcome by: Diluting cover sprays Blinding with coarse sand Spraying water on the surface, especially when the road surface temperature is higher than the binder softening point False breaking False breaking occurs when the emulsion forms a skin on the surface, thus delaying the evaporation of water underneath. This problem has mainly been experienced with polymer modified emulsion.

PHOTOGRAPH 8 The effect of false break Corrugation effect Corrugations on the road surface could be the result of: Chip spreader near empty and high inflated tyres (Hopping effect), resulting in uneven spread of aggregate Applying small aggregate into the wet emulsion e.g. sand, resulting in wave forming


14 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler

PHOTOGRAPH 9 Wave forming due to sand in wet emulsion Poor penetration of rejuvenation sprays Poor penetration could be the result of: Too dense surfacing Dirty surfacing Rapid breaking emulsion (Prefer anionic stable grade diluted emulsion) Too low application

PHOTOGRAPH 10 Cationic emulsion fog spray (Polymer modified) on old quartzitic aggregate

PHOTOGRAPH 11 Poor penetration due to dirty surface


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Penetration coat (2nd spray) on open aggregate layer Multiple seals such as the split seal shown in Figure 3 are used on high traffic volume roads in South Africa with great success. Following the first binder and large aggregate application, a layer of smaller but dry aggregate is placed to fill the voids between the large aggregate particles as shown in Photograph 12. Thereafter the second binder layer is applied, followed by another layer of smaller aggregate with a final application (cover spray), consisting of an emulsion or diluted emulsion (normally cationic spray grade emulsion). Note: The second binder application (on the dry aggregate layer) must consist of a high viscosity binder. Emulsion is not appropriate for this application

PHOTOGRAPH 12 Dry aggregate layer Effect on precoated aggregate Manuals in South Africa still caution against the use of emulsions with precoated stone. Although the authors have experienced problems with the breaking of emulsions when using tar-based precoating fluids, recent experiments using highly cutback bituminous precoating fluid did not significantly affect the expected breaking time of either stable grade anionic emulsion or spray grade cationic emulsion. Cutters in emulsion tack coats Cationic spray grade emulsions, as supplied in South Africa, often contain small percentages of cutters (1% 4%). Experience with the performance of Cape seals and Geotextile seals suggests that these cutters be omitted from the emulsion, when applied as the first binder application. Binder selection Table 3 from the recently published by the South African Bitumen Association (SABITA) Manual 10 Bituminous Surfacings for Low Volume Roads (5), provides some guidelines for the selection of appropriate binders for initial construction surfacings.


16 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler TABLE 3 Binder suitability for initial road construction (SABITA Manual 10) (5)
Traffic (AADT) Binder Type
Very High

Active Cracking

Night temp during construction


Road surf Temp during construction

10 to 25 25 to 45

Suitability for labour based

Hand spray Hand chip Mech spray Hand chip

Quality of construction and equipment

Relative binder Cost Ratio ( c )

per m 2

1000 5000

500 1000

100 500

Very Low







High >70%







80/100 MC3000 (Cut-back bitumen e.g. 12% cutter) S-E1 (Hot bitumen, low polymer content) S-E2 (Hot bitumen, high polymer content) S-R1 (Hot bitumen with crumbed rubber) Spray grade emulsion SC-E1 (Polymer modified emulsion) Stable grade emulsions High risk a b c d e d d d d d d d d

1.00 1.30

1.52 1.63

b e e e

2.04 1.27 1.60 1.33 Low risk

Generally not recommended

Medium risk but good experience recorded

Cutting back (2 - 12 %) could reduce risks - refer TRH3 Cutting back up to 4% on single seals has been done with success to reduce risks Based on typical application rates and bulk cost per litre Modified binders not often used for initial seals on low volume roads due to costs Keep road closed for first two hot days

Additional notes 1 Not all binders are suitable for all seal types 2 Soft binders e.g. MC 3000 preferred on very low volume roads 3 Keeping the road closed during first cold nights will reduce the risk of stripping 4 Single or double seals with emulsions normally require a cover spray

Binder description 80/100 MC 3000 S-E1 S-E2 S-R1 Spray grade emulsion SC-E1 Stable grade emulsion

80 100 Pen bitumen Medium Cut-back bitumen (Typically 80-100 Pen bitumen with 12% cutter) Hot polymer modified bitumen (Typically less than 3% polymer) Hot polymer modified bitumen (Typically more than 3% polymer) Rubber crumb hot modified binder (20% Rubber crumbs used in South Africa) Typically 65% Cationic Spray Grade bitumen emulsion Polymer modified emulsion (Typically 5% SBR polymer) Cationic or Anionic stable grade emulsion


17 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler CONSTRUCTION Sequence of activities with sprayed seals using emulsion Although there are several schools of thought amongst practitioners, the following sequence of activities should result in a well performing seal: Cleaning of the road surface Moistening of the road surface Application of the tack coat (first binder application) Application of the aggregate o Single size aggregate, preferably moist, applied onto the wet emulsion o In case of Sand Seals, the moist sand is applied when the emulsion starts to break Initial rolling using a light steel wheel roller (two passes recommended) Back-chipping, if required Pneumatic rolling (only when the emulsion has broken/ cured). Dependent on the emulsion type and climatic conditions, this could even be the next day, when road surface temperatures increase (Preferably above 25C). Note: With low volume roads and high binder volumes (high percentage of voids filled with binder), two passes with a pneumatic roller could be sufficient. For high volume roads, where the minimum voids are filled with binder, experience suggests a minimum of eight roller passes. Dragbrooming, if necessary, must take place as early in the mornings as possible on the previous days seal work, when the road temperature is low and the binder sprayed the previous day is cold and stiff. The broom is dragged to and fro on the surface. Thereafter, when the road surface temperature increases, the seal is rolled with a light steel wheel roller, followed with more pneumatic rolling. Triangular, T-shaped and Z-shaped dragbrooms are effective to move surplus aggregate in places to areas where there is a lack of aggregate to fill open gaps.

PHOTOGRAPH 13 Z-Type dragbroom

Rotary brooming to remove excess aggregate (in case of single sized aggregate) is recommended when the first binder application has cured properly and stones are well adhered. Thereafter, the final cover spray can be applied. The road should only be opened to traffic when proper adhesion between the binder and the stone has developed. Consideration must be given to prevailing and expected temperatures, as well as the traffic volume. The cover spray should be cured. In case of tackiness of the binder on top of the aggregate and at intersections or colder micro-climatic areas, a light application of coarse sand will allow quicker opening to traffic


18 van Zyl, Muller, Sadler

In case of a double seal; The penetration coat (second binder application) is preceded by a light spray of water The second aggregate layer is applied onto the wet emulsion, followed by light steel wheel rolling as well as back chipping, if required Pneumatic rolling when the emulsion has cured (with dragbrooming, if required) Rotary brooming to remove excess aggregate (in case of single sized aggregate) Light steel wheel roll preferred at this stage by several practitioners Final cover spray, when the second binder application has cured properly and stones are well adhered Opening to traffic should only be allowed when the emulsion cover spray is properly cured. The speed of the traffic on the completed seal should be limited during the day of application and the following night. If rain falls on a newly constructed reseal, traffic should if possible, be kept off until the rain has stopped, the seal has dried and road surface temperatures increase to above 25 C). QUALITY ASSURANCE Quality assurance on site is essential. Although not discussed in this paper, some of the key aspects to ensure good initial performance are: Control over preparatory work Stockpile management Equipment checks Trial section construction to verify operational aspects which includes o Aggregate packing o Rolling procedures o Joint construction o Adhesion development o Verifying applicability of the design Safety and traffic accommodation Sampling and testing, which includes o Aggregate properties o Binder properties Binder application rate Aggregate spread rate Sufficient rolling and correct sequence ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Several practitioners have been consulted to obtain opinions on good practice. Although not possible to list all names, the following people are acknowledged for providing specific information and photographs. T Distin TJ Lewis JG Louw J van Jaarsveld G Forward REFERENCES

1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

South African National Standards SANS 309 Specification for Anionic Bitumen Emulsions South African National Standards SANS 548 Specification for Anionic Bitumen Emulsions South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL). 2007. Design and construction of surfacing seals. (Technical recommendations for highways; TRH3). Pretoria. South Africa Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. 2010. Materials Manual, Volume 2, Volume 6, Cape Town, South Africa Southern African Bitumen Association (SABITA). Bituminous surfacings for low volume roads. Manual10. Cape Town. South Africa