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How to Stick Tarmac

Long gone are the days of using a watering can to spread your emulsion. Or maybe not.

The day where the watering can ceases to be used will be the day roads within the UK will start to improve; there are still so many issues associated with this method and the overall quality of the finished job can be improved greatly just by making a few changes.

Currently, the watering can will cover the area intended to be tarmacked at approximately 20% total coverage (If you are lucky!). It is a positively poor method, especially when roads are being criticised for their longevity anyway, so why still use this method? It is a readily available piece of equipment, cheap to obtain and easy to use which is why so many people have kept the habit of using it. The tarmac is still likely to last several years, by this time the contractor has been and gone and it's not their problem anymore. You cannot see the emulsion as the tarmac has been laid, so who cares how it was laid?

A better option would be to use a trolley. A lot of contractors use this method; the accuracy rate is much higher than a watering can and it looks a lot more professional on a job site. The trolley involves moving along with a sprayer connected to a tank that a man is controlling, however you can't always be sure that the man is going to be 100% accurate and therefore the possibility of a human error is reasonably high. This piece of kit is neglected largely by contractors, and often fails due to poor maintenance causing blockages. It is cumbersome to transport if you are only a small contractor, and whilst yes it could achieve 100% accuracy - the reality is it is exceptionally difficult to make sure the whole area being paved is covered.

On a larger commercial scale, tankers would be the best affordable option. The biggest drawback is the tyres on the tarmac delivery lorry are constantly rolling over the just sprayed emulsion. This removes the tack coat before the tarmac has even been laid, as it transfers onto the tyres. This wouldn't be such an issue, if it wasn't for the fact that where the tyres of the lorries are, is exactly where the tyres of cars will be driving on - leaving the worst part of the surface as the most used part of the surface.

However, there may just be a solution to this never-ending problem. Vogele's SprayJet technology may sound relatively new, but the truth is it has been around for quite some time. Visit Europe, and you will see first-hand the stark difference in the quality of road surfacing over there - the UK is streets behind. The SprayJet allows the tarmac to be continuously laid onto hot emulsion, without the need for a tanker.

Vogele SprayJet technology has been proving its value for many years and is being used for rehabilitation and construction projects in many markets around the world.

The SprayJet module is a system that sprays polymer-modified binder in front of the mix being laid, which is then followed immediately by aggregate, and then a second spray of rubberized binder. It is the most economical and clean alternative to previous methods yet.

A key feature is that operation of the spray module has been integrated into the sophisticated ErgoPlus 3 operating system. The module has also been designed as a completely self-contained functional unit. It features a modular design that makes the system simpler to service and allows it to be used both as a spray paver and as a conventional asphalt paver. The paver has a maximum spray width of 6m, whilst functioning as a conventional paver without spray it can pave widths of up to 9m.

The module comes with an insulated emulsion tank with a capacity of 2,100litres and that can be increased to 7,100litres using an optional additional tank. The integrated electric heating (2 x 7kW) ensures that emulsion is maintained at the ideal temperature for spraying. And a heated emulsion pump circulates the emulsion in the tank, ensuring that it is homogenous.

With multiple spray bars the SprayJet can ensure that there will be full coverage of the existing surface with emulsion, even when the pave width varies. The rate of spread can be selected accurately from 0.3-1.6kg/m². The SprayJet pulses to achieve a uniform film of emulsion with no overlaps, and the function can be automatically adjusted to suit the speed, width etc.

There surely must be a market for technology this advanced in the UK. Not only is it economical, eco-friendly and of outstanding quality - it also produces an unbeatable finish, none of its predecessors can achieve coverage even remotely close, so surely there must be a market for SprayJets?

AP Pavers are now looking into investing in a SprayJet in the very near future. There are currently only a handful of SprayJets in the UK, and we feel as though it is now time to move with the times and lead the way in investing in such technology that could revolutionise the industry.


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