Quality Assurance in Paving: How to Pick the Best Asphalt for Your Project

Choosing the best asphalt for your project can be a challenging task, especially since it can become quite expensive, quite quickly. When it comes to making any large purchase, you want to be sure that you are getting exactly what you paid for. This is why quality assurance is so important when it comes to choosing the right kind of asphalt for your next paving project. Here, the team at Gray & Son, along with their partners at Maryland Paving, discuss what you should consider when picking the best asphalt for your project. 

Asphalt Sampling & Testing

In order to ensure quality assurance, the contractor must submit a QC plan, or a quality control plan, which will outline who is responsible for the work being done, what exactly will be done to ensure the quality of the work performed, as well as how these results will be documented and shared. Trial batches may also be beneficial for your QC plan. Trial batches are limited plant runs that take place before actual production begins. These samples can indicate whether or not the plant producing the asphalt is capable of producing the specific mix that you require as well as proving whether or not you will receive consistent results. To further ensure that the samples of your desired asphalt product are adequate, there are several sampling methods that will allow you to determine whether the produced asphalt is representative of your requirements. Random sampling and quantity intervals are two popular methods. 

In addition to sampling the asphalt, you should also consider testing the asphalt mixtures to ensure that the asphalt produced is the same that was already approved to use on the site. It is important to note that no asphalt mixtures are always the same and variability can occur. There are several common tests that should be performed: aggregate gradation, binder content, lab-molded density, and roadway density. These tests will help determine whether or not the asphalt is suitable for your paving project and representative of the original asphalt sample. 

The Production Process & Key Asphalt Qualities 

The quality control of the production of your asphalt in the plant is extremely crucial. The JMF, or job mix formula, must be verified to ensure that was designed in the lab is currently being produced at the plant. All quality control data must be documented and organized daily, either through spreadsheets or control charts. If necessary, you may adjust the asphalt production process, as the data should be tested and analyzed frequently. The sooner a problem is identified, the faster it can be addressed and taken care of. 

Regarding the specific product quality of your asphalt, you must consider four factors: temperature, compaction, thickness, and smoothness. All of these factors should be generally monitored and inspected during the production process to ensure that your end product meets your expectations. In order to properly examine and accept the final product, two main criteria must be addressed: the quality of the asphalt mixture itself and the quality of the placement of the asphalt during construction. 

Work with Gray & Son on Your Next Project

If you are finding picking out the asphalt for your paving project challenging, let us do all of the hard work for you! Maryland Paving has now been a division of Gray & Son for over a year now, and this merger has brought nothing but success for both Gray & Son and Maryland Paving. Our team is now equipped with even more qualified and knowledgeable minds than before, ready to assist you with your next project. To learn more about Maryland Paving’s merge with Gray & Son or how our services can help you, contact us today.

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