Compaction is a step in the installation of Haines City parking lot paving that deals with flattening the hot mix asphalt after it has been poured. While it seems like a basic step in the pavement installation process, the compaction is a vital part of the installation process, and helps determine the overall quality of the asphalt pavement. If a fresh section of asphalt paving isn’t compacted properly, the pavement can fail earlier than intended, resulting in costly repairs and replacement.
In theory, the process of compaction sounds like a very simple one. Large rollers press the hot mix asphalt down, compacting the asphalt particles together into a denser structure, resulting in a more stable and uniform arrangement. If compaction is done well, you are left with an asphalt pavement that is durable, less susceptible to moisture, and is very dense. One of the most common types of damage seen on paving that has not been properly compacted is alligator cracking, which is indicative of improper compaction in the subgrade layer.
However, if done incorrectly, the asphalt pavement may become brittle, and more prone to erosion. The science behind this is simple, the air volume in the asphalt is significantly reduced, making the section denser and more compact. The denser the final product, the better.
When compacting the entire section of the pavement, it’s not only the surface of the pavement that is being compacted. In fact, the entire paving must be compacted in order to achieve the goal of making the entire paving stable. The subgrade layer is compacted first, in order to achieve the result of a stable foundation.
It doesn’t matter how well compacted your surface layer is, if the foundation isn’t good, the entire paving can be damaged easily. The soil is first inspected to make sure that it is solid, without any soft spots throughout the entire section. When compacting the subgrade layer, the soil must be contoured to match the shape of the pavement, otherwise, there may be sections of the paving that are structurally weaker than the other sections.
Compaction isn’t a one size fits all type of process, the final method of compaction chosen depends on the type of hot mix, as well as they types of aggregate used in installation. The thickness of the asphalt also plays a significant role in the compaction process. Thinner asphalt is more difficult to compact, because compaction should be carried out when the asphalt is hot, and thicker layers may require heavier rollers in order to guarantee proper compaction.