Industry News

Road Planing

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Road planing, also known as cold planing, asphalt milling, or profiling, is the process of removing some of the surface on a road, allowing a new surface to be directly overlaid onto the sub layers of the existing. Road planing can remove anywhere from just enough thickness to level and smooth the surface, to a full depth removal.

What is the purpose?

One of the main reasons for milling a road surface is the recycling of the materials. The milling machines that tear up the paved surface in order to recycle it into aggregate in order to be used for a brand new aggregate project. Road planing is less time consuming and costly compared to the complete removal of the road surface. Also if only the surface layer is damaged with a pot hole for example, there is no need to remove the entire road surface which is structurally sound. Road planing can also remove distresses from the paved surface, therefore it will leave a smoother finish and longer lasting surface life. These distresses can include:
– Raveling – Aggregate becoming separated from the binder and loose on the road
– Bleeding – The binder (asphalt) coming up to the surface of the road
– Rutting – Formation of low spots in pavement along the direction of travel, usually in the wheel path
– Shoving – a washboard like effect opposite to the direction of travel
– Ride quality – uneven road surface such as swells, bumps, sag, or depressions
– Damage – resulting from accidents and/or fires

Ok, so what are the different types of road planing?

The Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association has defined five classes of road planing. These
classes are the following:
1. Class I – milling to remove surface irregularities
2. Class II – milling to uniform depth as shown on plans and specifications
3. Class III – the same as Class II but with the addition of cross slope
4. Class IV – milling to the base or subgrade (full depth)
5. Class V – milling to different depths at different locations

So what’s the process?

Pavement milling is achieved by using a heavy-duty piece of construction equipment called milling machines, or road planers. These machines use a large, rotating drum that removes and grinds the surface of the asphalt. The carbide cutters which cut the pavement are positioned in such a way that after being cut, the pavement is automatically moved to the centre of the drum, positioned to be collected onto the conveyor belt. For each class of road paving, a different cutter is used, such as micro milling where there are several times as many cutting teeth. These teeth are packed closely together to produce a smoother road surface compared to regular milling drums. Surely the recycled aggregate can’t be used again? Well you would be wrong the recycled aggregate from the paved surface is taken to a facility where under strict conditions it is added to new aggregate and asphalt cement or recycling agent to bind the two mixtures and reduce the mixtures environmental impact. Asphalt planings are often used as an aggregate substitute in highway and commercial construction forming part of a base or subbase material on roads and as a base layer for new build construction, driveways and car parking.

Bitumen Sealing Strips

Why Do You Need to Use Bitumen to Seal Freshly Laid Tarmac Areas?

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Bitumen tape is used to seal new tarmac edges into old existing tarmac. Rolled out in strips, it is heated by a blow torch causing it to melt and seal over the joints.

This technique is perfect for using on pothole repair, where the new tarmac meets the old tarmac.

Painting the joints with a brush or spray can leave an uneven finish and may not always seal the joints sufficiently.

With bitumen tape joints are sealed much more neatly and with greater accuracy, giving a longer lasting and higher durability finish.

Why We Use a Compactor (or Whacker) Plate

Compactor plates are mainly used for the compaction of surfaces such as hard core, on areas not accessible by larger machines.

Blackoak Surfacing also use compactor plates for compacting asphalt to go over the surface initially.

This is done post roller and to compact areas close to walls and around man holes creating a neat and tidy finish.

When using a compactor plate on asphalt surfaces, water must be applied to the plate to prevent it sticking to it.

Tarmac Car Park

The Benefits of Well Structured Tarmac Car Parking Areas

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As businesses grow and branch out and set up new spaces of work normally parking space becomes a problem, this can be due to the more congested roads and as a side effect of this more & more people snap up public parking spaces.

This can cause stress to  drivers due to the waste of time looking for a place to park, making them an angry worker and have a bad start to the work day. Studies show that workers are 56% less productive if they have a stressful start to the work day. However, to solve this car parking outside the workspace can be created for the person to park easily and without stress and anger causing them to have an easy way into the work day and for them to get straight to work.

What to consider when building or adding to car parks

Design of a car park what does it involve?

Well with work with the planning and design team the car park will be designed to match the customers needs or wants with his or her idea of how it will be used and how the planned car park will be used in accordance to the needs of the customer

From here the planned and agreed on idea of the design of the car park will be acted on with the design team considering the key aspects of what makes a car park easy to use and accessible with the following being carefully thought upon and with the design being based around

  1. 1 Access driveway
  2. 2 Accessible entrance
  3. 3.Size of parking space
  4. Types of vehicles using the car park (if heavy vehicles will use the space provided for services such as delivery’s
  5. Number of car parking spaces needed
  6. Design of the car parking space

In the designing faze much care is taken by the team to make sure that using the car park is stress free and issues do not occur making sure that the design is practical and is satisfactory to use and meets all guidelines and standards needed from such building work and professional team designing such a project

Right what happens after the designs are finished?

After the design of the car park is finished and have be authorised by the authority’s work begins using a professional team to start building the agreed on car park design carefully building it around the design using expert building skills and care to make sure the product matches the exact design agreed on making a very satisfied customer.

Materials such as tarmac will be laid by our crack team creating the base and space and strong structure where the rest of the design can fall into place with a smooth and professional finish making sure that when entering a smooth and easy drive to park can be achieved. From here the defined parking areas will be defined adding areas of disabled parking or heavy vehicle parking can be added depending on the needs of the customer. With the end product showing a very professional car park and project done by both the design team and the building team creating a very happy customer knowing that they have a professional job done and that working from now on is less hassle and a more easy and enjoyable place for the customer and anyone using the space provided to use

Pothole Damage

Are You ‘Tyred’ of Potholes Damaging Your Car?

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How to drive over a pothole correctly

When we hear the word pothole the modern driver trembles at the thought due to the associated damages and high repair costs they can bring. However, what if they were a way to drive over these little pains without worry about damage to the vehicle. Here is how to tackle a pothole without your car becoming a wreck

1) Check your car before tackling the road

Now many of us always forget to check our car before tackling the road however, the occasional check on your tires and the air pressure inside the tires may save a later repair. Most of the reason why potholes can cause such damages are that they can shred through the wheels of the vehicle due to aged tires or low pressured tires. So, check your tires giving up a little time will lead to not giving up money!

2)  Check if you can avoid the pothole

Right you have checked your vehicle and it’s on a road and you see a pothole now what do you do? Well obviously the first step is to see if you can avoid the pothole because you can’t damage the car because of a pothole if you don’t drive over it. However, only take this when it is possible and it is acceptable in the eyes of the law to do this.

3)  Slow down

Right there’s no way round the pothole so now what do you do. Well the obvious thought is to slow down. The higher speed a vehicle traverses a pothole only increases the chance and likely hood of damage and frustration to the driver. 60% of the time damages from potholes are due to a vehicles speed being too high to traverse a pothole. So basically, when you see a pothole slow down there’s no point rushing somewhere to damage your vehicle.

4) A firm hold of the wheel

Obviously always on the road a firm hold is necessary but even more so when traversing a pothole. Potholes can make the vehicle shake in all directions due to the sudden change in the smoothness of the road. This can lead the driver if not paying attention to let go of the vehicles wheel leading to untold consequences.

5) The water filled pothole

The all too common silent killer the water filled pothole. This pothole is often never seen by the ordinary driver due to its look as a small puddle however, they can be immensely deep. To tackle this always drive over these with caution and treat them as an ordinary pothole because much like the ocean you never know what lies underneath.

How are Potholes formed?

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Potholes, as I am sure we are all aware, are holes in the roadway that vary in size and shape and . They are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water, after the water has entered into the ground under the pavement. When water freezes due to cold weather conditions it creates ice, which takes up more space under the pavement. When water freezes it expands and this causes the pavement to bend, and crack, which weakens the surface. Then when the ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps or voids in the surface under the pavement. The holes get bigger as vehicles drive over them, damaging the structure of the road below its surface layer

Studies undertaken by independent surveyors have shown that almost a third of all damage to cars on the road every year are due to potholes causing damage to cars and in some incidences leading to road accidents. The damage to cars caused by potholes can include the following:

  • Buckled wheels
  • Cracks
  • Lumps in the tyre
  • Cracked alloys
  • Damaged tracking
  • Wheel Imbalance
  • Damaged breaks
  • Suspension damage

Potholes are a very serious issue and can be both a danger and an annoyance to drivers, often causing damage to the car and in the worst case lives.

What can be done about these potholes?

The short-term way to limit the damage caused by potholes are, as a driver, to follow these rules:

  • To be alert – always staying alert when driving is key so that potholes can be spotted and the driver can act accordingly
  • To drive at an appropriate speed – potholes do more damage to vehicles when travelling at higher speeds, so keep the speed down and keep the risk down!
  • Check your vehicle – after work or travel, occasionally check your vehicle for damage that may have been sustained by potholes. It can never hurt to check for damage because it is better to know now, than when it’s too late or further damage can be sustained.

Right? But what if I want a more permanent solution

This can done, one or two ways – by refilling the pothole with tarmac so that the hole is covered and there’s no pothole to cause damage anymore. This is a relatively cheap service to do on any driveway or road. The pothole can be filled either manually or machine filled by anyone on our team. However, this is a short-term solution with the pothole likely to reappear again due to the already weakened structure of the driveway or road.

The second solution is to re tarmac the road or driveway as if a pothole is created it’s due to the driveway or road being weakened and worn by supporting the weight of vehicles and damage due to weathering causing the surface to be not as strong as when it was put down. Although this is a costlier choice to do, it is a long-term solution to stopping more potholes occurring in the future, meaning it is more than likely going to save a customer more in the long term.


How to Increase Car Park Efficiency & Save Space

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As space becomes more and more a precious commodity we must ask ourselves how we can utilise the effectiveness and space we must work with. This applies to the construction of car parks where new and innovative techniques must be used to maximise the effectiveness for a car park whilst only being in a small space. Here are some ways to maximise the efficiency of a large concrete or tarmac car park in our modern times.

1) Diagonal Car Parking

Now you may be surprised by this thinking that the ordinary straight style of car parking spaces is the most effective method to maximise space however, this is false it is the diagonal option. The maths behind it states that a diagonal configuration no matter what situation will always be more especially aware and fit more vehicle spaces in a car park than the rectangular configuration. This reasoning has lead.

2) Have Defined Car Park Exits and Entrances

We all have experienced the que to get in a car park that only has a one way exit and entrance system and we have all experienced the frustration this has caused. Well obviously, this method is not an effective method of organising a carpark because the more congestion in the car park means less cars being able to park and leave. This can be Solved by embedding clear exits and entrances at opposite ends of the car park so a clash between exiting vehicles and entering vehicles cannot occur.

3) One-Way Aisles

Now this may seem inefficient and a recipe for disaster however, with the combined use of defined entrances and exits this can be a very effective method of traffic control in the carpark. This method ensures that oncoming traffic cannot occur therefore eliminating all aspects of reversing backwards to allow right of way.

4) The Interlock Method

If your car park is on the bigger size and takes advantage of the grid car parking method then you should certainly be thinking about revaluate this method to the interlock method. This method includes using the diagonal method one after each other to maximise the number of car parking space to create an efficient space that is easy to use and allows easy flow of vehicle movement.

Keep an eye out for more of our surfacing and civil engineering tips and advice.