AMAP Gears Up for 9th Annual Conference in Austin
Mark your calendars now to join us for our 9th annual conference scheduled for February 11-13 in Austin, Texas at the beautiful Omni Hotel Austin Downtown.
This year’s event will feature presentations by numerous highway officials, experienced contractors and Federal Highway Administration officials who will provide updates on the latest in asphalt technology. You will hear about state highway projects using state of the art materials and the latest compaction and lay-down techniques, and even more importantly, discuss the economics associated with the use of modified asphalt binders. Our panel of experts will share valuable information on where the modified asphalt market is headed and how state usage of modified asphalts will be affected by the recent dramatic price increases in petroleum-based products.
Also during the conference, AMAP will unveil the name of the first member to be inducted into its newly-established Hall of Fame, which is designed to pay tribute to one individual each year who has dedicated his or her career to the improvement of highway materials and construction.
As always, the conference provides excellent opportunities for networking with leaders in the asphalt industry. Registration forms will be mailed at the end of November. In the meantime, those interested in attending are encouraged to make their hotel reservations by calling the Omni Hotel at 512.397.4861. Room rates will be discounted for attendees. Just mention that you are staying with the “AMAP group.” For further information, please call Bob Berkley at 314.843.2627 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Message from the Executive Director
If you’ve ever been approached by one of our membership committee members about joining AMAP, you were likely left asking yourself, “What are the benefits of belonging to that organization?” With most corporate budgets already strained, that is an obvious and responsible question for any business person to consider.
In my opinion, one of the least expensive and most productive line items you can add to your expense budget is the $2,000 annual membership with the Association of Modified Asphalt Producers ($850 for Associate Members). If your company has a serious interest in utilizing, manufacturing, selling or installing modified binders in asphalt construction, you cannot find a group more focused on these goals anywhere in the world today than our association, which was formed with a mission to further growth in the modified asphalt industry.
We have arguably the most comprehensive series of training technical seminars available. And, we offer the courses for a nominal fee to any highway department, contracting firm, or city or county municipality that wishes to increase its knowledge of modified asphalt binders, learn how to incorporate the binders in their own specifications, or find out how to inspect, handle and store the asphalt itself.
Our varied membership is another important benefit of belonging to our organization. AMAP is composed of a wide range of organizations which includes some of the largest refineries and polymer suppliers in the world, a handful of locally-owned modified asphalt producers and smaller additive producers, as well as highway contractors and testing equipment manufacturers.
Additionally, our annual meetings are focused solely on modified binders. We recruit the most renowned speakers from the industry, and strive to provide attendees with the latest news, technical approaches, testing procedures, and marketing information from experts in their field.
We hope that if you are not already a member, you will consider joining. Check out our web site at www.modifiedasphalt.org or call me at 314.843.AMAP (2627). If you’re already a member, we thank you for your continued support!
Committee Chair Update
Stay informed regarding the latest committee activities with reports from our various committee chairs:
Education Committee chair Bob Kluttz reports that his committee is in the process of streamlining AMAP’s educational course outline and adding new sections highlighting additional modifiers. The revised half-day course was presented at the Southeastern Asphalt User-Producer Group meeting in San Antonio on November 12 and will be given at the annual meeting in February. Bob notes that the committee is looking for additional venues to host the course that will reach wider audiences.
Jeanne Kendrick reports that the Membership Committee is continuing to seek out and target potential members who would benefit from AMAP membership. She notes that the committee has also been providing input and feedback to AMAP’s Board of Directors regarding additional services and offerings that could help attract new membership. Stay tuned for more on those!
Public Relations Committee chair Al Meitl notes that PR efforts are underway with St. Louis-based firm, The Hauser Group. All members are encouraged to share any newsworthy information that can be used in future newsletters or be publicized to asphalt trade media with Shelene Treptow. She can be reached at 314.436.9090 or via e-mail at Shelene@hausergrouppr.com. In order to spread the word about AMAP, Al stresses that the organization needs your feedback!
Ken Grzybowski reports that the Technical Committee is reviewing several items for AMAP position statements and/or funded research projects. These include research on emerging Warm Mix Technology and its possible effects on the performance of modified binders; research into the impacts of the MSCR Test Method and its correlation to the current Elastic Recovery Test methods, and the development of a simplified statement for the uninformed, general interest audience describing when the use of polymer modified asphalts are applicable or should be considered.
Kevin Carlson from the Website Committee reports that he is looking for ideas that could improve the appearance and function of the website. Anyone with suggestions is asked to contact him at 712.277.8855 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob Berkley also notes that a new web designer has been approved by AMAP’s Board of Directors and changes to improve the site will be underway soon.
Word on the Street
The Asphalt Institute (AI) has a pair of job openings for two Regional Engineers. AI is seeking a Regional Engineer to work within the Rocky Mountain Asphalt User Producer Group states, and another to work in either the Southeastern Asphalt User Producer group states or the North Central Asphalt User Producer group states. Resumes and other inquires about these positions should be directed to Dr. Mark Buncher, Director of Field Engineering for the Asphalt Institute at 859.288.4972 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
International executive search firm McCooe & Associates, Inc. is also looking for a candidate to serve as Director of the Asphalt Technology Group for a leading building materials company headquartered in the Southwest. Resumes and inquires about this position should be directed to the McCooe and Associates New Jersey office via telephone at 201.445.3161, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax at 201.445.8958.
An Examination of the Importance of Standardized Asphalt Testing
By Rick Holmgreen, Asphalt Technical Manager, ConocoPhilips Company
With regards to modified asphalt, the current lack of uniformity in testing procedures from state-to-state is fueling the need for the establishment of standardized asphalt testing procedures across all 50 U.S. states.
Physical testing of asphalt determines the quality of the product and is used as the basis for buying and selling, making the information the tests provide critical to the industry. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, testing and grading criteria for unmodified asphalts were created through the Strategic Highway Research Program, however, the test procedures and specifications did not adequately address the quality of polymer modified asphalts. As a result, many states continued using their own individual criteria and performing their own tests for modified asphalt based on their criteria.
Non-standardized asphalt testing procedures for modified asphalt create a problem when states discuss amongst one another the way modified asphalt is performing in their areas, since they are not sharing comparable test results. Not only are each state’s testing procedures different, but there are also numerous tests that are not performance related and only indicate the presence of an additive.
To combat this problem, AMAP, along with the Asphalt Institute and various user-producer groups, is pushing for each state to use the same procedures on the tests they run, in an effort to make the overall test results more consistent across agency jurisdictions and enable our industry to gain a much more consistent picture of how modified asphalt is performing from state to state. The ability to compare consistent test results will also help eliminate the need for extra tests, thus lowering the costs for both the user and producer.
There are efforts now underway to develop a performance-based test that will address modified asphalt, but until then, the standardization of our procedures appears to be the best path to follow for consistency in the industry.
The American Association of State, Highway and Transportation Officials has offered a solution in the form of standard testing procedures on most of the additional tests in use by the various agencies. This idea is endorsed by AMAP, the Asphalt Institute and asphalt user-producer groups, and a push is underway by these groups to encourage all 50 states to use these standard procedures in their modified asphalt tests.
AMAP Honors John D’ Angelo
AMAP is proud of the many accomplishments of its diverse membership, and we’re using our newsletter to pay tribute to members whose efforts are advancing the asphalt industry. In each issue of AMAP News, we will highlight one of these outstanding members and, we’re starting off with John D’ Angelo, Asphalt Materials Engineer in the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Pavement Technology.
In his current role, John manages the Federal Highway Technology Program for asphalt and quality control. His work is focused on identifying technological needs in the asphalt industry, and evaluating and adopting new technologies to meet those needs.
A 30-year industry veteran, John started his career in 1977 as a member of the FHWA Highway Engineer Training Program. From there, he began managing highway construction projects as a Resident Construction Engineer for the Federal Land Highway Program in Washington D.C. In 1983, John assumed duties as a Senior Project Manager for the FHWA’s Office of Technology Applications (OTA-FHWA), then took over as Asphalt Team Leader in the Highway Infrastructure Division of the OTA-FHWA in 1990 before assuming his current duties in 1999.
While his distinguished career features numerous highlights, John says he’s most proud of the work he did to achieve implementation of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) Superpave Asphalt Design System to the highway system nationwide. Using the Superpave system, materials and mixes can be designed to reliably perform under any conditions of load and environment.
“It’s a really exciting thing because it’s a standard that covers all 50 states,” said John.
In 1995, the FHWA recognized John’s efforts to implement the Superpave System with its Innovations Award. Over the years, John has also garnered numerous additional awards and honors recognizing his career accomplishments. Awards earned to date include the Department of Transportation Superior Achievement Award, the AASHTO Pathfinder Award and the FHWA Engineering Excellence Award. John is also a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Association of Asphalt Pavement Technologists where he was a past president. He’s also been a member of AMAP since the organization’s inception.
Looking to the future, John notes that he will remain focused on the development of a new high temperature binder specification which will evaluate the effects of binder modification on rut resistance, and continue tackling new parts of specifications that need to be improved alongside the co-workers that have made his time in the asphalt industry so enjoyable.
“What I truly love the most about the asphalt industry is the great group of people I get to work with,” said John. “All the people I’ve come across in the industry are incredibly knowledgeable and very dedicated to moving the industry forward. It’s a true pleasure to work with them and be a part of the asphalt industry as a whole.”
AMAP Welcomes Four New Member Companies During 2007
We are pleased to announce that Alberty Additives, DuPont, Sinopec Shanghai Asphalt Sales Company and Wright Asphalt Products Company joined our distinguished list of member companies during 2007.
Based in Baton Rouge, La., Alberty Additives is a provider of cross-linking material and accelerator blends to the asphalt industry. Delivered in specially designed containers to allow easy application of the material to asphalt, the company’s blends have demonstrated the ability to optimize the rubber/polymer addition, reduce production costs and improve the overall characteristics of asphalt.
With operations in more than 70 countries worldwide, DuPont’s headquarters are based in Wilmington, Del. The company offers a wide range of innovative products and services for numerous markets. Its specific construction-related offerings include the provision of polymers for the modification of asphalt for the paving and roofing industries.
Based in Shanghai, Sinopec Asphalt Sales Company is a sales branch of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation. Dedicated to delivering top-notch services to customers and enterprises, the company is responsible for organizing trading activities for the Sinopec “Donghai” brand of asphalt.
Wright Asphalt Products Company, located in Houston, Texas, is a product development and marketing organization responsible for creating innovative products for use in highway maintenance applications. The company’s list of products includes a tire rubber modified chip and HMA binders which continue to gain acceptance nationwide.
Our President’s View
With federal and state funding tight and gas prices on the rise, state agency budgets are tighter than ever before. And, as agencies struggle to keep their list of expenses to a minimum, many may be wondering if they can afford to utilize modified asphalt.
The answer is a resounding “yes.” While it’s true that modified asphalt costs more at the onset, the long-term value associated with its use makes it a far more cost-effective option.
In 2005, a study titled “Quantification of the Effects of Polymer-Modified Asphalt,” prepared by Harold Von Quintus and sponsored by AMAP and the Asphalt Institute, provided strong evidence of the increased pavement life provided by modified asphalt. The study showed that the use of modified asphalt results in a 25-100% (or 3-10 year) increase in the life of pavement.
Along with the extended pavement life delivered by modified asphalt comes an abundance of added value for the user, including reduced maintenance costs and a reduction in the need for highway repairs and costly road construction projects. The general public also benefits from the use of modified asphalt because commuters aren’t left sitting on the roads in an abundance of construction-related traffic tie-ups.
As our state agencies determine how modified asphalt use fits into their budgets, we encourage them to closely examine the long-term life-cycle costs of modified asphalt, not just the initial costs. Modified asphalt yields better performing, longer-lasting roads, and its long-term benefits are worth the greater initial cost incurred.