Construction of an Electrically Heated Asphalt Road Based on Ribbon Technology

Eyal Levenberg, Quentin Félix Adam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although asphalt pavements are the most common pavement type worldwide, there is no accepted heating solution for this infrastructure class for melting snow and preventing ice formation at the ride-surface. This study was concerned with utilizing electric ribbon technology as a suitable heating solution. A method was proposed to introduce ribbon heaters into the typical paving process in a practical manner, causing minimal disruption to the normal paving operations, that is potentially expandable to large areas. The advocated idea was to deploy ribbons after an asphalt concrete (AC) lift has been paved and compacted, and before paving and compacting the next AC lift(s). In this context, a special grooving machine was envisioned to make shallow channels in the AC for cradling each ribbon. Thus, the system survivability is guaranteed, with all ribbons protected against the maneuvering of trucks, paving equipment, and heavy rollers. Subsequently, the method was demonstrated through the full-scale construction of a heated road that included installing ribbons in-between AC lifts. For this purpose, the protective ribbon channels were grooved with a customized milling machine. The entire construction process was described in detail, and some initial findings from activating the system were also included. An overall system survivability of 97% was achieved, and the installation concept appears practical and up-scalable. Although asphalt pavements are the most common pavement type worldwide, there is no accepted heating solution for this infrastructure class for melting snow and preventing ice formation at the ride-surface. This study was concerned with utilizing electric ribbon technology as a suitable heating solution. A method was proposed to introduce ribbon heaters into the typical paving process in a practical manner, causing minimal disruption to the normal paving operations, that is potentially expandable to large areas. The advocated idea was to deploy ribbons after an asphalt concrete (AC) lift has been paved and compacted, and before paving and compacting the next AC lift(s). In this context, a special grooving machine was envisioned to make shallow channels in the AC for cradling each ribbon. Thus, the system survivability is guaranteed, with all ribbons protected against the maneuvering of trucks, paving equipment, and heavy rollers. Subsequently, the method was demonstrated through the full-scale construction of a heated road that included installing ribbons in-between AC lifts. For this purpose, the protective ribbon channels were grooved with a customized milling machine. The entire construction process was described in detail, and some initial findings from activating the system were also included. An overall system survivability of 97% was achieved, and the installation concept appears practical and up-scalable.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesTransportation Research Record
Number of pages12
ISSN0361-1981
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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