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Copyright Dynapac Compaction Equipment AB, Sweden 2007

Produced by MM Communications AB, Sweden

Illustrations Magnus Eriksson, Ulf Johansson, ke Nilsson, Sweden
Printed by MixiPrint, Sweden
Compaction and Paving
Dynapac has been at the forefront of vibratory compaction and paving
technology for many years. Its growth as an international organisation has
been based on the solid foundation of its research and technical expertise.
This experience, now gathered under the banner of its International High
Comp Centre (IHCC), has provided the company with the knowledge and
tools to design and manufacture compaction and paving equipment that en-
sure a job is done satisfactorily. And that the equipment remains on the job.
Compaction and paving
theory and practice
Through the IHCC, Dynapac has
developed CompBase, a unique
tool to predict the most suitable
choice of equipment for a given job with
given specifcations. It is built from a
bank of compaction and equipment-rela-
ted data, compiled during full-scale tests
carried out under controlled conditions
on Dynapac compaction equipment wor-
king on various soil types. The test ma-
terial comprises hundreds of thousands
of measurements. For given conditions,
CompBase suggests the optimum type
of equipment and the suitable number
of machines required. In practice, Com-
pBase has proven to offer a high degree
of accuracy.
The IHCC has developed an equivalent
program for asphalt paving applications,
PaveComp. It helps asphalt contractors
and others involved in the surfacing bu-
siness select not only the right machines
for a given lay-downrate and given type of
asphalt mix. PaveComp also gives users
the combination of pavers and rollers that
achieve the specifcations using the best
asphalt surfacing practices most cost ef-
Dynapac offers the market a complete
range of vibratory rollers for soil and
asphalt compaction. They range from the
largest rollers to small walkbehind rol-
lers. The roller range also comprises sta-
tic smooth drum rollers and pneumatic
tyred rollers.
Compaction equipment for minor jobs
and applications includes vibratory plates,
tampers, walk-behind rollers and
trench compactors.
Dynapac compaction equipment is
supplemented by a range of tracked and
wheeled asphalt pavers,which includes
Dynapac and Svedala Demag machines
as well as a full range of screeds to handle
all paving applications.
Dynapac has compaction and paving
equipment manufacturing facilities in
Sweden, France, Germany, Brazil, China
and the United States; as well as local as-
sembly in a number of other countries.
The Dynapac and Svedala Demag pro-
ducts are sold through distributors and
dealers in all major areas of the world.
The Dynapac world-wide network runs
a fully functioning parts and service back-
up to maintain product integrity over a
long productive life.
This handbook presents a gene-
ral overview of soil and asphalt
materials, as well as suitable met-
hods and equipment for their
compaction. It covers asphalt
paving techniques and equip-
ment, too. The principal purpose
of the book is to assist that im-
portant group of authority em-
ployees, contractors and consul-
tants who are concerned with com-
paction and paving. It should also
be useful to anyone looking for
an introduction to these subjects.
Applications for compaction and paving techniques 8-11
Soil compaction
Type of soil 12 - 16
Compaction methods for soil and rock ll materials 17 - 19
Compaction equipment 20 - 21
Compaction properties of different soils and rock ll materials 22 - 24
Special applications 25
Compaction of minor jobs 26 - 27
Specications and led control methods for soil 28
Field control methods 29 - 30
Asphalt paving and compaction
Asphalt paving and compaction 31
Quality and functional requirements for asphalt pavements 32
Type of surfacing 33 - 40
Paving operations 41 - 43
Asphalt compaction 44 - 50
Choice of asphalt compactors 51
Specications and eld control methods for asphalt 52 - 53
What to look for
In a vibratory roller 55 - 61
In a static smooth drum roller 62 - 64
In a pneumatic tyred roller 65 - 67
In light compaction equipment 68 - 72
In asphalt paving equipment 73 - 79
Total Compaction and Paving Technology
Total Compaction and Paving Technology 80 - 84
Conversion tables 86 - 87
Index 88 - 89

Applications for
compaction and
paving techniques
Compaction is dened as the process of increasing the den-
sity and load-bearing properties of a material through the
application of either static or dynamic external forces.
It is required in many areas of the construction industry.
The following pages describe the most common applica-
tions, namely: roads, streets, motorways, airelds, earth and
rock ll dams, railway embankments and foundations for
buildings. Other applications include: parking areas, storage
yards, sports areas, industrial and residential areas, harbour
constructions, reservoirs and canals.
In the construction feld, the bearing capa-
city and stability of rock fll, soil and asp-
halt, their impermeability and their ability
to withstand loads are all correlated to an
adequate compaction of the material. To
illustrate the importance of compaction,
a one-percent increase in density normally
corresponds to at least a 10-15% increase
in bearing capacity.
Although compaction may only account
for some 1-4% of the total construction
costs, its role in the quality and life span
of a fnished project is immeasurable. If
compaction is inadequate or incorrectly
performed, settlement and other failures
are likely to occur, with resultant high re-
habilitation and/or maintenance costs.
In a number of the above applications,
principally roads, airfelds and parking and
storage areas, the life span of the construc-
tion is also dependent on the quality of the
surfacing. For asphalt, the degree of com-
paction is decisive to strength, wearing
resistance, impermeability and durability.
In addition, correct surface evenness, uni-
form layer thickness and the correct gra-
des and cross-slopes are all necessary for
a long, low-maintenance service life. As a
consequence, the performance of the pa-
ving equipment is in many aspects crucial
to the quality of the fnished surfacing.
Soil and asphalt structures
The design of a soil and asphalt structure
has to be based on a number of factors
such as foundation conditions, loads ac-
ting on the structure, available materials,
climate, risk for earth quakes and to in-
creasing extent also on environmental
The loads may vary depending on the
type of structure, but the main aim is to
distribute them down through the struc-
ture. The most common types of loads
are traffc loads, buildings and water pres-
In a road, for example, the load is dist-
ributed through the asphalt layers, a base
and then a subbase layer down to the
embankment. The great stresses in the
asphalt, base and subbase layers put high
demands on the properties and quality of
the materials as well as on their compac-
tion. In many countries, the cold climate
necessitates a frost resistant subbase, in
cold regions of considerable thickness.
Any structure has an effect on and is
affected by its environment, and this must
be taken into consideration. If fll materi-
als are not obtained from soil or rock fll
excavations included in the project, careful
investigations are necessary to fnd suita-
ble borrow pits. Today, we even try to use
recycled material.
In cold climates, consideration must also
be given to the risk of low temperature
cracking in asphalt. In hot climate, on the
other hand due consideration should be
given to the stability of the asphalt layers
to minimise the risk of deformation.
The climate, especially the intensity and
seasonal distribution of the rainfall is a
very important factor for the planning and
operation of a soil compaction work.
There are many types of roads, from small
secondary country roads to large multi-lane
motorways. Whatever the type of road, com-
paction is always required to ensure adequate
bearing capacity to carry the traffc loads, av-
oid settlements, increase lifetime and reduce
maintenance costs.
A road is built on an embankment or in a
cut and is made up of a number of layers:
embankment, subbase, base course, binder
and wearing course.
The quality of the fnished surface, ensur-
ing surface evenness and friction, is directly
dependent on the standard of the paving
operation and performance of the paving
Asphalt wearing course
Asphalt binder course
Asphalt base course
Railways are still a major form of trans-
portation for goods and passengers. For
mass transportation of heavy materials
such as ore, coal and other minerals rail-
ways are in many cases the only possible
Railways are built according to the same
principle as a road except for the upper
layers. A well compacted ballast bed sup-
port the sleepers.
With the advent of high speed trains in a
number of countries, considerably stricter
requirements are being imposed on rail-
way embankments and ballast beds.
Runways, taxiways and aprons are all ex-
posed to heavy loads in airport complexes.
They are built up in the same ways as ro-
ads, but compaction and paving specifca-
tions are generally higher than for most
other projects.
Strict demands must be placed on flls
which shall be used as foundations for
buildings and industrial areas. Frost resis-
tance, uniform load bearing capacity and
freedom of settlements are required.
Canals require impermeable linings cove-
ring bottom and side slopes withstanding
erosion of the water in the canal. The
linings can consists of compacted fne-
grained soil, alternatively asphalt or con-
crete. Filters and embankment construc-
tions of considerable volumes are often
included in canal works.
Earth and rock ll dams
Earth and rock fll dams are made up of va-
rious sections. In most cases the dams have a
core of impermeable soil. Also asphalt cores
are used. The main body of the dam is formed
by supporting shoulder flls of soil or rock fll.
Filter layers provide the required drainage
and transition between the different material
Earth and rock fll dams with an impermeable
upstream facing of asphalt or concrete are beco-
ming increasingly common.
Asphalt wearing course
Asphalt binder course
Asphalt base course
Origin of soils
The composition of a soil and the way
that it was formed affect its suitability for
use as a construction material. Soils can be
split into two main categories: mineral and
organic. Soil structures use only mineral
soils. Organic soils such as earth, peat and
mud/sludge are not really suitable because
they are constantly decomposing and their
load bearing capacity is low.
Mineral soils are formed through weathe-
ring and natural mechanicalfect. They can
also be formed artifcially by blasting and
Soils may be divided into a number of different categories depending on their composition, geological
history and physical properties. The basic factors that determine compaction result in soils are: the type
of soil, its water content, its physical properties, the compaction method and applied energy. It is thus
essential to know what kind of soil is present on the project when selecting compaction equipment.
A soil material consists of three
elements: soil particles, water
and air.
Type of soil
crushing. Their durability depends upon
the mineral composition as well as how the
soil and also the rock were formed.
Particle shape
The shape of the particle has a certain
infuence on the compactability and load
bearing capacity of the soil in question.
The particle shape is related to the way in
which the rock was formed and how it has
been affected over the years. Particle shape
can be divided into three categories: roun-
ded, angular and shaped. Rounded partic-
les have been formed by grinding under
1 In some literature water content is expressed as moisture content.
the infuence of water and wind. This
type of soil is most commonly found in,
for example, river deposits, lake sediment,
dunes, loess and glacifuvial deposits. The
whole range of particle sizes are present.
Angular particles are formed by me-
chanical infuence on the rock by glaciers.
Moraine is typical of soils with this par-
ticle shape, although the whole range of
particle sizes are present.
Shaped particles are artifcially manu-
factured by the blasting and mechanical
crushing processes.
1) Aeolian deposits
Wind deposits, such as dune sand and loess.
2) Alluvial soils
A ne-grained soil consisting of mud, silt and sand deposited by owing
water on ood plains and in estuaries.
3) Fluvial deposits
Deposits in a river.
4) Glacial deposits
Moraines formed by the action of the ice sheets.
5) Glaciuvial deposits
Soils transported and deposited by owing melt water from ice sheets.
Coarse material is deposited rst and ne particles last.
6) Lake sediments
Vary from ne sand to clay.
7) Residual soils
Formed by the weathering of pre-existing rocks.
8) Wave-washed sediments
Soils which have been re-deposited by wave action in
lake and sea-bed sediments.
9) Organic soils
Consist of decomposed vegetation. They appear as peat, organic silt and
clay. Organic soils are with a few exceptions not used as ll materials.
10) Man-made soils
Blasting and crushing of rock.
Igneous rock
Igneous rock types are formed from the cooling
process of magma, a natural solution of high
temperature, rock-forming constituents under high
pressure. Some examples of igneous rock are
granite, gabbro, basalt, etc.
Sedimentary rock
In time, rock, when exposed to the atmosphere,
will be broken or dissolved by weathering and
erosion. The material is redeposited by water and
wind and builds into sedimentary rocks. The most
distinctive characteristic of sedimentary rock is
its layering or stratication. The most abundant
types of sedimentary rock are shale, sandstone
and limestone. The material can either be very soft
ornearly as hard as some of the igneous rock types.
Metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock results from the changes in
texture and/or mineral composition of igneous
or sedimentary rock caused by increased heat
and/or pressure. The transition from one stage
to another is gradual so that all intermediate
stages are represented. Eventually the metamorp-
hism may be thorough enough to destroy all
evidence of the original state. Metamorphic rock is
usually harder than the original rock type. Gneiss
is one example transited from granite and marble
is another one transited from limestone.
Determination of soil characteristics
Grain size distribution
Soil is categorised into different fractions according to particle
size as follows (from the smallest to the largest): clay, silt, sand,
gravel, cobbles and boulders. The different fractions rarely occur
individually in nature. They usually occur in combinations of two
or more different fractions, for example: sandy gravel, silty sand,
silty clay, silty-clayey sand, etc.
Grain size distribution is of great importance for the mechanical
properties for a soil and for the selection of compaction equip-
The grain size distribution is determined by a sieve test and a
sedimentation test if necessary. Ocular analysis can also be used
to categorise coarse-grained soil.
Gradation is an important factor for bearing capacity and for com-
paction. It is determined from the grain size distribution curve.
Above, are the particle diameters corresponding to values of 60
and 10 percent on the grain size distribution curve. If Cu is less
than 5 the soil is considered uniformly graded and if Cu is greater
than 15 the soil is considered well-graded. In between these two,
the soil is medium-graded. The limits differ somewhat from one
classifcation system to another. In well-graded material, repre-
sented by a curve covering a full range of grain sizes, the voids left
by the large particles are flled by the smaller ones. This results in a
dense structure and good load bearing capacity.
A curve showing particles of more or less the same size indicates
a uniformly graded material. In this case, there are no smaller par-
ticles to fll the voids. Consequently, it is harder to achieve a high
density and bearing capacity in uniformly-graded material than in
well-graded material.
0,0001 0,001 0,01 0,1 1 10 100
200 100 50 40 30 16 10 8 4
1 3" 6" 12"
" " "
Passing, % U.S. standard sieves
Particle size, mm
Well graded
Road base
Consistency is important in a fne-grained
soil. The consistency of any fne-grained
(plastic) soil may be soft, frm, or hard de-
pending on the water content. As the soil
changes consistency, so do its mechanical
Fine-grained soils are often classifed
through standardised laboratory com-
paction tests, determining liquid limit
(LL), plastic limit (PL) and shrinkage li-
mit (SL). Plasticity index (PI) is defned as
the difference between liquid and plastic
The plasticity index determines if the
soil is low or high plastic. A soil with low
plasticity index, low plastic soil, is very
sensitive to changes in its water content.
Sieve test
The dried soil sample is passed through a number of standard sieves
which differ in mesh size. The amount of material remaining on each sieve
is calculated as a percentage of the total weight of the sample. The
gures are plotted on a graph in a cumulative curve showing the grain
size distribution of the material.
Sedimentation test
A sedimentation test should be performed if the amount of clay
and silt exceeds a certain level, for example, 15%. In a sedimenta-
tion test, the soil sample is mixed with water and chemicals. After
careful mixing, the density of the solution is measured using a
hydrometer. Afterwards, the grain size distribution can be calcula-
ted and plotted.
0,002 0,006 0,02 0,06 0,2 0,6 2,0 6,0 20 60 200 600
200 100 50 30 16 8 4
1 3" 6" 12"
" " "
U K Clay Silt Sand Gravel Cobbles Boulders
USA Clay and silt Sand Gravel Cobbles Boulders
France Argile Limon Sable Gravier Cailloux Blocs
Germany Ton Schluff Sand Kies Steine Blcke
Scandinavia Lera Silt Sand Grus Sten Block
U.S. standard sieves
Particle size, mm
Classication of soil
Soils are classifed by grain-size distribution. Grain size classif-
cation systems vary somewhat from country to country. The clas-
sifcation of cohesive soils also involves determining their con-
One of the most common soil classifcation systems was esta-
blished in USA and is called the Unifed Soil Classifcation System
(USCS). It categorises soils in 15 groups identifed by name and
letter symbols. The AASHTO Classifcation System (American
Association of Highway and Transportation Offcials) is intended
for road construction. It was developed in the USA, too.
Soils can also be generally classifed in larger groups, for ex-
ample, as coarse-grained or fne-grained, granular or nongranular
and friction or cohesive soils.
A coarse-grained soil is generally regarded as free-draining if it
contains a maximum of 5-10% fnes (silt and clay). In connection
with compaction an important borderline can be drawn between
free-draining and not free-draining soils.
Resistance to compaction
There are three types of resistance to compaction in a soil: friction,
cohesion and apparent cohesion.
Friction is caused by the interaction between the particles and
is the main resistance in a coarse-grained soil.
Cohesion is caused by molecular forces between the smallest par-
ticles and constitutes the main source of resistance in a fnegrained
Apparent cohesion is caused by the capillary forces of the water
in the soil and occurs more or less in all soils. Most soils attain
their highest density at a certain optimum water content for a given
compaction effort. In simple terms, a dry soil is frmer and more
resistant to compaction, whereas a wet soil is easier to compact.
However, the higher the water content, the lower the density of
the material. The highest density is obtained at a certain optimum
water content between the wet and dry states. The most common
method for determining this state is the Proctor test.
Clean sand and gravel, as well as other free-draining coarse ma-
terials, are less sensitive to variations in water content, and can
attain maximum density in a completely dry or in a water-saturated
state. Lower densities at water contents between the dry and water-
saturated state are a result of the apparent cohesion.
Apparent cohesion occurs as a result of the capillary forces
that are created by the water in the partly lled small voids
which keep the particles together with elastic ties. The smaller
the particle size, the greater the apparent cohesion.
Real cohesion as opposed to apparent cohesion (see below)
occurs in clay owing to the molecular forces acting between
the minuscule particles. The stronger this cohesion, the greater
the compaction effort required.
Internal friction in a soil is a result of the forces acting at the
contact points between the particles.
Standard Proctor
2,5 kg rammer dropped from a
height of 305 mm.
25 blows per layer
(Mould diamater 10 cm)
56 blows per layer
(Mould diamater 15 cm)
Laboratory compaction tests
The optimum water content can be de-
termined in a laboratory compaction test.
The most common method is the Proctor
test which relies on a falling weight. The
test establishes the optimum water con-
tent for a soil as well as the reference den-
sity. The density is expressed as dry den-
sity, which is the ratio between the weight
of the dried soil particles and the volume
of the sample. Standardized laboratory
compaction tests using vibratory com-
paction are also available. They are used
for coarse-grained soils, especially free-
draining soils. The vibratory compaction
tests uses a larger mould than Proctor test
and are suitable for soil containing larger
Proctor test
A sample of the soil to be tested is pla-
ced in a cylindrical mould and compacted
with a falling weight. Maximum particle
size is limited to one-tenth of the diameter
of the mould. If there is a low percentage
of large particles, the maximum particle
size is limited to one ffth of the diameter
of the mould. The size of the mould is 10
cm and 15 cm for larger particles.
The Proctor test consists of two dif-
ferent energy inputs known as Standard
and Modifed Proctor. The compaction
effort is 4,5 times greater for Modifed
Proctor than Standard.
The Standard Proctor test uses a 5,5 lb.
(approx. 2,5 kg) rammer with a fall height
of 12 (305 mm). The soil sample is com-
pacted in three layers.
The Modifed Proctor test uses a 10 lb.
(approx. 4,5 kg) rammer with a fall height
of 18 (457 mm). The soil sample is com-
pacted in fve layers.
Results of Proctor tests
on different types of soils.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Zero air voids
Dry density, g/cm
Water content, per cent
5 10 15 20 25
Dry density, g/cm
Water content, per cent
Max. density
Optimum water
Modied Proctor
4,5 kg rammer dropped from a
height of 457 mm.
25 blows per layer
(Mould diamater 10 cm)
56 blows per layer
(Mould diamater 15 cm)
Static compaction
Static compaction equipment uses the
dead-weight of the machine to apply
pressure on the surface to compress the
fll material. As the static pressure in the
soil rapidly decreases with increasing
depth, the static compactors have a limited
depth effect which makes it necessary to
compact the fll material in relatively thin
In static compaction, the underlying
surface is exposed to pressure only
Compaction methods
for soil and
rock ll material
Compaction equipment for soil and rock
materials is based on three main principles:
static load, vibration and impact. The factors
that inuence the selection of compaction
method and the compaction result include
type of soil, water content, stiffness of layer
underneath and time of compaction effort.
In static compaction, the underlying
surface is exposed to pressure only
Vibration combines static
pressure and dynamic force
The only way to vary the static pressure
exerted on the surface is to alter the weight
or the contact area of the equipment. The
compaction result is also a function of the
speed of the compactor and the number
of passes applied.
Conventional types of static com-
pactors that have been used for many
years include static three-wheel rollers,
static tandem rollers and pneumatic tyred
rollers (PTR).
Vibratory compaction
Vibratory compactors deliver a rapid
succession of impacts against the surface.
The impacts generate pressure waves
which are transmitted down into the
fll and set the particles in motion. This
reduces or nearly eliminates the internal
friction, and facilitates the rearrangement
of the particles into denser positions. The
increase in the number of contact points
between the particles leads to increased
load-bearing properties.
Vibratory compaction has the greatest
effect on coarse-grained soils. Medium-
heavy and heavy vibratory compactors
are able to compact coarse-grained soils
with only a limited apparent cohesion
in thick layers. Even though it has less
effect on fne-grained flls, it still remains
one of the most effcient methods for
Vibratory compaction achieves higher
densities and better depth effect than
static compaction on all fll materials,
and fnal density can be attained with
fewer passes. All of which explains why
vibratory equipment is more effcient and
economical than heavy static equipment
in almost all situations.
Impact compaction
Impact compaction relies on a high impact
force. The force of the impact produces a
pressure wave in the soil which generates
high pressure at depth as well.
A large impact force against the surface
can be obtained by dropping a heavy
weight lifted by a crane.
Tampers work with relatively large stroke
height and generate comparatively large
impact forces giving a good depth effect
and a better ability to compact cohesive
soils than vibratory plates.
Static tamping rollers used for
compaction of cohesive soils operate at
high speed at which the feet hit the soil
with a certain impact effect.
In certain cases, rollers with triangular,
rectangular or pentagonal drums may be
used with relative good depth effect. As
this type of compactor will leave an non-
compacted area between each impact,
many passes are required to ensure uniform
Impact rollers must be operated at
signifcantly higher speeds than static or
vibratory compactors to realise their full
effect. They are most economical on large
In impact compaction, the great stroke
height of the tamper creates a powerful
downward force to achieve good
compaction depth
Choice of compaction equipment must take into consideration the type of ll material, the layer thickness,
compaction specications and the size of the job. The most important consideration is the ability of the machine to
full the compaction specications in a cost-effective manner. There are a number of machine types in current use
for soil compaction. The most common machines and their generally accepted designations are presented below.
Self-propelled, single-drum vibratory rollers
With one vibrating drum and pneumatic drive wheels. Used on rock ll and soil.
Special padfoot versions are very effective on clay. Weight range: 4-25 tons.
The most important compaction parameters are static linear load, amplitude,
frequency and speed. A high static linear load gives a better compaction effect.
The amplitude helps determine the compaction depth. The speed should not
exceed 6 km/h, otherwise there will be a noticeable decrease in the compaction effect.
Suitable on all kind of soils placed in relatively thick layers. On rock ll, only the
heaviest smooth drum models are suitable.
Vibratory tandem rollers
Normally with vibration and drive on both drums. Used
on soil (mainly subbases and bases) as well as asphalt.
Weight range: 1-18 tons.
The most important compaction parameters are the
static linear load, amplitude, frequency and the speed.
A higher static linear load gives a better compaction
effect and the amplitude has the greatest effect on
the compaction depth. The speed should not exceed 6
km/h otherwise there will be a noticeable decrease in the
compaction effect.
Most suitable on thin to medium layer thickness on
coarse-grained soils.
Vibratory plate compactors
Self-propelling owing to vibratory motion of the machine. Forward and reversible
plates available in most sizes. Weight range: 40-800 kg.
The most important compaction parameters are the contact pressure, amplitude,
frequency and speed. A higher contact pressure gives a better compaction effect.
The amplitude has its greatest effect on the compaction depth.
Low speed gives a better compaction effect.
Compaction equipment
Walk-behind rollers/trench compactors
Two drums with rigid or articulated frame.
Common, well-accepted concept in light
compaction equipment. Pad-foot or smooth drum
versions available. Remote control facility on
many models. Weight range: 400-2000 kg.
The most important compaction parameters
are the static linear load, amplitude, frequency
and the speed. A higher static linear load gives a
better compaction effect and the amplitude has
the greatest effect on the compaction depth.
The speed should not exceed 6 km/h,
otherwise there will be a noticeable decrease in
the compaction effect.
Static three-wheel rollers
Two driving steel drums and a
steering drum with rigid frame, or
three-wheel drive and an articulated
frame. Compaction effort can be
varied by ballasting. Weight range:
8-15 tons.
The most important compaction
parameters are the static linear load
and the speed. A higher static linear
load gives a better compaction
effect. The speed should not exceed
6 km/h, otherwise there will be a
noticeable decrease in the compac-
tion effect.
Most suitable on thin layers of
coarse-grained soils.
High impact force from foot-plate
delivers high compaction effort on
practically all types of soil. Weight
range: 40-100 kg.
The most important compaction
parameters are the weight, foot-
plate area, stroke height and speed.
A higher weight gives a better
compaction effect, with the same
foot-plate area, while the stroke
height has its largest effect on the
compaction depth.
Low speed gives a better compac-
tion effect
Pneumatic-tyred rollers
Normally with 7-11 pneumatic
tyres. Front and rear tyres overlap.
Compaction effort can be varied
by ballasting with water, sand or
special cast-iron weights. Weight
range: 10-35 tons.
The most important
compaction parameters are the
wheel load, tyre ination pressure
and speed. A higher wheel load
gives a better compaction effect.
The speed should not exceed
6 km/h, otherwise there will be a
noticeable decrease in the com-
paction effect.
Most suitable on thin layers.
Static tamping rollers
Four padfoot drums. Articulated steering. Run at faster speeds than vibratory rollers. Used
for impact compaction. Effective on cohesive soils. Weight range: 15-35 tons.
The most important compaction parameters are the wheel load, width of wheel, shape
of pads and the speed. A higher wheel load gives a better compaction effect. The speed
should exceed 10 km/h otherwise there will be a noticeable decrease in the compaction
Most suitable on thin layers and large surfaces.
Rock ll
(Boulders and Cobbles)
Rock fll includes boulders and cobbles
which vary in size from a chickens egg and
upward. Rock fll can comprise blasted
rock, crushed rock or natural material.
Boulders and cobbles are the dominant
fractions, although small fractions do
Compaction properties of different soil
and rock ll materials
The choice of compaction equipment must take into account a number of factors. These include:
the type of work, size of work-site, type of soil, stiffness of the layer underneath, compaction
specications, capacity requirements and the climatic conditions. The following section looks at
different types of soils and their compaction properties.
The maximum stone size and gradation
of rock fll is determined by the type and
quality of the rock and the rock blasting
procedure. Primary rock, such as basalt,
gneiss and granite, have a high strength,
and blasted rock fll with a size of up to
1,0-1,5 m has a small amount of fnes.
When rock fll consists of lime,
sandstone, etc. the maximum stone size is
smaller, and the amount of fnes is such
that considerable settlement will occur if
the fll is not adequately compacted.
The maximum boulder size permitted is
normally two-thirds of the layer thickness
but, from a compaction point of view, it
is advantageous if the maximum boulder
size does not exceed one-third of the
layer thickness, as there is less risk of rock
Vibratory equipment has proved to
be the most suitable and cost-effective
method for compaction. Static and impact
compaction are not really well suited to
rock fll. Impact compaction can be used
if a heavy falling weight is used. However,
a heavy falling weight increases the risk of
Heavy and medium-heavy vibratory
equipment is required for rock fll to
relocate the large boulders and achieve the
necessary density and stability.
The risk of crushing of the rock material
must be observed and may infuence the
choice of roller size and the number of
Rock fll compaction exerts extreme
loads on the compaction equipment
which is why it is important to select
machines that are specifcally designed for
this purpose.
Gravel and Sand
Gravel and sand range in size from a
chickens egg down to 0,06 mm or in
some cases 0,075 mm. They can include
fractions of other soil types which will
affect their compaction properties.
The compaction properties of gravel
and sand are infuenced by the water
content, compaction is most effective at
optimum water content.
If the fnes content is less than 5-10
%, the soil is classifed as free-draining.
In free-draining gravel and sand, excess
water is pressed out during compaction.
That means that the compaction work
can continue also when it is raining or
when the surface is fooded.
If the soil is not free-draining, problems
are likely to occur if attempts are made to
compact the material above the optimum
water content. The soil will become elastic
and springy, and it may be impossible to
achieve the compaction specifcations as
the soil will become water-saturated at a
lower density than that specifed.
When sand and gravel are uniformly
graded it is often diffcult to attain high
density close to the surface (the top 10-
15 cm) owing to the low shear strength
of the materials. The material tends to
get pressed up behind the roller drum,
and the surface layer therefor attains
comparatively low density. However,
this has no great signifcance in practice.
When compacting in layers, the top
surface is compacted as the next layer
is rolled. Nonetheless, the diffculty of
compacting close to the surface should
be taken into account when carrying out
compaction tests.
As a rule, all types and sizes of machines
can be used to compact gravel and sand,
but, naturally, the choice will depend on
compaction and capacity requirements.
Medium to heavy vibratory rollers will
achieve compaction on thick layers.
Light vibratory compactors give good
compaction results on limited layer
Dry compaction
Normally all types of soil are compacted
most effciently at optimum water content.
However, in some areas such as arid or
semi-arid areas, it may be impractical or
too costly to water the soil. In such cases
gravel and sand can be compacted in a dry
state (water content < 1-2 %).
It is important to take into account
the saline content of the soil since a high
content may be detrimental to the load
bearing capacity of the material. Dry
compaction has been applied with good
results, on relatively thick layers, in road
and airfeld constructions in desert areas.
Silt varies in grain size from 0,06 mm
down to 0,002 mm, although these
limits may vary slightly according to the
soil classifcation system. It can include
fractions of other soil types which will
affect its compaction properties.
The compaction resistance in silt
comprises friction, cohesion and apparent
cohesion all of which must be overcome
by the compaction equip-ment. In pure
silt or if the silt is largely mixed with other
coarse-grained fractions, there is little
cohesion. If the clay content increases,
the cohesion will increase accordingly.
As with all fne-grained soils, the
compaction of silt is heavily dependent
on water content. For good compaction
effect, the water content should not
diverge too much from the optimum.
At optimum water content, silt is
relatively easy to compact. At high water
content, and under the infuence of
vibration or traffc, silt is transformed
into a more or less fuid state.
Vibratory equipment is most effective
to compact silt. Layer thickness can be
almost the same as for gravel and sand
if the clay content is very low. If the clay
content exceeds 5%, large machines and
thinner layers are required to overcome
the cohesion in the material. In such
cases, a padfoot drum may give better
results than a smooth drum. In addition,
vibratory plates and smooth drum rollers
may have traction problems, especially
when the water content is a little higher.
Clay consists of the smallest particles,
from around 0,002 mm and downward.
The particles are so small that they cannot
be discerned by the human eye. A clay
content of 15% is suffcient for the soil
to display the properties of clay, where
cohesion and apparent cohesion are the
main resistance factors.
The effect of cohesion depends on clay
content, grain size, shape as well as the
mineral composition of the clay. It can
vary widely between two different clays
with the same grain size distribution but
with different grain shapes and mineral
The water content has a considerable
signifcance on the compaction resist-
ance of the material. Compaction is most
effective at, or just above, the optimum
water content. The consistency of the clay
also affects compactability. Above the
liquid limit, clay will lose its load bearing
capacity, while if it is under the plasticity
limit, an increased compaction effort is
Clay requires a relatively high com-
paction effort (compared with coarse-
grained soils). Vibratory padfoot rollers
are very suitable for compaction of clay
as they can transmit the high pressures
and shear forces needed to compact clay
at or below optimum water content when
its compressive strength is highest. Layer
thickness are normally restricted to 15-
40 cm.
High-speed static tamping rollers are
also suitable for compaction of clay. They
are very economical on large clay flls. In
such cases the clay are placed in 15-20 cm
Clay with a water content above the
optimum has less compressive strength,
and can be compacted using vibratory
rollers with smooth drums or with
pneumatic tyred rollers.
Lime stabilisation
It is not possible to compact wet cohesive
soils with a high water content to high
densities. Stabilising the fll, for example
mixing lime into clayey soils, binds a part
of the water. In time a chemical binding
occurs which substantially increases the
strength of the material.
Vibratory padfoot rollers are often a
good choice for compaction.
Soil volume
Soils have different densities depending on whether they are in
situ, loose or compacted. The compacted layer thickness is always
stated in the design of new structures. Soil volume can be dened
under different conditions:
in natural state (in situ)
loose state (uncompacted)
Subbase and base course
Subbase and base course are selected
materials and should be within specifed
limits of a gradation curve. The main
fraction consists of gravel. In certain
countries relatively high amounts of fnes
are allowed in the subbase, but it then
loses its free-draining properties.
Subbases and base courses normally
have high compaction specifcations and
require a higher compaction effort than
fll material for the same layer thickness.
Vibratory equipment is the most
effective on subbase and base course.
Impact compaction is not suitable
although a tamper may be used to compact
areas inaccessible to larger machines.
In some cases where the base course is
thin (less than 10-15 cm), static rollers can
be used especially if material loosening
is to be avoided. A base course should
always be fnished off with a couple of
static passes before surfacing work can
Subbase and base courses may also
consist of granular materials stabilised
with cement, lime or bitumen to increase
their strength.
The importance of the stiffness of the
surface underneath
The compaction effect in the compacted
layer is infuenced by the frmness of the
underlying ground. Compaction can not
be fully achieved if the underlying surface
is soft. It is often impossible to achieve
a high degree of compaction in a fll
resting on an underlayer with low bearing
capacity, for example, a fne-grained soil
with a high water content. If the flling
continues with more layers, successively
higher densities are obtained.
Another problem is that the use of a
vibratory equipment on a wet fne-grained
soil or a natural cohesive soil with a high
ground level may cause migration of
water to the surface and thus increase the
plasticity of the material. In such cases,
vibration should be avoided.
Coarse-grained materials
Relatively easy to compact, especially
by vibration. High bearing capacity.
Free-draining soils are not susceptible to
soaking and frost.
Fine-grained materials
Water content, and thus weather
conditions, are important to
compaction results. To be compacted in
relatively thin layers.
Maximum permissible content of nes in free-draining soils: 5-10%.
A summary of the compaction properties of ne-grained and coarse-grained soils.
Compaction properties of soils
Rock ll
and gravel
Silt Clay
1,0 m
1,0 m
1,0 m
1,0 m
1,75 m
1,2 m
1,3 m
1,5 m
1,4 m
0,9 m
0,85 m
0,85 m
Volumes of different types of ll materials in natural, loose and
compacted state.
Gravel Sand Silt Clay
Base course material
Test sections of different layer thickness
Test areas
At the start of a construction project,
test strips are often set up to establish
suitable compaction procedures which
meet compaction specifcations.
On large compaction jobs, for example
the construction of a dam, a full scale
compaction test may be carried out
employing a number of different types of
rollers to establish the best compaction
One way of setting up a test is to lay
down a strip where the layer thickness
increases from virtually zero to the thickest
required. The specifed measurements
can be made on the different thickness as
the compaction process proceeds. In this
way, the maximum layer thickness can be
determined for the job in question.
Roller Compacted Concrete
Roller compacted concrete (RCC) is earth-
moistened concrete with a 5-6% water
content. RCC is pre-mixed, transported
to the site and laid using standard hauling
and spreading equipment. It is then
compacted with vibratory rollers.
RCC is sometimes used in concrete
dams instead of ordinary concrete.
The facings are covered with ordinary
concrete. In dam construction the RCC
has a low cement content and is normally
spread in layers of 20-30 cm.
Other applications include: industrial and
port areas (where heavy vehicles travel
and manoeuvre at low speeds) and paving
of tunnels and mines.
Slope compaction
Slope compaction can be required for the
construction of dams and canals. Dams
with an impervious upstream surface
of asphalt or concrete are one example
where good slope compaction is especially
A self-propelled single-drum vibratory
roller is the most suitable type of machine
for slope compaction. Whether the roller
needs to be winch-aided or not depends
on the incline. When compacting, the
vibration should be switched on for the
upward journey and off for the downward
one. If the roller is winched a protection
grid should be used to protect the operator
and a safety wire should also be attached
to the machine if the winch-wire breaks.
Always use a roll over protection system
(ROPS). Prior to using machines on
slopes check with the manufacturer that
the engines can operate continuously on
the incline in question.
Special applications
There are a number of applications that require special approaches and methods. On
these jobs, general guidelines do not apply.
Volumes of different types of ll materials in natural, loose and
compacted state.
Minor work on roads,
streets, sidewalks, etc.
Vibratory plate compactors and small
vibratory rollers are suitable for the
compaction of embankments, subbase
and base courses as well as asphalt
surfacings on minor projects, where the
size of the job can vary from potholes to
around a thousand square metres. The
same types of machines are also used in
confned areas and on reconstruction and
repair work.
Light vibratory plate compactors are
suitable for coarse-grained soils com-
pacted in thin layers. Thicker layers of
coarse-grained soils require larger types
of plates, as do semi-cohesive soils. When
equipped with a sprinkler system, plates
can be used to compact small areas of
asphalt surfacing.
Vibratory plate compactors with a
round bottom plate are very easy to
operate and are suitable for compaction
in narrow areas.
On larger areas like sidewalks and
parking lots, double-drum walk behind
rollers or light vibratory tandem rollers
are widely used for both soil and asphalt
Compaction on minor jobs
There is a wide range of light compaction equipment available for use on minor jobs and in conned
spaces. Vibratory plate compactors, tampers, double-drum walk behind rollers and trench compactors also
complement larger types of rollers where these machines do not have full access.
There are many examples of compaction work performed with small machines which have consider-able
bearing on the safety, quality and durability of a structure. The requirements regarding materials and degree
of compaction may be just as stringent as those for large-scale jobs.
Fills under slabs,
oors and along cellar walls
Slabs and ground foors need an
effectively compacted fll and base
to avoid settlement. Where access is
limited, forward and reverse vibratory
plate compactors are normally the most
appropriate machines for this type of
work. Lighter machines are used on thin
layers as well as for surface compaction
and levelling. They are also normally
employed to compact backfll materials
along foundations and cellar walls.

Bridge abutments
Ridges in the surface often occur where a road embankment joins a
bridge deck, usually as a result of inadequate compaction. Forward
and reverse vibratory plates weighing at least 400 kg are normally
used to compact the fll material closest to the bridge abutment to
required densities.
Earth dams and foundations
In dams, good compaction of the fll material just on top of the
subgrade is vital to achieve an impervious structure. The subgrade
may be somewhat uneven, which is why the material has to be
placed in thin layers to smooth out the surface. As the fll materials
are often semi-cohesive or cohesive, vibratory plate compactors
weighing at least 400 kg or tampers are used.
Light compaction equipment is also required for soil compaction,
tight to sheet pile walls and concrete structures in the construction
of dams and on foundation work.
Trench work
In trench work, the weight of an uncompacted backfll puts
unnecessary pressure on pipes or culverts. Good, uniform
compaction reduces this stress and prevents deformation. This is
especially important around steel culverts.
Light compaction equipment is widely used in trench work
to compact the pipe bed. Trench compactors or vibratory plate
compactors weighing more than 100 kg are the most suitable. The
embedding must be flled and compacted alternately on both sides
of the pipe or culvert.
The compaction of backfll over pipes to prevent future
settlement is particularly important in trenches across roads
and streets and under buildings. Vibratory plate compactors and
tampers are particularly suitable. The tampers are used where
space is restricted and when working on cohesive materials.
Special trench compactors are suitable for both granular and
cohesive soils; remote-control is available.
Method specications
Method specifcations stipulate the rules
for the type of equipment to be used,
number of passes, speed, layer thickness,
type of soil and water content of the soil.
End-result specications
End-results are specifed for the majority
of the compaction work involved in the
construction of roads, railways, dams
and foundations. The specifcation may
include minimum densities or minimum
bearing capacities. The trend towards
end-result specifcations is universal.
They offer more leeway in the choice of
Specications and eld control methods for soil
There are three main types of specication which can sometimes be
combined: method, end result and function. Irrespective to the type of
specication, there is a call from authorities, private owner-operators as
well as contractors for effective quality assurance methods.
equipment, and lend themselves to the
most economical method of achieving
specifed requirements. Often, vibratory
equipment enables the contractor to work
toward the best margins.
Function specications
A third type of specifcation is known as
the function specifcation, where specifed
functions (for example: the settlement,
evenness and friction) have to be fulflled
for a certain contractual period. As long
as a specifed quality can be achieved, the
contractor is free to use the materials, layer
thickness and equipment of his choice.
This type of contract is often linked to a
Build Operate Transfer (BOT) contract,
where the contractor assumes operation
of the highway or other structure for a
certain time (including maintenance and
other work) before transferring it back to
the local road authority.
Field control methods
There are a number of methods for controlling specications on soil
in the eld. Spot measurement methods include density tests, load
bearing tests, levelling tests and others. Another method is the roller-
mounted compaction meter linked to a documentation system which
continuously controls the compaction process and the results.
Replacement method
The sand replacement and water balloon
methods are used as replacement methods.
A small hole is dug in the soil. The contents
are weighed and the volume of the hole is
determined by flling it with calibrated dry
sand or with the water balloon.
Tube sampling
For fne-grained soils, especially clay, a
tube is driven down into the material to
remove a core sample for density tests.
Nuclear gauge method
A nuclear density gauge provides an
immediate indication of the density of the
compacted soil material. It also measures
the water content. It works on the
principle that radiation from a radioactive
isotope through a material is attenuated in
proportion to its density. Best results are
obtained in homogeneous soils.
Static load bearing test
The static load bearing test is performed on
the surface of the compacted material. By
measuring the deformation under the plate
(with a known area and load), it is possible
to calculate the modulus of elasticity of the
compacted soil.
The bearing capacity of the under-
lying layers will have an infuence on the
measurement. The degree of infuence
depends on the thickness of the com-
pacted layer.
Penetration test
There are several types of penetration tests
which represent an attempt to quantify
the behaviour of a soil. One of the most
common is the California Bearing Ratio
(CBR) test.
The CBR test is an arbitrary test. It does
not attempt to measure directly any of
the fundamental properties of the soil
sample. In essence, it consists of driving
a standard cylindrical plunger into the
soil at a standard rate of penetration and
measuring the resistance to penetration
offered by the soil. This resistance is then
compared with certain standard results.
The ratio of the result for the soil to the
standard result is reported as the CBR.
The California Bearing Ratio test is mostly
used on fne-grained soils.
Falling-weight test
Falling-weight test units are an effective
and rapid way of measuring the bearing
capacity of the surface of the construction
layers on site. The test can normally
be handled by one operator. The unit
measures the surface defection caused by
a falling weight and from that calculates a
dynamic modulus of elasticity. There are
both light and heavy falling weights.
Levelling of surface settlement
This method is mostly used on rock fll.
The level of a number of reference points
is checked with a levelling instrument
before and after compaction.
Proof rolling
This is a test where a very heavy pneumatic-
tyred roller is run over the compacted
surface and the indentation may not
exceed a certain depth.
A compaction meter is a very useful tool for
optimising the use of a soil compactor.
Continuous compaction control
Many highway and other specifying agencies ask for
documented proof that a contract has been completed as
specifed over the entire surface in question and not only
at a number of random sampling spots. The demand for
quality assurance has led to the development of sophis-
ticated documentation (control and monitoring) systems
that plot and record the result from a compaction meter on
board the roller.
The instantaneous and continuous registration of the
entire compacted surface gives valuable information
regarding the quality and uniformity obtained. The method
provides major benefts compared with conventional control
methods, which may disrupt and delay the compaction work.
In fact, conventional testing methods for soil compaction
may in some cases result in costs which are greater than for
the compaction job itself.
The compaction meter has proven to be a very cost-
effective control method. The use of the compaction
meter and documentation system, in combination with a
limited number of density/load-bearing tests, is included in
specifcations in a number of countries.
Compaction meter and
documentation systems
Principle and function
A roller-mounted compaction meter consists of an accelerometer
mounted on the vibrating drum connected to a processor and
a dial on the control panel of the roller. The signals from the
accelerometer are converted to a compaction meter value (CMV)
giving a relative measure value that indicates a relative measure of
the bearing capacity of the ground. The system records conditions
to certain depths depending on the size of the roller and the
amplitude selected.
A computer documents and presents the measured values on
a screen which can be placed in view of the roller operator. The
documentation system displays the entire area that has been
rolled on the screen. Use of colour and other graphics make it
immediately apparent which areas require additional compaction.
The documented result can then be transferred to a PC for fnal
analysis and storage.
The compaction meter (with or without the documentation
system) is most suitable on coarse-grained soil and rock flls. A
soft, uncompacted soil gives little response while a hard, well
compacted soil will give a better response. The stiffness increases
in proportion to the bearing capacity.
A successful procedure used in road and airfeld constructions
has been to frst register the compaction meter values over the
compacted areas, and then perform static load bearing tests in a
limited number of points, selected where the lowest compaction
meter values were measured. This procedure should give a good
guarantee that a prescribed load bearing capacity is attained over
the entire area of, for example a base course.
On fne-grained soils the bearing capacity is, to a high degree,
related to the water content. As the compaction meter indicates
the load bearing capacity, no direct relationship exists between the
compaction meter value and the soil density. The compaction meter
can therefore not be used to directly guide the compaction work
as on coarse-grained soil. Information given by the compaction
meter on the level and uniformity of the load bearing capacity may,
however be of great value.
A useful application of the compaction meter is to detect soft
and weak spots of fne-grained soils with a high water content.
Such spots are found in fll materials as well as in natural ground.
Rollers equipped with compaction meters have therefore, with
good results, been used to survey the ground surfaces on which
road and railway embankments shall be built.
Even if the use of a compaction meter is not included in the
specifcations, it will help operators to identify areas which need
more roller passes, and, in general, to optimise the number of
passes to avoid over-rolling.
Asphalt paving
and compaction
A road trafc system is multifaceted. It comprises roads, the
people who use those roads and vehicles. How well the system
functions as a whole depends on the characteristics of all
individual components, how they interact and the impact of
outside factors, such as climate, light conditions, etc.
Road surfacing has a decisive impact on trafc. The type of
wearing course and its condition affect the behaviour of the
vehicles using the road and, thereby, road safety. They also
affect the cost of travelling as well as the environment.
1 Asphalt refers to a mixture of bitumen binder with mineral aggregate
and ller.
to avoid excessive loading of the entire
The binder course fulfls the same load
distributing function and provides an even,
level surface to carry the wearing course.
The base course is the main component
which provides the strength and load dist-
ributing properties of the pavement. On
roads with light traffc, it is usually
made from well-graded crushed
rock. On roads with heavy traffc,
a fully bituminous road base or a
cement stabilised granular base may
be employed to achieve the required
strength and durability. In the design
of the pavement (the part of a road
above the embankment), the choice
of material and the thickness of each
layer in the pavement are critical to a
prolonged useful service life.
Correct design requires knowledge of
the different properties of the material,
the expected load and the intensity of the
traffc. In addition, it must take into ac-
count local climatic conditions as well as
the economic constraints.
The majority of all paved roads are sur-
faced with asphalt
. Concrete pavements
are also used but are, in general, less com-
monalthough there are some countries
where concrete is the preferred material.
Asphalt is used in the wearing, binder and
base courses.
The wearing course provides an even,
weather-resistant and high-friction run-
ning surface which can withstand abrasive
forces. It makes the road safe and the ride
comfortable. In combination with the
other layers in the pavement, the wearing
course helps to distribute the traffc load
Quality and functional requirements
for asphalt pavements
An asphalt surfacing is normally built to last for a certain period of time
(for example, 20 years). Its durability and longevity will depend on the
quality of the components, the mix design and the manufacturing process
from asphalt mixing to nal compaction.
The quality of the asphalt surfacing can be
measured against a number of properties. The
most important include:
Resistance to plastic deformation, which can
be expressed as stability
Traffc and temperature related fatigue
Load distribution (stiffness)
Sensitivity to water
Cracking at low temperatures
1) Evenness
If a road is to function satisfactorily over a given pe-
riod of time, the surface has to be even. Unevenness
reduces trafc speed and prolongs journeys. It redu-
ces riding quality and increases vehicle and tyre
wear. It also increases the affect vehicles have on the
road; which in turn accelerates road wear and thus
shortens the service life. Transversal unevenness
refers to rutting as a result of wear on the wearing
course or deformation in one or more of the underly-
ing layers. A measure of this is often the depths of the
ruts. Longitudinal unevenness refers to lengthways
unevenness of the road or road section. Different
methods are used to measure its occurrence, such as
the International Roughness Index (IRI).
2a) Texture
Texture refers to the surface roughness. Texture is
broken down into varying degrees: macro- (0.5-50
mm) and microtexture (<0.5 mm). Microtexture indica-
tes the roughness of the stone in the layer.
Macro- and microtextures both have an effect on tyre
wear; the smoother the texture, the less the wear.
The macrotexture has a signicant inuence on tyre
noise and the friction between tyre and road surface.
2b) Friction
Friction is measured as the quotient of a vertical and
horizontal force of a wheel using a standardised
formula. Good friction improves road safety through
better skid resistance and enhances safety.
There are a number of functional requirements that a
road surface has to comply with to make it usable.
Dense asphalt displays good ageing resistance thanks to its low air-
void content. Dense asphalt is suitable for all asphalt pavement
applications. It is less abrasion resistant and less stable than SMA.
The main characteristics of SMA are the gap in the fne end of the
curve, a high content of coarse aggregate and the high fller content.
The coarse material builds a skeleton of aggregate in the mix.
The binder content in SMA is somewhat higher than in dense
asphalt, which in turn has a higher binder content than porous asp-
halt. Fibres are sometimes used as a carrier for the binder to ensure
a suffcient high binder content in SMA and porous asphalt.
The air void content in dense asphalt and SMA is usually 3-5%
(asphalt base: 5-7%), while in porous asphalt it is considerably
higher at around 15-20%.
SMA is well suited to wearing courses on high volume roads
owing to high stone content, which provides good resistance
against abrasion as well as good stability. As the name implies,
porous asphalt has good draining properties. This reduces the risk
of water spray and aquaplaning. It has good retrorefective pro-
perties in darkness and rain. Tyre noise is also lower than on other
types of surfacing.
If the surfacing is to function as intended, the various ingredients
(binder, aggregate, fller) need to be selected carefully with a view
to optimising the fnal mix. Good quality material and good design
are not enough to guarantee a long service life. Just as vital are the
way the material is manufactured and the way its is laid down and
compacted. The benefts of frst-class material can quickly disap-
pear if the quality in one of the stages in the production chain fails
to come up to standard.
The three main components in an asphalt surfacing are binder,
aggregate and fller. In many cases, the binder will also
contain additives. In practice, there are two main
types of asphalt: mixed asphalt and different sur-
face treatments.
Mixed asphalt
Although there is a wide variation of mixed asp-
halt, there is no generally acknowledged classif-
cation system. The most common way to categorise them is by
mix temperature: Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) and Cold Mix Asphalt
(CMA). HMA is a mixture of heated aggregate, bitumen and fller.
It is manufactured in batch or drum mix plants at high temperatures
(i.e. 130-180 C). The penetration value of the bitumen is deter-
mined by outside factors such as climate and traffc. Hot climates
and heavy traffc require a low penetration value, for example. The
binder can be modifed with different additives, such as polymers.
In CMA, the aggregate is cold. It is mixed with a pre-heated binder,
bitumen emulsion or cutback. The temperature of the binder is
normally 75-85 C prior to mixing.
Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
There are four main types of HMA: dense, Stone Mastic Asphalt
(SMA), porous asphalt and asphalt base. The aggregate in a dense
mix or an asphalt base has a dense gradation while SMA and porous
asphalt are both open graded.
3) Retroreection
Retroreection is a measure of the brightness of
the surface. High retroreection enhances visibility in
darkness which permits higher speeds and shorter
journey times. Better visibility should lead to better
safety at night, but the ability to travel at higher
speeds may counteract this.
4) Porosity
Porosity is the ability of the surface to drain. A porous
surface reduces tyre noise. Less water on the road
signicantly reduces the dirt and water spray.
Load bearing capacity
The load bearing capacity of a road has a marked
inuence on the roads service life. A reduced load
bearing capability can force heavy trafc to choose
other routes, which are often longer.
Abrasion resistance
The roads abrasion resistance is not only interesting
for its service life. If the wear off from the surface is
large, the dust that is worn off may cause pollution in
the vicinity of the road.
Type of surfacing
The choice of surfacing and its qualities depend on the weight and intensity of trafc as well as
the climatic conditions that the road is expected to be subjected to within the given period.
These benefts diminish relatively quickly as the pores in the surface
get clogged with other particles and dirt. Owing to its structure,
porous asphalt is more susceptible to climatic effects. This can have
a negative effect on the water resistance and the ageing properties
of the binder and can shorten the service life.
Surface treatments
Surface treatments is the process of laying binder and aggregate
separately. Examples of surface treatments include surface sealing,
penetration macadam and slurry seal.
Surface sealing
Surface sealing prevents water from penetrating the road. When
surface sealing, the amount of binder is important to long service
life. The aggregate needs to be uniform in size and washed to re-
move the fnes to ensure good adhesion.
Penetration macadam
Penetration macadam is sometimes used as a base and wearing
course. It comprises a layer of aggregate over which a layer of bi-
tuminous binder is spread. If the binder is a bitumen emulsion, the
viscosity and dispersion properties should be such that the binder
does not penetrate more than 50% of the aggregates layer thick-
Slurry seal
Slurry seal involves spreading a binder and then laying sand on
top. A pre-prepared emulsion slurry can also be used. Slurry seal is
used to fll cracks and other cavities to prevent water penetrating
the road surface
Mixed asphalt components
Asphalt normally consists of three material components: the bin-
der, the aggregate and the fller. Some surfacing material include
additives, such as adhesives, polymers, fbres and waste products.
The binder in an asphalt mix is referred to as bituminous, i.e. it con-
tains bitumen in some form. Bitumen is a thermo-plastic material,
which means that it becomes softer and more fuid when heated
and hardens when cooled. The process is repeatable. It can also be
described as a visco-elastic material, which means that its stiffness
is a function of temperature as well as loading time. In the graph
below you can see that the stiffness at a given loading time decreases
when the temperature increases. The fgure also shows that at a gi-
ven temperature stiffness decreases as the loading time increases.
When the bitumen is mixed with aggregate, it must be suffciently
viscous to cover the surface of the aggregate. However, it can-
not be too fuid, otherwise the binder will run off the surface of
the aggregate during storage or transportation. The viscosity must
also facilitate the laydown and compaction processes. The binder
should provide stability to avoid excessive deformation, but it must
be fexible enough to avoid the risk of cracking. The adhesive qua-
lities of the binder determine how much aggregate loosens from
the surface (ravelling). Cutback and emulsion can also be used as
binders. Cutback is a mixture of bitumen and solvent (for example
naphtha), while emulsion is a mix of bitumen, an emulsifer and
water. They both enhance the fuid properties of a mix at low
temperatures. When the solvent or water evaporates, the bitumen
retains its original properties. The properties of the binder in the
road are mainly determined by the constituent bitumen. The use of
cutback is on the decline (owing to environmental concerns) while
the use of emulsion is increasing. The most common application
areas include surface treatment, CMA, tack-coating, slurry sealing
and penetration.
Bitumen stiffness as a function of temperature and loading time for a
100 Pen bitumen.
Loading time (s)


0 C
25 C
60 C
1 0.1 0.01 0.001 10 100 1000 10000
100 g 100 g
This modied Bitumen Test Data Chart shows the maximum and minimum
mixing and compaction temperatures for a 85 Pen bitumen with the softening
point of 50C.
250 225 200 175 150 125 100 75 50 25 0 -25 -50
Specications and test methods for bitumen
In most countries bitumen is classifed according to viscosity or
penetration. Ageing properties are determined by the measu-
rement of one or several parameters (for example, penetration)
before and after ageing in the laboratory according to stipulated
Bitumen Test Data Chart
The Bitumen Test Data Chart (BTDC) is used to predict the tem-
perature/viscosity relationship of the bitumen over a wide range
of temperatures. It is very useful to ensure the appropriate visco-
sity for any grade of bitumen. The BTDC consists of a horizontal
temperature scale and two vertical scales for penetration and vis-
cosity. The temperature scale is linear while the penetration scale
is logarithmic. The viscosity scale has been designed so that pe-
netration classifed bitumens with normal temperature suscepti-
bility or penetration index will give straight-line relationships.
There are optimum bitumen viscosities for the manufacturing
and compaction of bituminous mixes. Excessive viscosity during
mixing results in the aggregate not being coated properly. Con-
versely if the viscosity is too low, the bitumen will easily coat the
aggregate but may subsequently drain off the aggregate. If the
viscosity is too low during compaction, the mix will be extremely
soft and workable. This may result in shoving or transversal mo-
vement of the mix. High viscosity will signifcantly reduce the
workability of the mix-consequently making it more diffcult to
Performance Grade (PG)
The United States uses Superpave to specify asphalt materials.
Asphalt binders are specifed according to a performance based
specifcation. The temperature of the pavement in which the bin-
der is going to be used determines the choice of binder. A perfor-
mance graded bitumen is classifed according to the highest and
lowest pavement temperature at which the bitumen must have
the ability to avoid rutting and low-temperature cracking. For ex-
ample, a PG 64-22 (sixty-four minus twenty-two) is designed to
prevent rutting on a hot summer day where the temperature is
+64C 20 mm below the surface and to counteract low tempera-
ture cracking in the winter at -22C at the surface.
Aggregate is a general term for all the mineral constituents of an
asphalt mix. It includes crushed stone, gravel, sand, slag and fnes.
In asphalt, the weight of the aggregate accounts for about 85% of
the total weight of the mix. The quality of the aggregate is depen-
dent on both the origin of the aggregate as well as the production
method (natural or crushed material). The properties of an aggre-
gate that directly or indirectly infuence the functional properties
of the surface are grain size distribution, porosity, grain shape,
durability, abrasion resistance, polish resistance and resistance to
weathering. A number of these are interrelated.
Mineral properties
The most important physical properties of a mineral are strength
and shape. The quality of a rock material can be partially impro-
ved in the production stage. In principle, each crushing stage can
improve the materials mechanical properties. Shaping, for ex-
ample, increases the abrasion resistance of the aggregate as well
as the stability of the mix in a wearing course and therefore pro-
longs the service life of the road.
Grain size distribution
Grain size distribution is the basic property of an aggregate. The
grain size distribution of a given sample is determined by a sieve
test where the dried sample is passed through a number of sta
dard sieves which differ in screen size. The grain size distribution
is described graphically in the form of a gradation curve. The
grain size distribution determines the type of mix. Varying the
grain size distribution for a given mix type will infuence the fun-
ctional properties of the asphalt.
5 sec
Determination of penetration
mm x 10
The fller is used to fll the voids between the coarse particles and
to stiffen the binder. It thereby contributes to the stability of the
asphalt mix. The fller (particles <0,074 mm) may be obtained from
the dust collecting system at an asphalt plant or specially produced
by crushing. Special fllers, such as slaked lime and cement, are so-
metimes used to reduce the risk of stripping.
The increase in traffc in many countries has led to the need for hig-
her, quality roads. The development of newer and better materials is
one solution to the problem, and a large number of additives have
been proposed for asphalt mixes. They can be generally classifed
into two groups. The frst comprises commercial products designed
to improve the function of the asphalt. They include polymers, ad-
hesives, ageing inhibitors, softeners, stability enhancers (natural asp-
halt, oxidation catalysts) and fbres to carry the binder. A number of
polymers - elastomers and plastomers - have been used to modify
bitumen to improve service life and the road surface function. They
can be used to enhance stability at high temperatures or improve
cracking resistance at low temperatures, for example. The second
group comprises various types of waste or recycled products such
as granulated rubber, fy ash, and sulphur.
Tendency to tender mix
- unstable surfacings
Tendency to
harsh mix - stable
Crushed aggregate
High stone content
Large maximum stone size
High ller content
High viscosity bitumen
Natural aggregate
Low stone content
Small maximum stone size
Low ller content
Low viscosity bitumen
Tender mixes often contain natural (rounded)
aggregate with a small amount of ller and
low viscosity bitumen. They tend to be soft
and require careful compaction to avoid lateral
displacement and surface cracks. They tend to
produce unstable surfacing.
Harsh mixes are a result of the use of crusched aggregate containing a high percentage
of coarse material and a sufcient amount of ller mixed with high viscosity bitumen.
Resistance to compation is strong, and they require a large compaction effort to reach
specied density. They tend to produce stable surfacings.
Mix design
Correct mix design is essential to a durable road. Design involves
the choice of material (binder, aggregate, fller and additives) with
properties suited to the fnal required results and the mixing of
these ingredients in the correct proportions. Outside factors such
as climate and traffc intensity and volumes must also be taken into
consideration. The temperature span determines the choice of bi-
tumen. The types of aggregate and binder must relate to the traffc
loadthe greater the intensity, the greater these requirements are.
The type and volume of traffc have a strong bearing on choice of
aggregate and binder as well as the design of the mix. Weight, axle
confgurations and tyre pressures should also be considered.
Once the choice of ingredients has been made, aggregate with
the required gradation must be produced. A number of aggregate
samples are mixed with different amounts of the selected binder to
give a variation of binder content within given limits. One of the
samples should be the binder content recommended in the highway
authoritys own technical specifcations. The binder content of the
other samples should be in suitable intervals above and below this
nominal content. The mixes are then compacted using a gyratory
compactor or Marshall apparatus. The compacted samples are then
analysed for air void content, strength, etc. Then the optimal mix
is chosen.
of asphalt mixes
Asphalt and soil have a lot in common. However, a major distinc-
tion between them lies in the adhesive properties of the bitumen
used to bind the particles in an asphalt mix. Asphalt mixes show
wide variations in composition and properties. Their properties and
compactability are primarily a function of internal friction, adhe-
sion and viscous resistance/temperature.
Internal friction
Internal friction is determined mainly by the aggregate properties
and is more apparent in a well-graded mix than in an open-graded
one. A mix containing natural round aggregate, where the particles
can move past each other relatively easily under compaction, has
far less internal friction than a mix with angular, crushed aggregate.
The mix with crushed aggregate consequently needs a higher com-
paction effort and also gives an asphalt surfacing of higher strength
and stability. High stone content and large maximum stone size are
other factors that result in stable mixes.
Adhesion is what makes the binder attach itself to the aggregate.
Viscous resistance
Viscous resistance is a function of the viscosity of the bitumen and
the actual temperature of the mix. The viscous resistance works
against the rearrangement of the particles under compactionthe
lower the temperature, the greater the resistance.
Gyratory compaction of asphalt sample Marshall compaction of asphalt sample
Stone mastic asphalt Dense asphalt concrete
Mix proportions of two different asphalt mixes with a maximum aggregate size
of 16 mm. On the left is a dense asphalt concrete and on the right a stone mastic asphalt
(SMA). Note the high content of large aggregate in the SMA.
A steep-sided pile will cause the mix to
The transport to the site must be well
planned. If a paver has to stop to wait for a
new load, the quality of the surfaced road
will suffer. This can lead to unevenness
and reduced compaction, both of which
may shorten the service life of the road.
On the other hand, a convoy of waiting
lorries should be avoided at the site. The
asphalt mix may cool off while waiting,
which may lead to unsatisfactory compac-
tion results or having to discard the mix.
The unloading of the asphalt mass requi-
res skill to avoid separation and to avoid
There are various mathematical for-
mulae for determining the cost for the
transportation of an asphalt mix. The
overriding aim of any such calculation
must naturally be to achieve costeffective
transport and maintain the quality of the
asphalt mix.
Tack coating
Tack coating is the use of an asphalt emul-
sion or cutback to glue or bind together
two asphalt layers; for instance, when ad-
ding a new wearing course on a previously
paved road. Tack coating is an important
stage in road surfacing and is often requi-
red in road-building specifcations.
Correctly applied, tack coating prevents
peeling and corrugation caused by traffc.
It is also essential for bearing capacity that
the layers bind well together. The impro-
ved adhesion afforded by
tack coating means there
will be less tendency
towards displacement of
the mix or crack forma-
tion when rolling.
Asphalt mixes are normally manufactured
in either continuous or batch-type asphalt
works. The asphalt plant can be mobile or
stationary. Capacity normally varies bet-
ween about 100 and 300 tonnes per hour
in batch plants while continuous asphalt
plants are used for the production of
larger volumes of the same type of mix.
Here, capacity varies from 50 to 600 ton-
nes per hour.
Naturally, the components of an asp-
halt mix all have a decisive infuence on
the fnal quality of the mix. As more than
90% of the mix comprises aggregate, the
quality of the mix is highly dependent
on the quality of the aggregate, which is
a function of the crushing process. It is
also important to handle the aggregate in
the correct manner to avoid deterioration
of the gradation curve and exposure to
moisture. A dry, wellgraded aggregate is
the foundation of a good asphalt mix.
In modern plants, the proportioning of
the aggregate is largely governed by au-
tomatic process controllers according to
pre-programmed recipes. The aggregate is
dried and heated in dryer drums. In the ac-
tual manufacturing process, bitumen and
fller are added to the aggregate to form
the mix. There are different types of fl-
ler according to the desired properties of
the mix. Amines are added to improve
adhesives qualities, fbres to allow higher
volumes of bitumen, polymers to improve
the binder properties. Colours can also be
added, such as red for tennis courts.
The constituents are mixed according to
a set pattern to achieve a homogenous asp-
halt mix. Mixing time will vary according
to mix and type of mixer. It is important
to fnal quality that the time is neither too
short nor too long. Once ready, the mix
is transported to insulated and/or heated
storage silos to reduce the cool-off effect.
Measures also have to be taken to ensure
that the asphalt mix does not oxidise or
Transportation of the mix from the asp-
halt works to the site goes through three
stages before it is laid down on the road
surface: loading at the asphalt works,
transport to the site and tipping into the
hopper of the paver. To avoid disruption,
the transportation must be well planned
and carried out correctly.
During loading, it is important to minimi-
se the risk of separation. Loading must be
quick and the load should be distributed
as evenly as possible over the whole trailer.
Material ow
The asphalt mix is discharged into the receiving hopper of the pa-
ver as it pushes the rear tyres of the haul truck. The mix is carried
from the hopper to the rear of the machine by twin or single slat
conveyors, and then on to the auger (screw conveyor) which distri-
butes the mix laterally over the entire working width of the screed.
The height of the auger is adjustable to allow for different layer
The material fow is regulated by the speed of the slat conveyor
and the auger. The conveyor speed is automatically correlated to
the forward speed of the paver and the height of the material which
is spread out ahead of the screed. This height has to be kept as
constant as possible.
Screed unit
The screed levels and pre-compacts the asphalt mix to a specifed
thickness, grade, cross-slope and crown profle. The self-levelling
foating screed is attached to the tractor by side arms at tow points
located on either side of the tractor near its central point. Here,
the vertical movements caused by any surface unevenness are at a
minimum. This allows the screed to produce an even surface even
if the underlying base is somewhat irregular. As each successive
asphalt layer is placed on top of another, irregularities become less
and less apparent.
The tow points are set to give the required thickness of the mat.
Their position may then be continuously fnely adjusted by electro-
nic systems. A grade controller automatically maintains the surface
level against a reference surface such as a control ski or a string line,
while a slope controller is used to maintain the transverse inclina-
tion of the screed.
Angle of attack
The angle between the bottom plate of the screed and the surface
being paved is known as the angle of attack. This varies from screed
to screed according to screed weight, the contact area of the bottom
plate and the shape of the front part of the screed.

The task of a paver or asphalt fnisher is to provide an even sur-
face layer and homogeneous precompaction to give suffcient mix
stability so that the roller can start the compaction process. It also
has to provide a homogeneous texture. The performance of the
paver is the most important factor when it comes to achieving these
requirements. All modern asphalt pavers consist of two main units:
the tractor and the foating screed.
The tractor unit is driven by either pneumatic-tyred wheels or craw-
ler tracks. Wheeled pavers are easy to transport. Their high travel-
ling speeds allow them to move about the work site rapidly and to
move easily between different sites on public roads.
The good traction of tracked pavers makes them suitable for use
on unbound surfaces and when laying unbound or cementstabilised
base materials. Tracked pavers are also required when laying extra
wide sections and on steep inclinations.
A smooth material ow throughout the paver - from the hopper (1), through
the conveyors (2), past the auger (3) and to the screed (4) - is essential to good
paving results.
The tamping mechanism uses a vertical, high-amplitude move-
ment at comparatively low frequencies. The main purpose of the
tamper is to facilitate the fow of material underneath the screed
plate. The tamping unit is followed by a static or vibrating plate.
The width of the tamper and the tamping frequency limits the
maximum paving speed since no part of the mat must be left un-
The screed plate is equipped with a vibration unit. In addition to
the compaction effect, the vibrations reduce the friction between
screed plate and asphalt mix, letting the screed foat more easily
over the material. The vibrations will also cause some of the bi-
tumen to rise to the asphalt surface, providing additional lubrica-
tion and enhancing the surface texture.
Tamping and vibrating screeds
A screed with both tamper and vibrator is very versatile.
The systems can be used independently or in
combination. The weight of the two
systems also increases the total
weight of the screed which in
turn results in better
High compacting screeds
For special applications such as cement-stabilised layers and base
courses, special high-compaction screeds have been developed.
These screeds are extra heavy and equipped with double tampers
and vibration systems.
Choice of screed and tractor unit
The choice of paving unit starts with the screed. It has to be able
to lay at the desired width. Choice of screed also depends on type
of asphalt mix and layer thickness. The choice of tractor will
depend on choice of screed. The tractor unit must be powerful
enough to tow and support the screed at the specifed widths. It
must also be able to cope with the required lay down capacity or
tonnage available per hour. Choice of wheels or tracks will de-
pend on the foundation type.
Even if the underlying surface is somewhat uneven, modern
electronic levelling systems automatically adjust the mat thick-
ness to assure the correct cross-slope and grade, and to maintain
a level surface.
The desired surface evenness is obtained if all the forces acting on
the screed are in equilibrium. Only then will the screed settle into
its proper angle of attack.
The angle of attack may be increased or decreased by raising or
lowering the tow point level. Any movement of the tow points
upsets the equilibrium and results in a rise or fall of the screed.
Once the screed has attained the new level, the angle of attack is
restored and the forces revert to a state of equilibrium.
Heating of the screed bottom plates
Screeds are heated with diesel-fred or propane gas burners or
electricity to prevent the bottom plate picking up the hot mix.
Fixed or variable paving width
The most common type of screed is the telescopic screed, which
has a hydraulically-variable working width. A fxed screed is the
more economical and suitable choice for some applications.
Compaction systems in screeds
The main parameter affecting the screeds ability to pre-compact
the asphalt mix is its weight. A heavier screed will result in a bet-
ter pre-compaction than a lighter one. Compaction systems such
as tampers and vibration units are often attached to assist in pre-
compaction of the mix. They also improve the fow of material
underneath the screed. The choice of a tamping and/or vibrating
screed depends on the application as well as the mix type, maxi-
mum stone size, layer thickness as well as local preferences and
The angle between the bottom plate of the screed and the surface being
paved is known as the angle of attack. Any change in the level of the tow
points results in a corresponding adjustment of this angle. The desired
surface evenness is obtained if all the forces acting on the screed are in
Paving operations
Careful planning of mix supply and transportation is crucial to maintaining a non-stop paving operation.
Any stoppages in the operation will result in a pavement of inferior quality and a shorter lifespan.
The paver speed should be kept constant and should correlate with the available mix tonnage,
determined by the asphalt plant capacity and the number of available trucks.
To achieve specifed results, a number of
points need to be taken into considera-
tion. First the required paving width has
to be set and the screed must be heated
to prevent the mix sticking to the bot-
tom plate.
The tow points need to be set to the
height that corresponds to the desired
mat thickness. If necessary, the screed
must be adjusted to allow for a crown
The height of the auger is also crucial
to the outcome. If it is set too low it will
interfere with the material fow under the
screed which will result in an open tex-
ture and cause the mat to tear. If it is too
high, the mix might not reach the outer
edges of the screed. Ideally, the distance
between the mat surface and the lower
edge of the auger fights should be equi-
valent to roughly fve times the maxi-
mum stone size.
There are a number of factors that need
to be controlled during a paving opera-
tion. They include:
Head of material (in front of the screed)
Paving speed
Actual layer thickness
Surface evenness
Paving width
Laying temperature
Mix segregation
Head of material
The head of material (the amount of ma-
terial spread out in front of the screed)
should be constant over the entire wor-
king width. It has a decisive infuence
on the vertical position of the screed. As
mentioned on page nine, the levelling ac-
tion of a screed relies on a state of equi-
librium between all the forces acting on
it. Any change in these forces causes the
screed to move up or down accordingly.
If the head of material is too high the re-
sistance to forward travel increases, and,
in an attempt to overcome this resistan-
ce, the screed starts to rise. A ridge will
then appear in the mat or the layer thick-
ness will increase. Excessive material
also accelerates the wear on the augers.
If, on the other hand, the head of mate-
rial is too low, the screed settles because
there is not enough material to support
it. An automatic system that monitors
and controls the material fow through
the and screed level will signifcantly re-
duce these effects.
How the head of material affects the
height of the screed
Head of material too high
The screed rises
Head of material too low
The screed settles
Head of material sufcient
The total sum of forces acting on the
screed are in equilibrium, and the screed
is able to maintain a desired level.
Paving speed
The paver speed should be as constant as
possible. Variations in speed will result in
an uneven surface. An automatic system
to pre-set and maintain speeds under vary-
ing load conditions is recommended.
Stoppages are a problem, too. They
may not only blemish the surface, they
will also result in temperature segregation.
Every time the paver stops, the screed
tends to sink into the mat. The sections
ahead of the screed and just behind the
paver, which are not accessible to the rol-
lers, then cool down. Meanwhile, the mix
below the screed remains hot. When the
paver starts again, the screed will lift slight-
ly to overcome the cooler material ahead
of the screed, leaving a ridge in the mat.
If the paver is forced to stop, the screed
can be locked in position with a special
screed stop system which works off the
hydraulic lift cylinders. This prevents the
screed from sinking into the mat and re-
duces the problems associated with paver
Normal paving speeds range from 4 to
20 m/min., depending on mix type and
equipment performance. There is a mini-
mum speed to keep the screed foating. If
the paving speed drops below this level,
the screed will settle. The layer will then be
too thin. Speed should be kept at around
2-4 m/min to achieve very high densities
when using higher compacting screeds.
Layer thickness
and surface evenness
In order to achieve the specifed even-
ness, normally expressed as a maximum
permissible deviation in height measured
over a certain distance, the layer thickness
may vary to account for irregularities in
the underlying surface. Where neces-
sary, electronic levelling devices, such as
grade controllers and/or slope controllers
should be used to automatically adjust the
mat thickness to maintain a level surface.
If the paver is being operated manually the
crew must try to avoid frequent correc-
tions of the height of the screed.
a cold mat may tear as the fowability of
asphalt diminishes with temperature.
Mix segregation
Mix segregation is primarily the segrega-
tion of aggregate in an asphalt mix. It is
one of the most common causes of da-
mage in asphalt surfacings.
Segregation may occur early in the
truck-loading stage at the asphalt plant,
especially if the mix is poured too slowly
into the truck. It is always diffcult to avoid
a certain stone concentration along the si-
des of the truck bed. Once the asphalt is
segregated, it may remain so right through
the paver and, at worst, result in a non-
uniform surface.
Segregation at the edges of the lanes
may be caused by stone segregation along
the sides on the truck and incorrect mix
distribution in front of the screed. For ex-
ample, if the material level is too high, it
will slope towards the outer edges where
stones can separate. The height setting of
the auger is another important factor in
this respect.
The segregated strip in the middle of
the lane is caused by the auger drive unit
located at the centre of the augers. Auger
drives at the outer ends of the shafts will
prevent this from occurring.
Transversal segregation zones normally
arise from the separation of materials at
the front and back ends of the truck.
Type of mix
and laying temperature
Stiff mixes require heavy screeds, whereas
unstable mixes (such as hot rolled asphalt
used in the UK), require relatively light
ones. Stiff mixes tend to lift the screed
above the required level while tender mixes
very often do not have the resistance to
adequately support the weight of the
The load of the screed on tender mixes
can be reduced with the help of a screed
unload system, which transfers the weight
of the screed to the tractor. This not only
allows heavy screeds to be used on tender
mixes, it also improves traction and helps to
obtain an even surface as well as an uniform
degree of compaction.
Another factor that affects the outcome
of a paving operation is the laying tempe-
rature of the mix. Variations in temperature
cause variations in surface evenness and
the compaction effect of the screed. A mix
becomes more resistant to compaction as
it cools. The tractor unit must be able to
provide the traction force to overcome this
resistance. Therefore, the laying of cold
mixes requires pavers with good traction
and relatively heavy screeds. Furthermore,
The paving and compaction procedures
employed for longitudinal and transversal
joints are important to the overall quality
and appearance of an asphalt surfacing.
When laying an asphalt lane beside an
existing lane, the height of the screed
above the surface must be carefully ad-
justed to allow for the compaction effect
of the following roller, i.e. the uncompac-
ted layer should be some 15- 20% thicker.
An automatic grade controller working
off the adjacent lane is very useful for
joint matching.
The side overlap of the joint should be
about 25 to 50 mm. There should be as
little raking of the joints as possible, so
laying must be precise.
To create a smooth transverse joint, the
paver screed should be placed on top of
the previously placed mat just in front
of the joint. As the forces on the screed
need to be in equilibrium when the paver
resumes its work, only enough asphalt to
cover the auger shaft is brought in before
the paver moves forward. In order to en-
sure a good bond at joints, tack coating
should be applied to the exposed surface.
Segregation of the mix can occur across the mat, at its edges and at the centre.
It is one of the most common causes of damage to asphalt surfacings.
The compaction effort of a static steel wheel roller is primarily de-
pendent on its static weight, but is also infuenced by the drum dia-
Pneumatic tyred rollers rely on static weight and tyre pressures for
their compaction effort. They are often used in combination with
static smooth-drum or vibratory rollers for fnish rolling to remove
drum marks and for surface sealing. These benefts are
primarily related to fnish rolling rather than compaction.
Vibratory rollers combine the static load of the drum with dyna-
mic loads. The vibration largely reduces the internal friction in the
mix and improves compaction effect even when used with compa-
ratively low static linear loads.
A vibratory asphalt roller always has a higher capacity (expressed
in tons of asphalt laid per hour) than a static roller of the same
weight. On harsh mixes, this difference is even more pronounced.
There is also a range of lightweight compaction equipment for
asphalt applications comprising vibratory plate compactors, double-
drum walk behind rollers and lightweight vibratory tandem rollers.
There are a number of types of roller for asphalt
compaction in current use. These include vibratory,
static and pneumatictyred rollers. The actual choice of
machine depends on the type and size of the job, and
is often related to local preferences.
Static three-wheel rollers
Modern types of three-wheel rollers have
three large driven drums and articulated
steering, as opposed to conventional models
which have two driving steel drums and a
smaller steering drum. Compaction effort
can be varied by ballasting with water.
Weight range: 8-15 tons
Vibratory Tandem Rollers
Normally with vibration and drive on both
drums. Articulated steering.
Weight range: 1-18 tons
Double-drum walk-behind rollers
Two vibrating drums in rigid frame.
Weight range: 400-1000 kg
Static tandem rollers
Static tandem rollers have one driving drum
and one steering drum. Compaction effort can
be varied by ballasting with water. Rigid or
articulated frame.
Weight range: 6-12 tons
Pneumatic tyred rollers
Normally with 7-11 pneumatic tyres.
Compaction effort can be varied by
ballasting usually with water or sand and
varying the tyre pressure.
Weight range: 10-35 tons
Combination (Combi) rollers
One vibrating drum and one axle with three or
four pneumatic tyres. Rigid frame or articulated
Weight range: 4-15 tons
Single drum asphalt compactors
One vibrating drum and smooth pneumatic
tyres on rear axle. Articulated frame.
Weight :10 tons
Vibratory plate compactors
Vibratory plate compactors for asphalt have water
sprinkling devices.
Weight range: 40-200 kg
0 1 3 5 10 20
50 100 150
50 100 150
1.5 1 0.5 0
Rolling procedures
The compactability of a hot mix asphalt
is dependent on its temperature. The
normal lay-down temperature is 130 to
160C. Within this range the mix is soft
and plastic. As the temperature drops the
viscosity of the bitumen and the resistan-
ce to compaction increase.
In general, compaction rolling should
start as soon as possible after lay-down.
With a vibratory roller, the compaction
normally can start with vibrating passes.
On tender and unstable mixes, it may be
more suitable to start with two static pas-
ses at low rolling speed, 1-2 km/h. The
roller should follow as close as possible
behind the paver so that the compaction
can take place at temperatures above the
minimum compaction temperature to
ensure adequate degrees of compaction.
However, if the roller is repeatedly run
over the same area at very short intervals
when the mix temperature is high, the
surface may crack and it may result in a
drop in density.
The main purpose of fnish rolling
(which is effective down to around 60C)
is to remove roller marks and other sur-
face blemishes. It also improves the tex-
ture of the surface. Finish rolling may
also increase density, especially if the mat
is comparatively hot.
Many countries use pneumatic-tyred
rollers to seal the surface although traffc
has a sealing effect on the asphalt surfa-
cing on streets and roads. This is not the
case on airport runways, which is why
pneumatic-tyred rollers are often speci-
fed for fnish rolling.
The cooling pattern of an asphalt mix is a
function of layer thickness, ambient temperature,
ground temperature and weather conditions. For
example, wind will have a pronounced cooling
effect on the surface.
A vibratory tandem roller will achieve uniform compaction over
an entire paving area by following a simple pattern.
To start with, all joints must be compacted: rst the transversal ones,
then the longitudinal ones. The pattern is made up of parallel rolling lanes
divided into rolling zones some 30-50 m long. Actual zone length is
determined by the speed of the paver and time available for rolling before
the mix cools down.
The rst lane is started at the lowest edge of the asphalt surface. Passes
are made forward and backward in the same rolling. Lane changes must
always be made on a compacted area to avoid marking the mat.
As a rule, the roller must keep as close to the paver as possible. In all
rolling patterns it is important to try to maintain a constant rolling zone
length. Landmarks or cones are helpful in this respect.
Thickness, mm
Thickness, mm
a conventional static three-wheel roller
often results in higher densities in the
middle of a lane than along the edges.
Joint compaction
Effcient joint compaction is important
to pavement quality. As illustrated below,
there are two main alternatives to ensure
adequate joint compaction.
On thin layers and in unfavourable con-
ditions, the time available for compaction
may be as little as fve minutes. Under the
same conditions, a thick layer will retain
its temperature for up to several hours.
The need for fast, effective compaction
is therefore greater on thin layers than on
thick ones.
Roller input
The number and size of rollers required
on a job is determined by the lay down rate
expressed in square metres per hour. A
number of elements have to be taken into
consideration to arrive at this fgure.
Every paving job can be measured by
the amount of tonnage of hot mix to be
laid down per hour. On large jobs the ton-
nage fgure is usually governed by the ca-
pacity of the asphalt plant. Mix tonnage,
the paving width and the layer thickness
determine the speed of the paver. The
speed multiplied by the paving width
gives the lay down rate in square meters
per hour. This then serves as a basis for
the required roller input. Allowances
should be made for temporary peaks in
mix supply.
Suitable rolling speeds range from 2 to
6 km/h. Low speeds are used on thick
layers and when high degrees of compac-
tion are specifed. The number of roller
passes depends on a number of factors,
primarily, the compaction properties of
the mix and the specifed degree of com-
paction. Static linear load and vibration
characteristics also have a decisive infu-
ence. Thin layers with a high stone con-
tent are best compacted with a combina-
tion of high frequency and low amplitude
to reduce the risk of aggregate crushing.
Stable mixes and thick layers are best
compacted at high amplitude.
It is advisable to run a test strip to de-
termine a suitable rolling procedure to
reach the specifed degree of compaction.
A nuclear density gauge is a great asset
as density values can be read off imme-
A professional roller manufacturer
should be able to supply you with precise
recommendations on roller selection, set-
tings and rolling patterns.
Rolling pattern
A normal rolling pattern is shown in the
main illustration. The paved width is divi-
ded into roller lanes. The number of lanes
depends on the drum width and paving
width. The drum width should be related
to the paving width so that, for example,
three parallel roller lanes are suffcient to
cover the paving width.
Switches between lanes should be made
on a previously compacted surface to av-
oid marking the mat. In addition, the rol-
ler should never be allowed to stand still
on a hot mix.
The rolling pattern is more complica-
ted for conventional static three-wheel
rollers than the one illustrated below.
Thats because the two rear drums have
a signifcantly different linear load than
the front drum. In practice, rolling with
Overlap 90 %
There are two alternatives for joint compaction.
The illustration above shows when the joint is
compacted with the roller working on the cold
lane with a 10 % overlap on the hot lane.
The illustration below shows when the drum
extends 90 % onto the nished lane while the rest
of the drum passes over the newly laid mat.
A rolling pattern that is best suited to constant and high paver speeds is illustrated above. The pat-
tern is dependent on a constant length of roller stroke and longitudinal overlaps of constant lengths.
The practical difculty of maintaining a constant stroke may be overcome if the rollers are equipped
with appropriate length measuring instruments.
Overlap 10 %
Harsh mixes
The increase in traffc loads has led to the
need for more stable asphalt surfacings.
As a consequence, harsh asphalt mixes,
containing high viscosity bitumen and
crushed aggregate with high stone con-
tent, are now becoming more and more
common. Their high mechanical resist-
ance to compaction requires effcient
compaction methods. In this respect,
vibratory rollers are the best choice to
meet specifed densities.
Tender mixes
Soft tender mixes are prone to lateral
displacement during compaction which
may result in small transversal surface
cracks (3 to 5 mm deep). They can nor-
mally be closed by suitable fnish rolling
or by subsequent traffc action. If longi-
tudinal cracks appear they are often deep
and very diffcult to close completely.
The rolling of tender mixes requires
special measures. Often they must be al-
lowed to cool down before rolling starts.
This means that the roller has to oper-
ate relatively far behind the paver, and in
many cases it may be best to work with
long lanes (100 m or more). In order to
stabilise the mix it is often suitable to
start the compaction with two passes in
a static mode or using a pneumatic tyred
roller (PTR). A large drum diameter and
a slow approach also help to prevent
shoving or cracks. It is often a suitable
to select a low amplitude and high fre-
quency on these mixes. A PTR is suitable
for fnishing the surface.
Thin layers
Thin layers normally result in fast paving
speeds and high surface capacities, but
they may put a strain on the rolling ca-
pacity if allowances have not been made.
If the roller has to increase its speed in
order to keep up with the paver, there is
a risk that density will not be achieved.
In order to achieve suffcient compac-
tion, more rollers will have to be used.
To avoid crushing the aggregate, a low
amplitude and a higher frequency should
be used. In addition, thin layers cool rap-
idly; which is why the rollers must be able
to attain specifed densities fast and ef-
Thick layers
It is possible to achieve high densities on
asphalt layers up to 20 cm thick. How-
ever, rolling on very thick surfaces may
create surface undulations. On thick lay-
ers, rolling should start at some distance
from the edge of the lane. The roller
passes should then be made successively
closer to the edge to prevent the edge
from being displaced. A large drum di-
ameter and a high amplitude setting is
very suitable for these applications. The
high amplitude will guarantee that effec-
tive compaction is achieved throughout
the layer.
The main difculties working with harsh mixes are in overcoming
the resistance to compaction, which is a result of the internal friction
of the aggregate. Therefore, high compaction effort should be ap-
pliednormally using vibratory rollers.
Tender mixes are plastic in their hot state and may be pressed out
under the drum during rolling, resulting in hairline cracks and the
risk of lateral mix displacement. Adequate compaction may be
reached if the mix is allowed to cool somewhat.
Choice of asphalt compactors
When selecting a roller or a combination of rollers, consideration
should be given to the ability of the machine to reach the specied
densityas well as to the economics involved in doing so. In general,
it can be said that the probability of a vibratory roller reaching
target density is usually better than that of a static machine. This
probability increases as layers get thicker, as density requirements
become more stringent and when mixes become harsher.
On tender mixes and when relatively low de-
grees of compaction are specifed, for example,
conventional static steel wheel rollers alone
or in combination with PTRs have the same
probability of reaching compaction as a vibra-
tory roller. On the other hand, on harsh mixes
requiring a high degree of compaction, the
probability of success will defnitely favour vi-
bratory rollers.
A vibratory roller can handle both compac-
tion and fnish rolling. During the compaction
stage it should achieve fnal compaction. On
small jobs the roller can then switch to stat-
ic operation to fnish the surface. On larger
jobs, the fnish rolling is performed by a static
smooth drum roller or a PTR.
As vibratory rollers have a higher produc-
tion rate than their static counterparts, they are
especially economical on large pavement con-
Light vibratory rollers have now cornered
a large part of the market for small asphalt
surfacings. Vibratory plate compactors with a
sprinkling device to prevent pick-up are also
common on minor asphalt jobs.
Roller manufacturers should have the appro-
priate tools to support you in selecting the right
roller for the job. They should also be able to
give recommendations on roller settings and
expected capacity.
In an end result specifcation, an authori-
ty sets a minimum degree of compaction
which is then checked by laboratory and
feld tests. End result specifcations are
the most common for large projects.
A method specifcation lists the type
and size of rollers to be used, number of
rollers to be used and sometimes the way
in which they are to be used.
End result specifcations based on
Marshall tests are often applied for asp-
halt pavement constructions. The density
requirements normally fall in the range
95-98% Marshall (50 or 75 blows on the
asphalt sample). Sometimes, require-
ments also include a given range of air
void content.
Asphalt contracts often include penalty
clauses which stipulate fnes to be deduc-
ted from payment if the contractor fails to
meet specifed densities.
The normal method for feld density
control is to remove a core sample with a
diamond drill. Density and air void con-
tent are determined on the sample cores
in a laboratory.
Nuclear density gauges can be used for
rapid density testing on site. As mentio-
ned earlier, they are very practical when
establishing suitable rolling procedures at
the start of a job. Modifed gauges have
now been developed to give more accura-
te density readings on thin asphalt layers.
The fnal approval of the density level is,
however, generally based on core drilling.
Function specifcations normally involve
the entire road design, not only the bitu-
menous layers. However, special require-
ments can be connected to the function
of these layers, for instance: maximum
rut depth after a defned period of time,
surface evenness requirements, etc.
Other quality controls of asphalt sur-
facings include checking the surface
evenness, texture depth and skid resist-
Specication and eld control
methods for asphalt
In general, an end result or a method specication is used for asphalt
compaction. A combination of the two is also used.
Drilling out core samples
for laboratory analysis of
compacted asphalt.
Measuring asphalt density
with a nuclear density gauge.
Measuring the evenness of the
compacted asphalt surface.
It is difcult to evaluate the performance of compaction and paving equipment wit-
hout eld tests. These should preferably be carried out on different materials and
under different conditions. This section denes and discusses the parameters and
data which may be employed to evaluate and compare equipment from a speci-
cation sheet. The Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) and the
Construction Industry Manufacturing Association (CIMA) in the USA have established
guidelines regarding which technical data and parameters are suitable for specifying
compaction and paving equipment. As a result, equipment specication has become
more structured, although there may still be differences in manufacturers product
What to look for in
compaction & paving equipment
What to look for in a vibratory roller
Vibratory rollers evolved from the original static rollers, which generated compaction by
static weight only. The comparison of two vibratory rollers is a difcult task; in fact, it is im-
possible to perform from a specication sheet only. However, different parameters have an
impact on a rollers effect. So it is important to have a thorough
understanding of the parameters involved.
Compaction performance
Vital data
Static linear load [kg/cm] [kN/m]
Amplitude (xed or variable) [mm]
Frequency [Hz] [vpm]
Ratio, static/vibrating mass
Drum diameter [mm]
Compaction performance is the differ-
entiating factor in rollers. In this respect,
compaction effort plays a major role: the
higher the compaction effort, the greater
depth effect and the fewer the number of
passes required. Compaction effort is in-
fuenced by:
static linear load
the ratio between static/vibrating mass
drum diameter
Other factors include rolling speed and
the number of vibrating drums. Centrifu-
gal force is not a decisive factor in com-
paction performance.
Static linear load
For a smooth-drum vibratory roller, the
static linear load is the drum module
weight divided by the rolling width of the
drum expressed in kg/cm or kN/m.
The static load is the weight of the drum
assembly plus the parts of the frame carried
by the drum (drum module weight). The
CECE includes the weight of the operator
and half-full fuel and water tanks in the sta-
tic operating weight.
A signifcant increase in the static linear
load increases the compaction effort and
reduces the number of passes required.
The total weight of a self-propelled single-
drum vibratory roller does not give a direct
indication of the compaction effect. Com-
parisons based on total weight can there-
fore be misleading. A true picture emerges
only by comparing the static linear loads of
the vibrating drum modules.

Frequency and amplitude
Frequency is the number of drum impacts per
time unit measured in Hz (vibrations per se-
cond) or vpm (vibrations per minute).
Amplitude is the maximum movement of
the drum from the axis; it is usually expres-
sed in mm. This means that the total drum
movement corresponds to twice the nominal
The infuence of frequency and amp-
litude on compaction effort has been the
subject of discussion for many years. Labo-
ratory and feld tests indicate that frequen-
cies between 25 and 50 Hz (1500 and 3000
vpm) have maximum compaction effect
on soil. A change in frequency within this
range will not signifcantly affect the com-
paction effort.
However, a change in amplitude has a
pronounced impact on compaction and
depth effect. High amplitudes are especi-
ally important on materials which require
a high compaction effort, such as rock
fll and dry clay soils. Vibratory rollers de-
signed to compact large volumes of soil
and rock fll in thick layers should have an
amplitude of at least 1,6 mm.
The static load is the weight of the drum as-
sembly plus the parts of the frame carried by the
drum (drum module weight).
Frequency is the number of drum impacts per time
unit measured in Hz or vibrations per minute. Amp-
litude is the maximum movement of the drum from
the axis and is usually expressed in mm.
The normal relationship between compaction
effect, frequency and amplitude on soil. Amplitude
has a signicant effect whereas frequency may
vary within a given optimum range.
On asphalt, frequencies between 50 and
70 Hz (3000 and 4200 vpm) have been
found to produce the best results. Suitable
amplitudes for asphalt should not exceed
one millimetre. High frequencies result in
small impact spacing (the distance between
each drum impact), helping to prevent sur-
face rippling. Impact spacing is a function
of frequency and speed: low frequency at
high speed gives wide impact spacing; high
frequency at low speeds gives close impact
Amplitude settings
It is often a great advantage to be able to
alter the vibratory force of the roller. The
best way of doing this is by altering the
amplitude. With adjustable amplitude set-
tings, the compaction effort can be adjusted
to suit different types of material and layer
thickness. Some rollers have the ability to
change the amplitude automatically during
the compaction process and adapt it to the
requirements of the underlying surface.
Adjustable amplitude is essential in asp-
halt compaction. When working on a ten-
der mix or with thin lifts, best results are
achieved from a low amplitude setting. This
also reduces the risk of crushing weak ag-
gregate. Conversely, hard mixes and thick
layers require relatively high amplitudes.
Adjustable amplitude settings result in a
variable compaction effort. On soils, the
operator can change the amplitude to suit
different layer thickness. On asphalt, ad-
justable amplitude can be used to adapt the
roller to the different compaction needs
of harsh and tender mixes and changes in
layer thickness.
When compacting thick layers to a high
density, it is best to start at a high amp-
litude. As the material increases in den-
sity the drum often starts to bounce. This
does not increase the density even if the
number of passes are increased and, even
worse, the material may be crushed and
the machine may be damaged. The boun-
cing can be prevented, and the density will
increase by reverting to low amplitude.
Automatic vibration control
Modern asphalt rollers should be equipped
with an automatic vibration control which
cuts out vibrations at speeds below a cer-
tain limit. This prevents vibrations acting
on the surface when the roller is stationary
or when it slows down to change direction
of travel.
Static/vibrating mass
The ratio between static and vibrating
mass must be balanced so that the frame is
heavy enough to reduce the risk of boun-
cing. However, a frame that is too heavy
will attenuate the vibrations and reduce
the compaction effect. A rough value is
that the drum weight should be 75 - 100%
to the weight of the frame.
Rolling speed
Rolling speed has a defnite infuence on
compaction effect. To a certain extent, high
rolling speeds can be compensated for by
an increase in the number of passes. Howe-
ver, optimum speeds for soil compaction
lie in the 3-6 km/h range. The compaction
of thick layers of soil and rock fll to high
degrees of compaction requires speeds
in the lower part of the range. Optimum
speeds are somewhat higher for asphalt
than for soil. Constant speed is important
in obtaining a uniform degree of compac-
tion, a speedometer on the roller is helpful
this respect. Speed control is especially im-
portant in asphalt compaction.
Number of vibrating drums
Two vibrating drums reduce the number of
passes required, thereby increasing the rol-
ler capacity. With only one vibrating drum,
the roller will require about 80% more pas-
ses than with a vibrating tandem roller of
the same size. However, variations do exist
depending on the types of material to be
A vibratory tandem roller can have one or two
vibrating drums. In general, double vibrating
drums increase capacity by about 80% on soil
and 50% on asphalt, as the roller does not have
to make so many passes.
Degree of
Low amplitude
High amplitude
Centrifugal force
and total applied force
It is incorrect to assume that a higher cen-
trifugal force results in a higher compac-
tion effort. The quadratic increase in cen-
trifugal force with frequency contradicts
the diagram showing the limited effect
of frequency changes on the compaction
effect. Total applied force (TAF) used to
be regarded as a good yardstick for the
measurement of compaction effort in the
early days of vibratory compaction. It is
the sum of the static weight and centrifu-
gal force and, as with centrifugal force, it is
easy to draw the wrong conclusions.
Drum design
Vital data:
Drum width [mm]
Drum diameter [mm]
Drum shell thickness [mm]
Drum width
In soil compaction, the drum width gene-
rally determines surface area capacity. A
wider drum results in a greater surface co-
verage per pass. However, the same does
not apply to asphalt compaction, where
the width of the asphalt paver also has
to be taken into account. In asphalt sur-
facing work, the drum width of the roller
needs to be correlated to the paving width.
There is an optimum drum width to cover
the asphalt paver width using a minimum
number of parallel rolling lanes.
Drum diameter
A large diameter reduces rolling resistance.
This can be especially important in pre-
venting shoving of asphalt mats and in
minimising hair cracks when rolling ten-
der, unstable asphalt mixes. A large drum
diameter is always preferable.
Drum shell thickness
The drum of a roller is subject to wear.
The compaction of fne-grained material
causes less wear than the compaction of
coarse rock fll. Very abrasive rock types
may cause exceptional wear.
The drum shell thickness and quality
of the steel therefore determine the life-
time as well as the ability of the drum to
withstand deformation. Many manufactu-
rers fail to mention drum shell thickness
in their literature.
Drum shell fnish is also decisive. For
soil compaction, modern techniques for
bending drum shells result in suffciently
round and even drums. For asphalt rollers,
the demands are higher. Therefore, their
drums are normally machined. The result is
a drum that will produce smooth and even
asphalt surfaces.
Split drums
A split drum design allows the two drum
halves to operate at different speeds. This
reduces scuffng of the asphalt mat when
operating on sharp curves.
If a roller does not have split drums,
the operator should follow the standard
accepted rolling procedures on curves to
ensure the job is done properly . Be ca-
reful not to use split-drum rollers on soil
applications. Rolling on stiff soils creates
a forging effect on the drum shell. This
will eventually widen the drum and bridge
the gap between the two drum halves, de-
stroying the intended purpose and bene-
fts of a split drum.
Sharp turns along the curve may result in
tearing the surface when compacting asphalt.
This can be avoided by rolling in two or more

A roller with a drum width of 1450 mm covers the common paving width of 3,5 to 3,9 m in three parallel lanes.
A roller with a drum width of 1600 mm still needs three parallel passes but the overlaps are unnecessarily large.
There is no advantage in having an extra wide drum. In this particular example a 1600 mm wide drum would be
oversized for the application.
Weight distribution between the
tractor and drum module
Without drum drive, a ffty-ffty split bet-
ween the weight of front and rear mo-
dules indicates satisfactory traction. The
heavier the tractor module is in relation to
the drum module, the better the traction.
Traction can be improved by ballasting the
tyres or by opting for a model with drum
drive (a standard feature on a number of
soil compactors with heavy drums).
The size and tread of the tyres
The section width, section depth and
rim diameter of the tyres on rollers with
pneumatic drive wheels are all decisive to
the grip the tyres exert on the underlying
Drive transmission
The power and torque of the hydraulic
motor, choice of gear ratio and axle cha-
racteristics (planetary drive, anti-slip dif-
ferential) are correlated to the ability of a
roller to cope with inclines.
Asphalt rollers with double drum drive
have better traction than tandem rollers
with only single drum drive. Another ad-
vantage is that driven drums have less ten-
dency to shove asphalt mats.
Vital data
Turning radius inner [mm]
Turning radius outer [mm]
Wheel base [mm]
Lateral minimum overhang [mm]
Curb clearance [mm]
Speed range [km/h]
With a small turning radius, the machine
is relatively easy to handle in confned
spaces. Minimal overhang improves the
capability of the roller in tight quarter
work. High ground clearance allows the
machine to steer clear of obstacles.
A 0-10 km/h speed range is adequate
to cover all normal applications. High
transport speed can be an advantage
when the roller has to move from one
site to another. Low reverse speed is of
no importance for transport but can af-
fect compaction capacity as passes are
normally made in forward and reverse.
Good all-round visibility is essential to
manoeuvrability as rollers work in both for-
ward and reverse modes. It is vital that the
driver has a clear view of the drum edges,
even with the drum at maximum offset.
Some tandem rollers have the possibi-
lity to offset one drum up to 500 mm to
facilitate rolling alongside kerbstones and
around curves. This gives an option to
shift the centre of gravity in order to be
able to work on weak shoulders. It also
increases the surface capacity when per-
forming fnish rolling.
Vital data
Soil rollers
Operating weight [kg]
Tractor module weight [kg]
Drum module weight [kg]
Tyre size
Gradeability [%]
Asphalt rollers
Operating weight [kg]
Front drum module weight [kg]
Rear drum module weight [kg]
Gradeability [%]
Many factors infuence traction, the fol-
lowing are especially applicable to soil
Drum drive
Drum drive improves traction because it per-
mits the entire weight of the roller to be used
to develop the tractive effort. It is particularly
suitable on thick layers and diffcult materials,
for example: uniformlygraded dry sand (dry
It may also help gradeability, i.e. the
ability of the roller to work on inclines.
Adding a fow-divider for the wheel and
drum-drive hydraulics will also help im-
prove traction.
Drum diameter
and static linear load
A large drum diameter and low static li-
near load result in a low angle of approach
to the material being compacted the lar-
ger the drum diameter and the lower the
static linear load, the lower the angle of
approach. Consequently, there is less re-
sistance to rolling.
The ability of a roller to run up a slope is termed gradeability. Figures for gradeability of different machines
should be related to comparable procedures and conditions.
The angle of approach inuences the resistance
to rolling. If the drum is small and heavy it will
exert a horizontal force which in turn produces
a higher rolling resistance which may increase
the need for engine power.
Sprinkler system
An asphalt roller must have a satisfactory
water sprinkler system to prevent pick-up
on the drums. Modern asphalt rollers have
a pump-driven system as opposed to gravity
fed systems, which are especially prone to
malfunction when the roller is working on
inclines. Sprinkler timers are very useful for
optimising the amount of water to be spray-
ed onto the drums.
Plastic tanks, pipes and hosing prevent
corrosion of the system. It is very important
to have a good fltering system as it is of-
ten diffcult to fnd clean sprinkler water on
some sites. The system should consist of at
least two (and preferably three) flters, tank
inlet, in-line flter at the pump and at each
nozzle. It is desirable to have a back-up sys-
tem which can spray both drums with water
from any of the two water tanks. The tanks
should be large enough for a normal eight
hour working day.
Vital data
Rated effect [kW] [hp]
at ......[rpm]
Fuel tank capacity [litres]
Naturally, the engine has to have a large
enough output to allow the roller to function
properly. In addition, it must have adequate
reserve power to counter any drop in power
as the engine wears over the years, as well as
a reserve for working at high altitudes.
The sprinkler system is vital on an asphalt roller.
Coverage of the total drum width is necessary to
avoid asphalt sticking to the drum.
A small turning radius is the rst step to good manoeuvrability in a roller.
The noise level should be low to give the
operator and those close to the machine a
better environment in which to work.
Low emission engines reduce environ-
mental impact and low fuel consumption
also helps reduce the polluting effect. Fuel
tank capacity should permit work for at
least one working shift.
Vital data
Shipping weight [kg]
Overall width [mm]
Overall length [mm]
Overall height [mm]
Overall length, width and height plus ship-
ping weight have a direct bearing on trans-
portation. Local haulage restrictions have
to be taken into consideration, too.
Other important factors
The following information is rarely men-
tioned in specifcation pamphlets and
will require a detailed discussion with the
manufacturers representative.
Operator comfort
The more comfortable an operator is, the
better he performs. The operator station
must promote comfort. The platform
should be well insulated against vibrations
and shocks to prevent excess fatigue. The
ambient noise levels should not disturb the
well-being or concentration of the opera-
tor. Good all-round visibility is essential to
be able to perform the job safely.
In addition, all controls should be po-
sitioned within easy reach of the seat in
all seating positions. The operator panel
should be logically sorted and easy to see
and read. A movable swivel seat, integra-
ted with the most vital controls improves
driver comfort as it allows him to place
the seat where it gives the best overview
of the area to be rolled.
Safety is vital not only for the operator
but for those working close to the roller
too. The brake system must be active on
both drums in tandem rollers and on both
drum and drive-wheels on a single drum
roller. This should also be backed up by
an emergency system, either hand-applied
or automatically applied as the hydraulic
pressure drops. A fail-safe parking brake
is also essential.
Most accidents happen when the oper-
ator is getting on or off the roller. This
means attention should be paid to non-slip
platforms, safety rails around the operator
area and the provision of secure footholds
up to the platform. Roll-Over Protection
Systems (ROPS) or safety cabs must be on
the list of optional equipment to enhance
operator safety.
A well-sorted, comfortable operator station simplies the operators job and thus contributes to better
roller performance.
ROPS that include a safety belt provide protection for the operator in the event of a roll-over. Combined
with a Falling Object Protection System (FOPS), it also shields the operator from falling debris when opera-
ting in a trench. Reverse alarms help increase safety when backing.
Stoppages in large earth-moving or as-
phalt surfacing operations are extremely
costly. Machine availability is therefore
A roller that operates with very few
stoppages due to breakdowns should
prove to be an economical investment.
The acquisition price is in no way decisive
to the overall economy of the machine, a
fact that should never be overlooked when
buying a roller.
High machine availability is a decisive
factor in determining the proftability of
a roller. It not only depends on quality
engineering. It also depends on good ser-
viceability, which is a function of easy ac-
cessibility to all vital components and an
effcient spare parts supply. All of which
help ensure that a machine stays up and
running as often as possible.
Service and maintenance instructions,
operators instructions and workshop ma-
nuals should be available in major langu-
Easy daily maintenance is essential on
any machine. Ready access to lubrication
points, flters, etc. will make life easier for
an operator and help ensure that the job
gets done. It is an advantage if the roller has
central lubrication points.
As a rule, easy access means easy maintenance
which, in turn, means less downtime.
It is a signifcant beneft if the roller can
operate over a wide range of feld condi-
tions, for example: on different types of
soil, terrain and at high altitudes. A rollers
ability to do so will be of great value to
the user.
The adaptability of the equipment may
also be a decisive factor. For example, vi-
bratory tandem rollers are attractive becau-
se they are suitable for both asphalt, base
and sub-base compaction. Self-propelled
vibratory rollers which can be switched
from smooth to padfoot drums are also at a
premium. With an inter-changeable drum,
all the compaction work can be done by
one unit. This cuts acquisition costs and
will also help keep down maintenance and
spare parts expenditure.
Vibratory tandem rollers are equally suitable on granular sub-base and base work, as
well as asphalt surfacing.
What to look for in a static smooth drum roller
Static smooth drum rollers were the rst type of mechanical equipment used for soil
and asphalt compaction. Today, they are often used together with pneumatic tyred
and/or vibratory rollers. There are two main types of static smooth drum rollers, the
three-wheel version and the two-wheel tandem version.
The conventional three-wheel model has two large driven rear
drums and a smaller front drum that steers the roller. Modern
three-wheel rollers have three large driven drums of equal
diameter as well as articulated steering. This section denes
the data used to compare static smooth drum rollers. It also
serves as a basic guide to what to look for when selecting a
roller of this type.
two parallel passes. The three large driv-
en drums ensure a smooth and effcient
rolling action.
The drum diameter of conventional static
tandem rollers varies between 1,2 and 1,5 m
while drum widths range from 1,1 to 1,4
m. Their static linear loads are somewhat
lower than those of static three-wheel rol-
lers of the same total weight.
Compaction performance
Vital data
Static linear load [kg/cm] [kN/m]
Drum diameter [mm]
The compaction effort of a static smooth
drum roller is primarily a function of sta-
tic linear load (i.e. the weight of the drum
module divided by drum width). The
compaction effect also depends on the
drum diameter and is further discussed
later in this section.
Static linear load.
On conventional 10-15 ton static three-
wheel rollers, the static linear load of the
rear drums varies between 50 and 80 kg/
cm. For asphalt compaction, the static li-
near load should exceed 50 kg/cm. The
static linear load of the front drum is some
30% lower than that of the rear drums.
Therefore, the rear drums must pass over
the entire surface to achieve uniform com-
With modern types of static three-wheel
rollers (with equally large diameter drums
and articulated steering), the three drums
have the same static linear load when the
roller is correctly ballasted. This enables
the roller to achieve uniform compaction
across the entire roller width and therefore
follow simpler rolling patterns. With a rol-
ling width of 2,1 m, the roller can cover a
width up to 4 m (allowing for overlap) in
Articulated static roller with equal static linear load on
all drums. This assures uniform compaction over the
entire rolling width.
Rigid frame three-wheel static roller.
Rigid frame tandem roller.
Drums of equal diameter provide uniform compaction effort across the entire
machine width, which conventional three-wheel rollers do not.
A 10-12 ton static roller normally requires
two to three tons of ballast. Water is the
most convenient and, consequently, the
most common type of ballast. The main
ballast is normally placed in the drums and
improves the centre of gravity.
Drum overlap
There should be an overlap of at least 50 mm.
Drums should overlap when turning.
Drum diameter
The larger the diameter of the drum, the
lower the rolling resistance and angle of
approach to the material being compac-
ted. In general, when the static linear load
exceeds 50 kg/cm, it is desirable if the
drum diameter is 1500 mm or more.
Drum arc and pressure
The drum arc is the area in contact with
the drum at a given penetration depth.
This factor must be taken into account
when determining the compaction effect
and a rollers suitability on, for example,
a tender (unstable) mix. These mixes are
prone to excessive movement and cracks
during rolling.
A small contact area gives a large contact
pressure. However, if a roller with a small
drum diameter causes a bow wave and sur-
face cracks, a roller with larger drums will
give better rolling performance and com-
paction effect. In general, the greater the
drum diameter and contact area, the more
suitable the roller is on unstable mixes.
Articulated centre-pivot steering ensures proper drum overlap and
equal force over the entire rolling width, even when turning or changing lanes.
A conventional type of static roller is liable to rut the asphalt surface.
Drive on all wheels provides better gradeability and eliminates shoving of
the material, a problem associated with conventional three wheel rollers.
The curves in the chart below show that contact pressure is lower at
deeper penetration and increases as the drum rides out of the ma-
terial while compaction
increases. Larger diameter
drums have a lower con-
tact pressure than small
diameter drums at the
same penetration. Howe-
ver, despite this, they may
achieve better compaction
effect than a smaller diame-
ter drum (see previous ex-
planation in this section).
As a rule, static smooth drum rollers achieve best compaction
within the speed range 3 to 6 km/h. A two-speed gearbox or dou-
ble capacity hydraulic motor will provide extra speed when moving
around the site.
Drum design
The edge of the drums should be chamfered to reduce the risk of
drum marks on the asphalt mat. The drums must be equipped with
scrapers to allow the roller to work on a wide range of materials,
Some manufacturers of static three-wheel rollers with articulated
steering offer such options as fexible front drums and split rear
drums. Flexible front drums allow the drums to incline or fex 1-
2 degrees from the upright position, which can be advantageous
when compacting the road crown. Split drums are used to eliminate
pushing the material when turning on sharp bends. However, the
operator can modify his rolling pattern to eliminate the need for
such an option.
Sprinkler system
The roller must have an effective sprinkler system to avoid pick
up when compacting asphalt. Modern asphalt rollers have pump-
driven sprinklers. An effcient system of flters (flling, pump and
nozzle) will prevent stoppages due to clogged nozzles.
Drive system
Hydrostatic drive gives the operator full and easy control over
speed, stopping and change of direction. With hydrostatic drive
on all drums, the roller has good traction. It makes the roller more
versatile and allows it to be used on unstable asphalt mixes; it also
eliminates tendencies to shoving and lateral displacement.
Brake system
The brakes must be suffciently powerful to operate safely, even
when the roller is fully ballasted. Fail-safe systems backed up by an
emergency system are essential to operator and work site safety.
General features
Operator comfort
The design of the machine should allow for maximum operator
safety, comfort and visibility. Dual controls or swivel seat allow the
operator to select the most comfortable position for best safety,
visibility, and consequently productivity.
It is essential that the roller be supported by a reliable maintenance
service. It is best to check that a full back-up service is available
where the roller is intended to be used. This will ensure minimum
downtime should periodic servicing or repair needs arise.
Regular checks of wear parts and substances (i.e. water, oil, etc.)
should be conducted. Maintenance must be easy to perform. Ea-
sily accessible maintenance points and long service intervals are
Dual controls allow the operator to select the most comfortable position for
good all-round visibility.
3 6 9 12 15 18
Contact pressuer
at 18 kg/cm
Penetration depth,
1040 mm Dia.
1750 mm Dia.
A chamfered drum edge will
reduce drum marks on the
asphalt mat.
What to look for
in a pneumatic-tyred roller
Towed pneumatic-tyred rollers (PTR) have been used for many years. In the early days, rollers of up to 200 tons
were not only used for compaction but also for identifying weak spots (proof rolling).
These towed versions have almost disappeared with the evolution of vibratory rollers for
soil compaction. Therefore, this section only covers self propelled PTRs.
It does not cover all there is to know, for example, about tyre technology; rather it
discusses fundamental compaction technology when using PTRs and the basic
points to consider when selecting such a roller.
Compaction performance
Vital data
Wheel load [kg]
Tyre ground contact pressure [MPa]
Tyre contact area [mm
The compaction effect of a PTR is prima-
rily determined by two parameters: wheel
load and the ground contact pressure of
the tyre, which is correlated to the tyre in-
fation pressure see the chart on the next
On thick layers, a large tyre with a large
contact area has a better compaction
effect than a smaller tyre with the same
ground contact pressure. This is especially
important in soil compaction.
Wheel load
The number of wheels directly affects
the wheel load. Pneumatic tyred rol-
lers in the medium heavy class normally
have between seven and nine wheels
and a maximum wheel load of 3000 kg
which is suffcient for most types of
compaction. Authorities often specify
the number of wheels and the minimum
wheel load. Wheel load can be calculated
by using the simple formula:

Large amounts of ballast are normally
needed to reach the required operating
weight. There are a number of different
ways to ballast a PTR, for example iron
bars, sand and water.
Scrap iron is used as a permanent ballast.
Scrap iron is used as a permanent ballast.
However, it is time-consuming to load and
remove. In some cases iron bars are ftted
under the roller, but this adds to the ex-
pense. Modern PTRs have modular ballast
systems, where weight can be conveniently
added. This simplifes ballasting procedu-
res and makes it easier to keep track of the
actual ballast weight.
Normally 5 to 8 m
of sand is required
but, as with iron bars, loading and
unloading can be time-consuming. On
the other hand, sand is easier to dispose
of when the machine is to be transported
without ballast. Sand also tends to dry out,
so it has to be checked from time to time
to ensure it is still wet.

1. Standard diagonal type tyre
Particles are likely to move laterally.
Pressure range 0,3 - 0,9 MPa
2. Radial tyre
More evenly distributed with variable pressure.
3. Wide-base tyre
Wide-base tyres cause less lateral movement of
the particles than standard tyres.
Pressure 0,4 MPa
Mass of machine + ballast
= Wheel load

Number of wheels
General ground
contact pressure pattern
1 2 3
Although easy to handle, the drawback
of water is its low volumetric weight. In
addition, the ballast tanks must be water-
tight. In some cases a PTR equipped with
a pump and nozzles may be used for water
spreading. The pump, which is driven by
the engine, flls and discharges the water.
This section deals with some of the geo-
metry of a tyre and a tyres compaction
There are three main types of tyre:
diagonal tyres, radial tyres and low-profle,
full fotation tyres (which also include wide-
base tyres). All major manufacturers of
industrial tyres produce diagonal and radial
types, whereas only a couple offer wide-
base versions.
Diagonal and radial tyres are more
versatile and can be used at different
pressures from 0,3 - 0,9

MPa depending
on the ply. They are suitable for both soil
and asphalt compaction. However, a radial
tyre has a more even pressure pattern than
a diagonal tyre. This reduces the risk of
tyre marks in the asphalt surface.
Wide-base tyres are used at a fxed
pressure of 0,4 MPa. They are suitable
for surface sealing and fnish rolling on
asphalt. They are also used on stabilised
soil but are less suitable on soil as they do
not have the same depth effect as diagonal
and radial tyres.
The contact pattern and pressure
distribution for these types of tyres are
shown above. As the pressure of a diagonal
or radial tyre can be varied, there will be
changes in the contact pattern.
Ground contact area and ground
contact pressure
During compaction, the contact area of
the tyre changes constantly as the mate-
rial is compacted and, as a result, penetra-
tion decreases with each pass. Values for
ground contact area are thus only compa-
rable when measured on a fat hard sur-
face, such as a steel plate.
At present, no gauges are available to
indicate ground contact pressure, so it is
left to the operator to judge the pressure. If
he sees that the tyres sink into the material,
he can use the tyre pressure control system
(more commonly known as Air on the
run or Air on the go) to reduce the tyre
pressure. An increase in pressure will also
increase the pressure against the ground.
The advantage of a central air pressure
control system is that it allows the operator to
maintain a selected constant pressure on all
tyres during all phases of rolling. In practice,
it is impossible for the operator to continually
adapt the tyre pressure to the prevailing
surface stability of the mix.
The above chart indicates the tyre contact
area and ground contact pressure for dif-
ferent wheel loads and tyre infation pres-
The front and rear tyres should overlap by
at least 30-50 mm at normal pressure. In
order to achieve uniform compaction ef-
fect, and to avoid tyre marks on asphalt,
the overlap between pressure contact are-
as is more important. This overlap can be
checked by running the roller on sand and
checking the penetration of the front and
rear tyres.
The main parts
of a tyre
Bead wire
Ply (number of layers)
Tyre inflation 240 kPa 350 kPa 480 kPa 620 kPa 720 kPa 830 kPa

1125 kg 2,0 kg/cm
2,4 kg/cm
2,7 kg/cm
3,0 kg/cm
3,3 kg/cm
3,4 kg/cm
WHEEL 1375 kg 2,2 kg/cm
2,6 kg/cm
3,0 kg/cm
3,3 kg/cm
3,5 kg/cm
3,8 kg/cm
LOAD 1825 kg 2,4 kg/cm
2,8 kg/cm
3,4 kg/cm
3,8 kg/cm
4,0 kg/cm
4,3 kg/cm
2250 kg 2,5 kg/cm
3,1 kg/cm
3,6 kg/cm
4,1 kg/cm
4,4 kg/cm
4,8 kg/cm
2750 kg 2,6 kg/cm
3,2 kg/cm
3,9 kg/cm
4,4 kg/cm
4,8 kg/cm
5,2 kg/cm
3000 kg 2,7 kg/cm
3,3 kg/cm
4,1 kg/cm
4,6 kg/cm
4,9 kg/cm
5,4 kg/cm

Tyre inflation 34.8 PSI 50.8 PSI 69.6 PSI 89.9 PSI 104.4 PSI 120.4 PSI

2480 lbs 29.0 34.8 39.2 43.5 47.1 49.3
WHEEL 3032 lbs 31.2 37.7 43.8 47.6 51.1 54.7
LOAD 4024 lbs 35.1 41.2 48.9 54.8 58.3 62.4
4961 lbs 36.7 44.7 52.2 59.5 63.8 68.9
6064 lbs 38.4 47.4 57.0 63.8 69.6 74.7
6615 lbs 39.2 47.9 58.9 66.3 71.1 77.6
Ground contact pressure chart
Tyre overlap
General features
Asphalt pick-up
During the initial rolling, all PTRs will pick up asphalt unless special
measures are taken. Diesel fuel prevents pick-up while the tyres are
warming up. It will not damage the asphalt if used moderately. Ho-
wever, the use of diesel fuel for these purposes is forbidden from an
environmental point of view. It also dilutes the bituminous content
of the asphalt. The surface may then quickly be damaged once the
road is open to traffc. Special anti-sticking agents are, however,
common and easily accessible.
A common method to prevent pick-up is to preheat the tyres by
running the roller on a surface that has already been compacted by
steel wheel rollers and is still hot.
Little or no pick-up will occur once the difference in temperature
between the asphalt mat and the tyre is no more than 20 to 50 C.
Water from the sprinkler system is then suffcient to prevent any
pick-up. However, the amount of water must be reduced to an
absolute minimum since it cools the tyres.
Mats and scrapers also help minimise pick-up during the initial
tyre warm-up period. Skirts around the rubber tyres is one way
to keep the tyres hot. Tyre skirts are especially useful in windy
Oscillating or pivoting wheels
PTRs should have oscillating or pivoting wheels on at least one
axle. Oscillating wheels give better results on soil compaction, but
pivoting wheels are suffcient for asphalt. Normally the front or rear
axle oscillates or pivots.
Drive system
A mechanical transmission is laborious to operate while modern
transmission systems, such as power shift, hydrostatic drive and
torque converter allow for quick stopping and starting and easy
A differential action on the rear wheels will prevent shoving of
the material when turning. The front wheels, which are non-driving,
have an automatic differential action.
The net weight of the PTR is approximately one third of the maxi-
mum ballasted weight. As the roller travels at relatively high speeds
between job sites and when refuelling, the brakes must give ample
stopping capacity, even when the PTR is fully ballasted.
Pressure contact area overlap. The previously compacted areas support the soil
being compacted and help achieve a better and more homogeneous compaction.
What to look for in light compaction equipment
The following section addresses the main features of different types of vibratory plate compactors,
vibratory tampers, double-drum walk behind rollers and trench compactors. In common with rollers, the
Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) has established
guidelines for technical terms and data that should be applied to vibratory
plates and tampers. Availability and reliability are the main criteria used
to judge the worthiness of light compaction equipment. But there are also a
number of other features that should be considered before purchase, some
of which include: safety, operator comfort, maintenance and versatility.
Vibratory plate
Compaction performance
Vital data
Contact pressure [depending on static weight
and size of the bottom plate, length and
Amplitude [mm]
Frequency [Hz] [vpm]
Ratio static/vibrating mass
The vibrations of a vibratory plate
compactor are generated by one or two
eccentric weights on a bottom plate.
The vibrations also propel the machines
forward or backward, allowing them to
achieve speeds of 20-30 m/min.
Forward moving vibratory plate
compactors have one rotating eccentric
weight at the front of the plate, whereas
two or more eccentrics are employed for
forward and backward moving plates.
Two eccentrics also allow stepless speed
The engine and the handle are moun-
ted on a separate plate that is insulated
from the vibrating plate by rubber shock
absorbers or steel coils.
The compaction effort of a vibratory
plate increases in relation to its weight.
The importance of contact pressure (the
equivalent of static linear load for plate
compactors) and amplitude (particularly
on depth effect) has earlier been pointed
out in the section on vibratory rollers.
Suitable frequencies range from 40
to 100 Hz (2400 to 6000 vpm); their
corresponding amplitudes range from one
to three millimeters.
Light plate compactors normally operate
at high frequencies and comparatively low
amplitudes. They are primarily suitable for
compacting sand and gravel in thin layers.
When equipped with sprinkler systems,
they are also suitable for asphalt surfaces.
Heavy vibratory plate compactors
(>400 kg) are also effective on semi-
cohesive soils owing to their weight and
larger amplitudes.
As mentioned in the roller section,
centrifugal force is not an essential
parameter when assessing compaction
With two eccentric weights, the speed and depth effect of the plate can be adjusted from vibrating on the spot
to maximum speed forward or reverse. This makes the plate highly versatile.
Plate design
Bottom plate (asphalt)
Plates for asphalt work must be smooth
with rounded corners to avoid marking the
asphalt mat. The plate must also protrude
beyond the edge of the machine to allow it
to do detail work, for example, close up to
walls. For effcient watering, the front end
should be wider than the back end.
Bottom plate (soil)
Marking the surface is less critical with
plates working on soil; the main criteria
are wear resistance and durability. High
quality welded steel or high quality cast
iron are suitable materials for bottom
plates for soil. There are no weaknesses
in the plate as there may be with standard
quality cast iron or steel. Large plate
compactors should be designed so that
extension plates to increase the working
width can be ftted.
Plate mounting
Rubber mountings effectively reduce
vibrations and, in general, are easier to
maintain than spring coils. However,
spring coil mountings have proven
effective on, for example, concrete block
paving as they offer greater resistance to
Vibration drive system
The traditional belt drive system, which
consists of a V-belt between the engine
and the plate, is reliable and easy to service
and maintain. The belt tensioner enables
tension to be readily adjusted during the
lifetime of the plate. Hydrostatic drive
systems are more often used on vibratory
plate compactors because they offer
the possibility of using bio-degradable
hydraulic oil. This reduces the harmful
effects on the environment.
Vibratory plate compactors are ideal for small
jobs and as a back-up to larger compaction
equipment. They are primarily suitable for
coarse-grained materials with a limited amount
of nes. Heavy plates can also be used on semi-
cohesive materials. Light plates equipped with
sprinkler systems are used on asphalt surfacings.
Forward and reverse mechanisms incre-
ase manoeuvrability, especially for large
types of plates. Stepless speed adjust-
ment increases manoeuvrability, which is
important when compacting close to an
abutment or similar structure. A forward
plate will prove diffcult to manoeuvre if
it weighs too much.
Remote control
Remote-controlled vibratory plates can en-
hance operator comfort by entirely isolating
him from vibrations. Remote control also
promotes safety as an operator can compact
a deep trench or other potentially hazardous
or inaccessible areas without having to work
in the trench.
Traction and gradeability need to be
considered, especially if a plate is working
on loose material or in trenches. They are
primarily a function of the direction of
amplitude and frequency as well as the
design of the bottom plate.
Vital data
Net weight [kg]
Size: length, width and height [mm]
Transport wheels and lifting eyelets
facilitate loading and unloading. Low
weight also makes transportation easier,
especially on a one-man operation.
Sprinkler system
On asphalt work, a sprinkler system must
supply water to the entire width of the
plate to stop any pick-up. Plastic tanks are
an advantage because they do not corrode
and because they are lighter. Corrosion-
free nozzles also help reduce maintenance.
A large volume water tank reduces the
inconvenience of having to stop to refll too
often; a large fller cap facilitates topping up
and the cleaning of the tank.
Vital data
Rated effect [kW] [hp]
at ...... [rpm]
Fuel tank capacity [litres]
The rated power should cover all types of
work, even at high altitudes. It is advisable
to choose a plate with a well-known
engine to secure easy access to spare
parts. Other vital issues are emissions
and noise. A quiet engine will give the
operator a better working environment;
low-emission engines have become more
or less compulsory.
An electric starter promotes easier
operations of larger plates. If the machine
is manually started, a safety crank handle
stops kick-backs from the crank and
reduces the risk of injury.
Vibratory tampers generate a high impact
force to deliver a high compaction effort to the
surface of a ll. They are therefore suitable for
granular, semi-cohesive and cohesive soils.
Vibratory tampers
Compaction performance
Vital data
Static weight [kg]
Size of tamping shoe [mm]
Frequency [Hz] [vpm]
Amplitude [mm]
Vibratory tampers normally work at
frequencies of approximately 10 Hz while
stroke height can reach 70-80 mm. The
stroke height generates a large impact
force and dynamic pressure in the material
being compacted. Tampers are therefore
capable of compacting semi-cohesive and
cohesive soils to a high density in spite of
their relatively low weight.
Tamper design
Tamping shoe
A high density polyurethane plate with a
sheet steel cover gives best compaction
effort. Its inherent elasticity gives good
travel and reduces noise and vibration
when working on hard surfaces.
The bellows should not be situated too
close to the ground as it might get ripped
by protruding rocks, for example.
Traction is function of the angle of
inclination of the tamper and stroke
height. In effect, a tamper should be self
propelling and the operator should be able
to guide it with minimum effort.
Vital data
Rated effect [kW] [hp] at ...... [rpm]
Speed [m/min]
Fuel tank capacity [litres]
There are special engines for tampers.
Spares will always be readily available
by selecting a tamper with a well-known
engine. Modern engine technology
enables the use of four-stroke engines
using systems that prevent engine oil from
spilling out during transport.
The advantages of a four-stroke engine
are better reliability, automatic mix ratio
measurement, more environment-friendly
engines, lower noise and a steady drive.
Regardless to whether the tamper has a
two- or four-stroke engine, it is important
that it has a low noise level and that the
engine is designed to keep emissions at the
lowest possible level. The handle should act
as protection for vital engine components
if the tamper should fall over. It should be
de-vibrated to enhance user comfort.
Double-drum walk
behind rollers
Double-drum walk behind rollers (Duplex
rollers) are ideal for compacting sand, gravel
and asphalt in repair and maintenance
work on streets, roads and parking lots.
They are also well suited for small projects
and work close to obstacles.
Compaction performance
Vital data
Static linear load [kg/cm] [N/mm]
Frequency [Hz] [vpm]
Amplitude [mm]
Ratio static/vibrating mass
As duplex rollers are used on a number of
different surfaces, frequency and amplitude
should be selected to suit a wide range of
applications. Frequencies around 65 Hz
and amplitudes around 0,5 mm have the
best overall effect.
The infuence of different parameters
on compaction performance is discussed
in the section What to look for in a
vibratory roller.

A vibration element located in the frame,
as opposed to one in each drum, generates
sufcient vibration energy for both drums and
gives adequate compaction effect on soil and
Frame and drum design
Drum design should be as basic as pos-
sible. A vibration element located in the
frame, as opposed to one in each drum,
generates suffcient vibration energy for
both drums and gives suffcient compac-
tion effect on soil and asphalt. A simpler
design also makes the machine easier to
The frame needs to be robust and
made of high-grade steel to stand up to
the often harsh environment that these
machines work in and to reduce the risk
of the frame becoming twisted.
If the roller is to be used on coarse-
grained materials, drums of high-grade,
wear-resistant steel will be required.
In common with larger rollers, there are
many factors that infuence traction. In
general, hydrostatic drive is reliable as
long as the hydraulic system has suffcient
capacity. It allows the operator to
effortlessly and steplessly adjust the speed
and direction of the roller.
Stepless speed control is essential for
good manoeuvrability, especially when
approaching or working close to obstacles.
Small overhang, smooth sides and high curb
clearance also affect the machines suitability
for close quarter work.
Sprinkler system
Plastic water tanks and sprinkler tubes are
preferable as they do not corrode. Large
water tanks allow the machine to work in
long shifts. Large fller caps simplify the
task of topping up.
Vital data
Rated effect [kW] [hp] at ...... [rpm]
Fuel tank capacity [litres]
The engine must have enough reserve for
tough conditions and high altitude work.
Start-up is easier if the engine is disengaged
from the hydraulic system. To minimise the
effect on the surrounding environment, a
low-emission engine is important. Since
the whole job site is affected by a noisy
machine, a quiet engine is preferable.
Vibratory trench
Vital data
Static linear load [kg/cm] [N/mm]
Amplitude [mm]
Frequency [Hz] [vpm]
Ratio static/vibrating mass
Vibratory trench compactors are used in
a number of different applications, such
as: confned areas, backflls and trenches
on both course and fne grained materials.
The infuence of different parameters on
compaction performance is discussed in
the section What to look for in a vibratory
Frame and drum design
A rigid frame with the vibrating element
located between the drums generates
suffcient compaction effort. The hydraulic
hoses should be well protected to reduce
the risk of damage and maintenance costs.
A clean cut design will give the operator
good visibility. Padfoot drums are needed
to provide suffcient traction and also
to increase the compaction effect. High
profle pads are used for cohesive materials
and low profle pads for coarse grained
soil applications.
Traction and manoeuvrability
The hydraulic motors in each drum
should enable the operator to effortlessly
manoeuvre the machine using the
forward and reverse motion of the drums
independently. They also allow for stepless
adjustment of speed and direction. The
eccentric elements direction of rotation
should be able to be controlled in order
to provide traction on slopes and diffcult
Easy access should be provided to all
check points so that routine maintenance
can be quickly and simply carried out.
Both manual and remote control are
available. The remote control facilitates
the use of the roller in confned spaces
and enhances operator safety for use in
trench applications.
90 degree trench
Operator comfort and convenience
Some forward and reversing plates weigh up to 750 kg, so they must
be easy to operate if they are to be used to their full potential. A
hydraulic servo-control system allows the plate to move smoothly
and helps the operator to feel what he is doing. Short levers on the
handle are convenient.
Stepless speed adjustment helps in close quarter work. It allows
the operator to get right up to the edge of foundations, bridge
abutments, etc.ensuring a good, uniform compaction effect.
Low overall height is important when working with plates,
especially in trench work where the plate might have to go under
cross-stays in the trench. It also lowers the centre of gravity to make
a plate more stable and thus easier to use.
Working with hand-held equipment is often tiring. Vibrations are
probably the greatest source of discomfort. The equipment must
therefore be adequately de-vibrated.
In tampers, a well-balanced machine is easier to operate than one
that jumps all over the place. In effect, it should be able to be steered
with the minimum of effort.
Low noise is also important for operator safety and comfort.
General features applicable to all light compaction equipment
All parts requiring daily maintenance must be readily accessible, as
should all serviceable parts (such as flters, carburettors, etc.), since
maintenance may not be carried out if it is too time-consuming.
Permanently greased bearings on small plates reduce the need for
maintenance and eliminate the risk of oil leaks.
The safety of a piece of light equipment is a function of the
way it handles. If it is diffcult to operate, it may be diffcult to
control. Stepless control of speed and direction enhances safety.
Well-distributed weight is also important, especially in plates and
tampers. A top-heavy machine is likely to tip over and may cause
On vibratory plates, straps between the engine plate and bottom
plate are an advisable safety measure should the normal rubber
mountings fail when the plate is lifted from the ground.
One parameter that determines the efciency of a roller is its capacity. The main factors to be taken into consideration are:
Drum width, [W] [m]
Roller speed, [v] [km/h]
Layer thickness (after compaction), [H] [m]
Number of passes, [n]
Efciency is factor c (i.e. the practical capacity divided by theoretical capacity). It depends on required overlap, the effective time of operation, etc. In practice, the
value of c can be set at 0,5 - 0,6 for asphalt and 0,75 for soil.
The following formula is used to calculate surface capacity (A) during soil and asphalt compaction:

The corresponding volume capacity for soils is:
Asphalt compaction is measured in tons per hour and is calculated by the following formula:
Here, is the asphalt mix density in tons/m
. (Average value for is 2,3 tons/m
As drum width is a non-variable for a given roller, the capacity can only be affected by the number
of passes, roller speed and lift thickness. For plate compactors or tampers, simply use the bottom
plate or shoe width instead of drum width.
To recalculate the speed from m/s to km/h, use the following formula:
A= m
c x W x v x 1000
v (km/h)=
60 x v (m/s)
Compaction capacity for compaction equipment
c x W x v x H x 1000 x
c x W x v x H x 1000
out on all surfaces and varying weight load
If the asphalt paver is to work on unbound
materials, tracks are better than wheels as
they provide greater traction. A wheeled
asphalt paver is faster and easier to
transport than a tracked one and is often
preferred for work on hard surfaces.
Working width
On wide working widths, traction is
important owing to the large forces acting
on the screed. In general, crawlers provide
better traction than wheels.
Assuming that the asphalt paver
is working under normal conditions,
machines with two drive wheels can
be used for widths up to about 6-7 m,
machines with four-drive wheels for
widths up to eight meters (depending
on screed weight) and tracked machines
for all widths. Above eight meters, only
tracked pavers are recommended.
The paving width is limited for wheeled asphalt
pavers. Pavers with a single drive axle can pave
widths of up to 6-7 m, whereas in models with
double drive axle widths increase to 8 m.
What to look for in asphalt paving equipment
Selecting the right asphalt paver is the cornerstone of a successful paving operation. The choice is primarily
based on parameters such as working width, surface conditions, required
manoeuvrability, type of material to be paved, etc. The overall quality of
the asphalt paver and its performance are equally important. The design
and effectiveness of the major assemblies and systemsfor example: the
screed, the material distribution and drive systemsshould be carefully
evaluated. That is because these will ultimately determine the asphalt
pavers capabilities and productivity. The following section provides a
basic guide to what to look for when choosing paving equipment.
Tracked asphalt pavers are used for laying large
widths, up to 16 m or more.
Paved material
The type of material also has an effect on
traction. While bituminous materials at
high temperatures have a comparatively
high fow-ability, cold asphalt mixes and
stabilised or unbound gravel bases have a
higher internal resistance to movement and
will thus require greater traction.
Screed type
As heavy screeds require more traction
than light screeds, the screed type (tele-
scopic, fxed, tamper, vibration, etc.)
should be selected prior to choosing the
tractor unit.
Vital Data
Shipping weight [kg]
Overall width [mm]
Overall length [mm]
Overall height [mm]
Travelling speed [km/h]
Low-bed trailers are needed to move tracked
asphalt pavers between job sites, whereas
wheeled asphalt pavers can travel under their
own power, provided that the site is within
reasonable distance and that they have
relatively high transportation speeds.
Tractor unit
Vital Data
Tracked Asphalt Pavers
Operating weight [kg]
Weight tractor [kg]
Weight screed [kg]
Track dimensions (length x width) [mm]
Wheeled Asphalt Pavers
Operating weight [kg]
Weight tractor [kg]
Weight screed [kg]
Number of drive wheels
Tyre sizes
An asphalt paver must be able to cope with
the conditions it is likely to encounter on
site. Its ability to do so will largely depend
on whether the tractor has crawler tracks or
pneumatic rubber tyre wheels. The choice
between these two rests on a number of
Tracked asphalt pavers
Asphalt pavers should have separate track
drives for good manoeuvrability and
electronic synchronising systems to enable
the machine to run straight. (The need will
depend on track length.)
Wheeled asphalt pavers
Two front axles on a common centre bearing
increase the self-levelling properties of the
tractor unit. Good traction relies on a
well proportioned weight distribution and
ground pressure. Additional front-wheel
drive can increase the traction by up to
25%. Anti-Spin Control avoids spinning
If a trailer transporter is not required costs
can be kept down.
Wheeled asphalt pavers reach speeds of
around 20 km/h, whereas most tracked
machines travel at signifcantly lower
speeds. This means that wheeled asphalt
pavers are faster around the site, and can
move quickly from one end of the mat to
the other to start laying again.
A wheeled paver moves easily from site to site
on public roads.
Vital data
Rated effect [kW] [hp] at ...... [rpm]
Fuel tank capacity [litres]
Cooling system [water/air]
As with any piece of construction machi-
nery, the engine should provide power
with economy. It should be a recognised
brand so spare parts are easy and fast to
High tonnage work requires an engine
big enough to withstand the pressures
of long hours of paving. Air-cooled
engines may require less maintenance of
their cooling systems than water-cooled
engines. However, water-cooled engines
are less noisy owing to their water jacket.
Furthermore, they meet environmental
requirements for low emission engines
Material Distribution System
Vital data
Hopper capacity [tons]
Number of conveyors
Auger diameter [mm]
Flow-through capacity [t/h]
Material ow
A smooth, uninterrupted material fow
through the asphalt paver is a prerequisite to
effective paving. The material distribution
system must provide a constant supply
from the truck to the screed. Three major
assemblies need to be considered: hopper,
conveyor system and auger system.
The size of the hopper is important. Large
hoppers can accept large quantities of
mix, helping to prolong the cool-off time
of the mix. In addition, a large hopper
enables the asphalt paver to continue to
work while the feeder trucks are being
The hopper should be carefully designed
to allow an easy fow of material down to
the conveyors. Cold corners must be
avoided since the cold lumps of asphalt
may destroy the asphalt mat if they leave
the hopper and enter the conveyor system.
The sides must fold upward and inward
to help the exchange of material in the
hopper. Independently folding sides must
permit paving in restricted areas, along
walls, etc.
The purpose of the conveyors (bar
feeders) is to transfer the mix from the
hopper to the rear of the machine ahead
of the screed.
An asphalt paver has one or two
conveyors depending on its size. Large
asphalt pavers working at high lay-down
rates require two conveyors.
The speed and size of the conveyors as
well as the cross section of the channel
govern the capacity of an asphalt paver.
The fow-through capacity is defned
as the maximum quantity of material
transferred from the hopper to the rear
of the asphalt paver within a given time.
A common measurement for this fgure
is the lay-down rate expressed in tons per
In modern material feed systems, the two
conveyors work independently of each
other. They also work independently of
the auger system. There is therefore a
separate drive system for each conveyor.
As the conveying speed is monitored and
proportionally controlled by an automated
system, discharge gates (fow gates) are not
Auger system
The auger system (spiral screw con-veyor)
distributes the mix evenly and continuously
in front of the screed. There are essentially
two types of auger system: the conventio-
nal type driven by a central gear unit and a
more sophisticated type which has separate
drive units at the outer ends of the auger.
Both systems have advantages.
The material supply
system consists of three
major units: the hopper,
conveyors and auger.
The centrally-driven auger is easier to
maintain. In the end-driven auger, there is
no obstacle to the free fow of material
as the drives are placed at the end. Both
systems give good results.
The speed of the auger should be
able to be proportionally controlled and
automatically adjusted by material limit
switches or touch-free ultrasonic sensors,
which are increasingly used for auger
speed control.
The capacity of the auger is governed
by its diameter, the pitch of the fights and
its maximum rpm.
The auger system should be easy to raise
and lower to allow for optimum material
fow for different layer thickness.
Correct height is a precondition of
constant and stable screed position when
it comes to evenness and height level. The
lowest point of the auger should be at a
distance above the screed plate equal to
approximately fve times the maximum
particle size.
Adjustment should be quick and simple.
Ratchets or hydraulic systems are both
Capacity is ultimately a question of the supply
of asphalt to the asphalt paver. A continuous
supply of material means that large amounts
of material can be laid down.
The capacity of an asphalt paver is
determined by the paving width, the layer
thickness and the average speed of the
asphalt paver.
Vital data
Screed type
- Tamping
- Vibrating
- Tamping and vibrating
- Fixed/Telescopic
Screed weight [tons]
Heating system
The screed is the most important part of the
paving machine. It is, in effect, the main tool
of the asphalt paver.
Major quality aspects in a screed are rigidity and
high quality wear parts, for example, tampers (1),
bottom plate (2) and deector/strike-off plate
Wear parts
All components that come into contact
with the mix during the laying process
are subject to wear and should therefore
be made of high grade materials. The
bottom plates and the tamper assembly,
the conveyor chains and bars as well as
the auger fights are fast wearing as they
are constantly exposed to the material. The
speed with which they wear out depends
on the quality of the steel and, of course,
the type and amounts of material passing
through the asphalt paver.
Heating systems
There are three principal heating systems
for screeds: diesel burners, gas burners
and electrical heaters.
Gas is cleaner than diesel and requires
less sophisticated technology. Gas systems
should incorporate a fail-safe device
to protect the crew against the risk of
Electrical heating systems require an
extra generator, which entails an extra
cost. However, electrical heating is clean
and nearly as fast as other heating systems.
It is also easy to thermostatically control
the temperature.
The choice of system may ultimately
rest on the supply of fuel. Gas is often
not readily available, whereas there will
invariably be a supply of diesel to run the
asphalt paver.
The temperature settings are infnitely
variable. However, to prevent the risk
of overheating, the screed heater should
be thermostatically controlled within a
limited range.
Fixed screeds
As their name implies, fxed screeds
cannot be hydraulically extended; they
require bolt-on extension boxes for widths
wider than the basic one. The attaching
and aligning of the extensions takes time.
However, a fxed screed is normally set up
for one working width and kept there. If
you work on a wide variety of widths, a
telescopic screed is a better choice.
The auger should be able to convey the material in different directions to match any conditions the asphalt
paver may encounter while working.
Telescopic screeds
Telescopic screeds allow the operator to change the paving width at
the fick of a switch during the laying process, thus avoiding time-
consuming boxing out. Today, the majority of asphalt pavers are
equipped with telescopic screeds.
The extended screeds must be rigid enough to ensure correct
levels over the entire paving width. Wide-width paving (up to 9,0 m)
requires an effective guide and support system for the hydraulically
operated extensions.
The adjustment to align the telescopic extensions with the main
screed should be quick and simple, require no special tools and
should be able to be performed while laying.
Paving performance
Vital data
a) Tamping screed
Screed weight [kg]
Contact area of tamping elements [cm x cm]
Amplitude (tamper stroke) [mm]
Frequency [Hz] [vpm]
b) Vibrating screed
Screed weight [kg]
Contact area of bottom plate [cm x cm]
Amplitude [mm]
Frequency [Hz] [vpm]
A tamper working at high amplitude combined with a vibrating screed plate.
Screeds can be equipped with a tamping mechanism, a vibratory
system or a combination of the two. The paving performance of a
screed is primarily determined by:
Screed weight (large infuence on pre-compaction)
Paving speed compared to contact area of tamping elements
Frequency and amplitude
of tamping and/or vibrating elements
The state of the tamping elements (tamper contour and
The state of the screed plate
Screed weight and contact area
Harsh mixes and stabilised or unbound gravel require relatively
heavy screeds to obtain the desired pre-compaction and a uniform,
even surface. Conversely, relatively light screeds should be used on
unstable, tender asphalt mixes where there is a risk of the screed
sinking into the mat.
Paving speed
The paving speed has an infuence on the paver pre-compaction.
The higher the speed, the lower the density achieved.
The narrow contact area of tampers precludes fast paving speeds.
As the speed of the asphalt paver increases, the number of tamper
impacts per unit area decreases, and consequently the material
feeding effect of the tamper also decreases. If the speed is too high
compared with the tamper activity, it may result in an uneven surface
with poor texture. The actual speed limit depends on the width of
the tampers and the frequency at which they operate (compare with
impact spacing, page 56).
Vibrating screeds with a large contact area allow the fastest paving
speeds. However, when using new types of higher compacting
screeds, speeds have to be kept down to 2-4 m/min to achieve a
high compaction effect.
Frequency and amplitude
Tamping units work with an inclined or straight vertical stroke
(double amplitude) of 4-6 mm and an operating frequency in the
range 1400-1600 rpm. Screed vibrations have a lower amplitude but
work with a higher frequency.
State of tampers and vibrating elements
New tampers or vibratory mechanisms together with new screed
plates will naturally produce the best overall pre-compaction and
surface evenness. For instance, the material feed will vary over the
working width and might result in drag marks or an open textured
mat if the tamper blades are worn.
The rigidity of the extended screed is crucial to paving results. Without a
robust telescopic system the screed sags, especially at the ends
Screed levelling systems
Level control
The screed side arms are attached to hydraulic levelling cylinders
which control the level of the screed. The cylinders can be extended
or retracted at the fick of a switch. The tow-point position
determines the layer thickness.
Screed stop system
The screed should always be able to be locked in position to stop it
sinking into the mat when the asphalt paver stops. Modern machines
have a hydraulic screed-stop system. This automatically locks
the screed lift rams when the asphalt paver stops during a paving
operation. When the asphalt paver restarts, it automatically releases
the rams.
Screed unload system
A screed unload system should be provided to prevent the screed
from sinking when laying extremely soft materials. The system
transfers part of the screeds weight via the screeds lift rams to
the tractor unit. The rams give the screed additional support and
allow it to maintain the desired level.
Screed load system
A screed load system can also be useful in some cases. The system
transfers part of the weight of the tractor unit via the screed lift
rams to the screed. This provides additional load to the screed and
enables it to maintain the desired level after a long stoppage. Loss
of mat temperature would otherwise decrease the compactability
of the mix and raise the screed. The result would be an un-even
asphalt surface.
Integrated tack coating
An asphalt paver with an integrated bitumen tank can provide tack
coating and asphalt paving in one step. These types of asphalt pavers
are suitable for road maintenance applications on thin layers (1,5
times the maximum stone size) for wearing courses.
Automatic levelling systems
Precision laying requires modern electronic systems that
automatically control the material thickness. There are two main
systems: 1) the grade controller, which helps to maintain laying
thickness (i.e. the surface evenness) and 2) the slope controller,
which checks the cross-slope of a layer.
Electronic grade controller
A grade controller, working off a reference surface, automatically
maintains the height of the screed and the layer thickness of the
material. For best results the reference surface needs to be as level
as possible. Touch-free ultrasonic sensors that scan the reference
surface are the most common type.
Where there is a level surface, such as a kerbstone, a short control
ski (approximately 30 cm) can be used to sense the variations in
height. Short skis are also used as a joint matcher when laying a new
lane parallel to the one that is already in place.
Long control skis (between 3-9 m) are used when the existing
surface is not fully even. They ride over bumps and dips, averaging
out the longitudinal errors of the surface being paved. That is why
they are also known as averaging beams.
The grade controller can also work off string lines. These are
rigged up when no accurate surface is available to work off, such as
on new road constructions.
Laser systems may be used to control the screed level in open
areas, such as parking lots, playgrounds or runways.
Electronic slope controller
The slope controller maintains the specifed left and right-hand
cross-slope of the mat during the laying procedure. It detects any
deviation of the screed from a pre-set cross-slope and generates the
necessary signals to restore the original setting.
The slope controller works off the screed itself and is attached
by a mechanical link system connected to the left and right side of
the screed.
Computerised levelling systems
Computerised levelling systems are also available under various
brand names. Their use requires qualifed people on the paving
team and good understanding between job-site management and
the surveyor personnel. Computerised systems use the ground
surface as the reference for the grade sensor. The layer thickness
is calculated from specifed height reference points on the ground
and the planned top surface of the wearing course. Before starting,
agreement has to be reached where the height points have to be
surveyed relative to the centre of the road. String line systems are used in conjunction with a grade controller to ensure the longitu-
dinal evenness of the mat where there is no other appropriate surface to work off.
An electronic slope controller mounted on a beam in front of the driver allows
the screed operator to set and maintain the desired inclination percentage, for
example, to achieve a crown prole on wide sections (left) or super-elevated
curves (right).
Global positioning systems
Global positioning systems (GPS) have
great potential in paving operations. GPS
can be used to control the direction of an
asphalt paver at work and assist ground
levelling control systems. They can assist
in establishing documentable quality
assurance systems, too.
General Features
Rails should be provided in all exposed
areas to ensure that an operator cannot fall
off. Safety guards should also be provided
over the auger to stop anything from falling
down into the system. The screed covers
and platform should have good anti-skid
protection. Fail-safe heating systems will
prevent the risk of explosion and injury
to the crew.
On wheeled asphalt pavers, the main
hydrostatic braking system must be backed
up by a hand brake and an emergency foot
Operator comfort
Paving can be arduous work. The more
comfortable and relaxed the operator, the
better he will do his job and the better the
asphalt paver will perform.
All controls must be within easy reach.
The control console should slide easily
across the platform to give the operator
good all-round visibility. A clear view of the
supply truck, augers and screed is essential
to effective paving.
Automatic feed control takes pressure
off the operator and allows him to
concentrate on steering and pushing the
truck. It also provides for trouble-free
truck changes. However, he must be able
to switch to manual control, if required.
Seats should be comfortable and
easily adjusted to the height and build
of the operator. A cab may be ftted to
the paver. To avoid subjecting the driver
to unnecessary contact with the asphalt
fumes, air-cleaning flters must be ftted
to the cab ventilation system. And, of
course, since the cab is ftted with a lot of
windows, there will most likely be a need
for an air-conditioning system to control
the temperature.
The driver platform and other exposed areas must be adequately protected by rails.
Protective shields over the full width of the augers are required to prevent anything
from getting dragged into the feed system.
Modern command units with Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) and PLC control provide
real-time status control, fail-safe protection and less downtime.
Fold-up covers and removable side plates mean easy maintenance and decreased downtime.
The availability of an asphalt paver is
a function of the integral quality of the
machine. A high integral quality results
from the wear resistance of the screed pla-
te, auger and conveyor chains, the ability
of the engine and hydraulics to withstand
heavy tonnage as well as the proximity of
good service back-up and spare parts. Av-
ailability is enhanced if the manufacturer
uses well-known, components throughout
the asphalt paver. That is because easier
access to replacement parts heightens av-
Versatility depends on the type of screed
used and the ability of the asphalt paver to
cope with different materials. A telescopic
screed, for example, is far more versatile
than a fxed screed as it can pave around
A machine that can lay sub-base material
one day and a smooth wearing course the
next, and that can pave on a four-metre
width on one site and a seven-metre one on
another, will always be more benefcial.
Maintenance and Service
Daily maintenance is essential to keep a
asphalt paver up and working. Greasing,
checking of hydraulic fuid and oil levels as
well as spraying with a cleaning agent* must
all be as easy as possible to help ensure that
the work is done. In this respect central
lubrication systems, easily removable side
panels and deck plates, easy access to oil
drains and clearly visible level gauges are a
great help.
*Diesel is not recommended as a cleaning agent.
It is toxic and can contaminate water courses.
It is forbidden in many countries for cleaning
purposes, especially where the ground surface is
Bild p en Lap -Top
med en skrmbild p
ex. CompBase
(Bilden tagen i milj)
Ensuring the optimum choice of equipment
The conditions for compaction differ greatly from project to project
and from job to job; there is no universal machine for all projects.
Selecting a machine on hardware specifcations alone can have dire
consequences. It may even result in costly penalties if the rollers
constantly fails to compact the material to specifcations.
It should be noted that on bound materials such as asphalt, a 1%
increase in density may even result in as much as 10 to 15% increase
in the service-life of the asphalt surfacing. On unbound materials,
the load-bearing properties may increase by as much as 10% with a
1% increase in density.
Selecting the
correct equipment for the project
or job requires a combination of full-scale tes-
ting, knowledge of what actually happens in the material when
it is subjected to different methods of compaction and paving and
knowledge of the local materials and requirements.
Total Compaction
& Paving Technology
This section covers the basic information required to help make
the correct choice of equipment for the job or project in hand.
This choice enables specications to be reached in the most
cost-effective and operationally efcient manner.
Soil Compactability
Rock ll
Rock fll comprises fractions of material ranging from fnes up to
1 - 1,5 metre boulders. These large fractions call for the use of heavy-
duty machines, not simply to provide the necessary effort to achieve
suffcient compaction but also to enable the machines to withstand
the signifcant stresses caused by the rock fll.
Compaction is normally carried out by heavy vibratory rollers on
thick layers. The maximum particle-size should not exceed two thirds
of the layer thickness.
Sand and gravel
Since sand and gravel are free-drai-
ning materials, they are not very
sensitive to water content during
compaction. It is normally pos-
sible to achieve good results on
materials ranging from comple-
tely dry to fully saturated. If the
amount of fnes exceeds 5- 10%,
the water content becomes crucial
and compaction should be carried
out at or near the optimum.
The most common way to com-
pact these materials is to use vi-
bratory equipment. These machi-
nes achieve good results on thick
layers and, consequently, can be
expected to complete a job in an
effective and economical way.
Silt is fne-grained soils that are very sensitive to water content during
compaction. If the water content is too high, silt may transform into
a more or less fuid state when vibrated.
The cohesion in silt and silty sand is fairly low, which at suitable
water content enables compaction in thick layers provided a piece of
equipment with a suffcient depth effect, such as a vibratory roller
is used.
The extremely fne particles of clay are very sensitive to water
content. If the water content is too low, the clay becomes extre-
mely hard; if the water content is too high, the material becomes
extremely plastic. Adjusting the natural water content of clay out
in the feld is diffcult. In a hot climate, disc harrows or pulvimixers
are used to aerate and dry the soil. Lime stabilisation is another way
to dry the soil and increase the load bearing properties. The water
content can be increased by watering the clay but it may take months
or even years to reach the desired water content.
Clay has a high internal cohesive strength. Compaction normally
requires the use of vibratory padfoot water as only they can trans-
mit the high shear forces needed for compaction. Normally, layer
thickness can range from 25 to 40 cm. High speed tamping rollers
are also useful since they spread, level and compact the clay simul-
taneously. In this case, however, layer thickness has to be reduced
to about 20 cm.
Subbase and base courses
Subbase materials are generally granular, although a signifcant
amount of fnes might be present. If the fnes content is high, the
internal cohesive forces are larger and, consequently, there is a need
for heavier compaction equipment. Subbases with a low content
of fnes are free-draining, and on these types of material medium
heavy machines will likely complete the job most satisfactorily. The
base course distributes the loads subjected to the road. This means
that the demands for compaction are high, up to 98-100% Modifed
Proctor. Normally medium-heavy vibratory single drum and tandem
rollers are suitable to compact these materials since layer thickness
in general will not exceed 25 cm.
When exceptionally high strength is required, cement or bitumen
stabilised materials are selected. Compaction of these materials is
normally carried out by the same types of machines as for base
course compaction.
The most suitable amplitude setting depends on the thickness of the
layer to be compacted. As the layers get thicker there is an increased
need for high amplitude to reach suffcient density at the bottom of
the layer. At the end of the compaction work, when the material is
more compacted, a lower amplitude is more suitable to prevent the
machine bouncing and the surface loosening.
To ensure an adequate compaction result, the vibratory rolling
speed should be within the 3-6 km/h range. For a plate compactor
the speed range is 18-30 m/min. The same number of passes will
be needed irrespective of speed, provided that the machines are
operated within the above mentioned limits. A static tamping roller
may not achieve suffcient compaction if the speed drops below 10
When it comes to soil compaction, frequency settings are not cri-
tical, provided that they are within the range 25-50 Hz (1500-3000
vpm), the compaction result is largely the same. Below this range
there is a risk of hitting a resonance frequency which may damage
the machine and expose the operator to vibrations which may put
his or hers health at risk.
Static linear load
The compaction effect of a vibratory roller depends largely on the
static linear load. (defned as the drum module divided by the drum
width). If you noticeably increase the static linear load (with all other
parameters unchanged) the increase in pressure in the material is
almost proportional to the increase in weight.
Equipment parameters that inuence soil compaction
Static linear load
Asphalt - mix compactability
Asphalt mixes have many variations and even two mixes with the
same gradation and bitumen content can vary so much that it is not
possible to relate to these parameters alone to recommend suita-
ble equipment. For example, some crushed aggregate will behave
as natural smooth stones when subjected to compaction, or a mix
classifed as harsh might react as a tender mix when compacted.
The most important parameters affecting the asphalt mix behaviour
during compaction are listed below.
Gradation of aggregate
Whether the mix is open or dense graded, the gradation of the ag-
gregate affects the compactability. A dense-graded mix requires less
compaction effort then an open-graded one.
Maximum particle size (D
Aggregate shapes
Binder content
The binder acts as a lubricant as long as the mix is hot enough,
helping the aggregate to relocate more easily. Therefore, the higher
the binder content, the easier the mix is to compact (up to a certain
limit) .
Binder type
The penetration value of the binder is crucial to how the mix beha-
ves at different temperatures. A high penetration value means that
the binder is comparatively soft even at low temperatures (75-80
C) and therefore still compactable. A binder with a low penetration
value reaches its minimum compaction temperature at a higher tem-
perature and cannot be compacted below 90-95 C.
Layer thickness
The importance of layer thickness when selecting the correct am-
plitude settings for the machine has already been mentioned. The
thickness of the asphalt mat also has a signifcant impact on the coo-
ling time. A thick layer maintains its temperature considerably longer
than a thin one. A difference of 10 mm in layer thickness affects the
cooling time as much as 3-5 minutes (on layer thickness of 40-50
mm). Details are found in the software PaveComp from IHCC.
The effect of temperature on asphalt mixes is crucial. It is especially
important to bear in mind the damage that may be done to the as-
phalt if the compaction process is not interrupted when the refusal
temperature is reached. Some mixes are very soft when they are too
warm and therefore need time to cool off and stabilise before the
compaction process can be started. This can be especially important
on thicker layers to avoid transversal movement and cracking. To be
able to compare the compactibility of asphalt mixes, they can be
divided into fve groups:
Very soft
Very hard
Elongated (left) and at (right) particles are unsuitable as aggregate due to
the risk of breaking.
The maximum particle size (in relation to layer thickness) is an impor-
tant parameter to consider when selecting amplitude settings. In general,
the Dmax should be less then one third of the layer thickness, and the
layer thickness should be at least 50 mm when working at high amplitu-
des, which minimises the risk of crushing the aggregate.
Aggregate shape
Flat and elongated particles are vulnerable to breaking and also increase
the need for compaction effort. When it comes to strength and compac-
tability, cuboid particles are the most suitable for asphalt mixes.
suitable for asphalt mixes.
0.074 0.125 0.5 1.0 2 4 5.6 8 11.3 16 20 25 32 50
Equipment parameters that
inuence asphalt compaction
Static Rollers
The most important parameter that infuences the compaction effort
of a static roller is the static linear load. Other factors include drum
diameter, drum width and whether the roller has a rigid or articulated
frame. The frame type affects the drum overlap during turns.
Pneumatic tyred rollers (PTR)
Important parameters are tyre load, tyre overlap and tyre pressure.
Although the compaction effort of a PTR is limited, it has excellent
surface sealing properties.
Vibratory rollers
Static linear load
The weight of the drum module of the roller divided by the drum
width is the static linear load. This parameter affects the compaction
result signifcantly.
Compaction of thick layers requires a high amplitude setting to en-
sure suffcient depth effect.
On a thin layer, reduce the amplitude and increase the frequency to
compensate for the loss of compaction effort.
W 61
Drum diameter (Dd)
The drum diameter affects the behaviour of the roller on softer
mixes. If the drum is too small you may get transversal cracks and
transversal displacement of the mix.
Machine selection
Equipment should be selected so that it achieves the required den-
sity in no more than eight vibratory passes on the actual layer thic-
kness. Although in some cases it is possible to obtain a higher den-
sity with more passes, this will often result in poor economy and
possible damage to the machine. It is recommended that two fnal
static passes are made to ensure full surface compaction.
Over compaction, owing to oversized machines or an excessive
number of passes and unsuitable amplitude settings, will crush the
material and eventually damage the compaction equipment.
Finally, operator skills and experience, local knowledge, and refe-
rences from previous jobs should play a large part in selecting the
right equipment.
Static roller
Vibratory roller
When a roller goes into bouncing, the drum remains in the air during more
than one revolution of the eccentric element. It then hits the surface with
a high force which is detrimental to both the machine and the compacted
material which may, at worst, be crushed.
Conversion tables
1 0,01
10 1000
1 10
m ft mm in km/h m/s kg oz N kp MPa kg/cm
1 0,01
10 1000
1 10
kPa mm Hg MPa psi MPa kp/mm
Nm kpm kW hk F C
Additives 32,34,36
Accelerometer 30
Aggregate 31,33,34,35,36,37,38,43,49,50,56,83
Air void content 33,36,52
Air on the run 66
Airfeld 8,10,23,30
Alluvial soil 13
Ambient temperature 48
Amplitude 49,50,55,56,68,69,70,71,76,83,84
Angle of attack 39,50
Apparent cohesion 15,19,23
Arid 23
Articulated steering 46,47,62,64
Asphalt base 8,9,11,33,61
Asphalt 33
Asphalt compaction 5,26,45,
Asphalt mix design 32,36
Asphalt plant 36,38,41,43,49
Asphalt paving 31-52, 73,74,88,89
Asphalt surface 40,48,53,57,
Auger 39,41,43,74,75,78
Automatic vibration control 56
Base course 9,11,24,26,30,31,40,81
Base, stabilized
Bearing capacity 8,9,10,12,12,23,24,29,30
Binder 9,11,31,33,34,35,36,37,38,83
Binder course 9,11,31
Bio-degradeable Oil 69
Bitumen 34,77,81,83
Bitumen content 83
Bituminous base 48-53
Bitumen Test Data Chart (BTDC) 35
Boulders 13,14,22
Bouncing 56,82,84
Bridge abutments 27,72
California bearing ratio test (CBR) 29
Canals 8,10,25
Capacity, asphalt mixing 32
Capacity, concrete 37
Capacity, rollers 32,56-59,64
Capacity, pavers 39,57,73,74,76,77,78
Capacity, calculations 13
Capillary force 15
Centrifugal force 57,68
Choice of asphalt compactor 51
Clay 13-16,20,23,24,29,55,81
Coarse-grained soils 13,15,16,
Cobbles 13,14,22
Cohesion 15,19,23,81
Cohesive soils 15,19,21,24,26,27,70
Cold climate 8
Cold Mix Asphalt (CMA) 33,35
Combi roller 47
Committee for European Construction
Equipment (CECE) 54,55,68
Compaction capacity 58,72
Compaction control 30
Compaction effect 20,21,24,
Compaction effort 15,16,18,21,24,36,37,45,
Compaction equipment, soil 13,18,20
Compaction equipment, asphalt 7,45,46
Compaction meter 29,30
Compaction properties 7,22,23,24
Compaction systems in screeds 40
Compaction tests 14,16,23
Confned areas 26,71
Control ski 39,77
Conveyors 39,74
Cooling pattern 48
Cooling system, pavers 74
Cooling time 83
Core (dam) 11
Core drilling 52
Cracks 34,36,50,57,63,84
Cross-slope 8,39,40,77
Crushed aggregate 36,37,50,83
Crushed rock 22,31
Culverts 27
Cutback 33,34,38
Degree of compaction 24,26,49,51,56
Dense graded material 33,83
Density 8,13,14,15,16,19,22,23,29,30,36
Density, dry 16
Disc harrow 81
Double-drum walk behind roller 26,45,46
Drum arc and pressure 63
Drum design 57,64,71
Drum diameter 45,50,55,57,58,62,63
Drum drive 58
Drum overlap 63,84
Drum module weight 55,58
Drum shell thickness 57
Drum width 49,57,62,72,84
Dry compaction 23
Duplex roller, see Double-drum
walk behind roller 70
Durability 8,12,26,31,32,35,69
Earth dam 11,27
Eccentric weight 68
Effciency 72
Embankment 8,9,10,11,26,27,30,31
Emulsion 33,34,38
End result specifcation 28,52
Evenness 32,38,39,40,41,42,43,52,53,75,76,77,89
Falling-weight test 29
Field density 52
Filler 31,33,34,36,38,69,71
Fills under slabs 26
Fine-grained soils 14,23,29,30,81
Fines 15,22,23,24,34,35,52,54,62,69,81
Finish rolling 45,48,51,58
Fixed screed 40,75,79
Flowability 43
Foundations 8,10,26,27,28,72
Frame 21,46,47,55,56,62,70,71,84
Frequency 20,21,40,49,50,55,56,57,68,69,70,71,76
Friction 9,15,19,23,28,31,32,33,37,40,45,50
Front drum 49,58,62,64
Frost 8,10,24
Frost resistance 10
Global Positioning System (GPS) 77
Gradation 13,22,24,33,35,36,38,83
Grade controller 39,43,77
Gradebility 58
Grain size distribution, see Gradiation
Grain size classifcation 15
Granular base 31
Gravel 13,14,15,16,23,24,35,68,70,73,76,81
Ground contact area 66
Ground contact pressure 65,66
Ground temperature 48
Gyratory 36,37
Harsh mix 36,45,50,51,76
Head of material 41
Hopper 38,39,74
Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) 33,48
Hydrometer 14
Hydrostatic drive 64,67,69,71
Impact Compaction 19,21,22,24
Impermeability 8
Internal friction 15,19,37,45,50
Joint compaction 49
Laboratory compaction tests 14,16
Lane 9,43,48,49,50,57,58,63,77
Layer thickness 20,22,23,24,25,28,39,40,
Road design 36,52
Road base material10,13,15,31,
see Base Course 24
Road section 32
Rock fll 7,8,11,18,20,22,24,
Roller compacter concrete
Rolling speed 48,49,55,56,82
Rolling pattern 48,49,62,64
Rolling procedure 7,48,49,52,57
Round aggregate 37
Runway 10,48,77
Rutting 32,35
Sand 5,13,14,15,16,21,22,23,24,26,29
Sand replacement method 29
Screed 5,39,40,41,42,43,73,74,75,76,77,78,79
Screedheater 75
Screed levelling systems 76
Screed stop system 42,76
Screed unload system 77
Sedimentation 13,14
Segregation 41,42,43
Semi-cohesive soil 26
Shear strength 23
Sheet pile wall 27
Shrinkage Limit 14
Sidewalk 26
Sieve test 13,14
Silt 13,14,15,16,23,24,81
Skid resistance 33
Slope compaction 25
Slope controller 39,42,77
Soil classifcation system 15
Soil Volume 24
Specifcations 5,7,10,20,22,23,24,25
Split rear drum 64
Slurry seal 34,35
Sprinkler system 26,59,64,67,68,69,71
Stability 8,22,32,33,34,35,36,37,39,66
Standard Proctor 16
Static compaction 18,19
Static linear load 20,21,45,49,55,58,62
Static load-bearing test
Static tamping roller 19,21,24,82
Static roller 24,45,51,55,62,63,84
Static tandem roller 19,47,62
Static three-wheel roller 19,21,46,49,64
Stone content 33,36,37,49,50
Stone size 22,36,37,40,41
Street 8,26,27,48,70
Subbase 8,9,11,20,24,26,81
Light vibratory roller 51
Lime 13,22,24,36,56,68,81
Lining 9,10,11
Liquid limit 14,24
Longitudinal cracks 50
Longitudinal evenness 77
Longitudinal joint 43,48,49
Longitudinal overlapping 49
Marshall test 52
Method specifcation 28,52
Minor jobs 26,27
Mix design 32,36
Modifed Proctor 16,81
Moisture content, see Water content
Nominal amplitude 55,56
Nuclear density gauge 29,49,52,53
Number of passes 19,22,28,30,55,56,72,82,84
Number of vibrating drums 55,56
Open graded 33,37,83
Operating weight 55,58,73
Operator comfort 60,64,68,69,72,78
Optimum water content 15,16,23
Origin of soils 12
Over compaction 69,84
Oxidation 36
Parking lot 70,77
Particle shape 12
Pavement 31,32,33,35,41,49,51,52
Paver 5,7,38,39,41,42,43,48,49,50,
Paving procedures 7
Paving speed 40,41,42,50,76
Paving width 40,41,49,57,73,75,76
Penetration depth 63,64
Penetration value 33,35,83
Performance Grade (PG) 35
Pick-up 51,59,67,69
Plastic Limit 14
Plasticity Index 14
Plate compactor, see Vibratory plate compactor
Pneumatic tyred roller 5,7,19,21,24,29,65
Porous asphalt 33,34
Proctor test 15,16
Proof rolling 29,65
Radioactive isotope 29
Railway embankment 8,10,30
Reference density 16
Remote control, plates 21,27,69,71
Repair work 26
Rippling 56
Subgrade 27
SuperPave 35
Surface capacity 58,72
Surface cracks 36,63
Surface evenness 8,9,40,41,42,43,52,76
Surface sealing 34,45,66,84
Surface treatment 33,34
Surface texture 40
Surfacings, see Asphalt surfacing
Surfacing, concrete
Tack coating 35,38,77
Tampers, see Vibratory tampers
Tamping and vibrating screed
Tamping screed 76
Technical data 54
Temperature, asphalt paving
Telescopic screed 40,75,76,79
Tender mix 36,43,50,51,56,83
Texture 13,32,39,40,41,48,52,76
Theoretical capacity 72
Total Applied Force (TAF) 57
Tracked Paver 39,73
Traction, light equipment 69,70,71
Traction, pavers 39,43,73
Traction, rollers 58,64,71
Traffc intensity 36
Transverse inclination 39
Tyre infation pressure 21,65
Uniformly graded soil 13,23
Unstable mix 43,48,63
Vibratory compaction 5,16,19,57
Vibrating screed 40,76
Vibratory force 56
Vibratory plate
compactor 20,26,27,45,47,51,68,69
Vibratory tandem roller 20,26,45,46,48,56,61
Vibratory tamper 68,70
Vibration 8,19,20,23,24,25,40,41,42,43,44,45,
Viscosity 34,35,36,37,48,50
Viscous resistance 37
Walk behind rollers 5,21,26,45,46,68,70
Water-balloon method 29
Water content 12,14,15,16,18,23,24,
Wearing course 9,11,31,33,35,38,77,79
Wearing resistance 8
Well graded soil 13
Wheeled Paver 74,39
Wheel load 21,65,66