The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 148 [Completed (IDEA)]

Cleaning Mechanism to Remove Debris and Chemicals for Crack/Joint Sealing
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed
Fiscal Year: 2009

Debris and foreign materials left in a crack (resulting from sawing, routing, or pavement use) contaminate the sealing or filling material and reduce cohesion. Deicing chemical left in cracks during winter present an especially critical problem for early failure of sealed cracks. To avoid these contamination-related failures, cracks must be cleaned prior to being treated. This  project developed a low-cost and effective mechanical tool to prepare random cracks and joints for sealing (Figure 1).  The system incorporates two traditional crack cleaning methods in one device: (1) wire brushing and (2) air blasting. The device uses a pneumatically driven rotary wire brush to clean cracks of mid to large size debris and vegetation. Directly  behind the  rotary brush, variable  direction air  blasting  nozzles  on  the device are  used  to further expel  fine grained  particulate like  concrete dust,  fine sand,  and—most importantly—winter deicing  chemicals from  the  walls and  surfaces of the pavement cracks. The prototype was evaluated in the laboratory for mechanical durability, brush effectiveness, air blast effectiveness, ergonomics, and equipment adaptability. Following necessary improvements, the prototype was further tested in the field at two highway crack sealing sites in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Roads. The and device was also successfully demonstrated to the City of Omaha street maintenance group in Nebraska. A pavement repair equipment company, Crafco, Inc., has expressed interest in further development of the device and  in its commercialization. The NTIS number is PB2011-114172. The contractor's final report is available.

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