"Plus, if the compaction control monitor is reading at the level you need, then you can do the [verification] test," he continues. "You're not calling in unnecessarily for a compaction test when you don't know if you're done. Even on jobs that don't require a test, it's good to know that you're reaching full compaction."
Compaction I Equipment Productivity Plus Quality Control Available technology helps smooth the path to compaction specs. By Kim Berndtson T echnology designed to help you achieve your soil and asphalt compaction objectives has made tremendous headway in recent years, and is higher degree of rebound and a higher reading,” notes Dave Dennison, BOMAG Americas. This information can be used by an intelligent provides information needed to make the correct choices to most efficiently build a good base.” continuing to evolve at a relatively rapid pace. Its compaction roller — a roller equipped with a docu- Mapping out a ultimate goal is to quantify density on the run — mentation and feedback system — to automatically clearer picture i.e., identify density in real time under the roller. adjust parameters such as vibration direction. The GPS mapping systems are also becoming more While the technology isn’t quite there yet, there roller operator can also use the stiffness data to accepted on compactors. They can help “paint the are several options currently available that can help determine at what point to conduct traditional picture” by showing an operator’s work pattern in you quickly and effectively reach target densities. sonic and nuclear density tests and spot core tests. real time, plus can improve night-time operations “Currently this new technology needs to be where darkness may obscure the rolling pattern. Monitoring soil stiffness used in conjunction with existing density tests,” “GPS is another quality control tool,” says Soil compaction has essentially led the way with says Dennison. “We’re not at a point where it can Dennison. “It shows areas you’ve covered, and how onboard compaction monitoring. As early as the replace those tests. It’s another quality control many times you’ve covered them. Plus, it shows you 1980s, Europeans were using these systems to help tool contractors can use to reduce the cost of the areas you may have missed so you can get higher determine the effectiveness of the compaction pro- job by, in one way, reducing the number of core quality, more consistent compaction that should cess. Similar systems began appearing in the U.S. samples that may need to be taken.” result in more consistent density.” earlier this decade. “These systems provide operators with instant Take Caterpillar’s AccuGrade Compaction GPS At the heart of onboard compaction monitors feedback and information they wouldn’t otherwise Mapping and Measurement System, which ties in is an accelerometer that measures the response or have,” adds Jon Sjoblad, Caterpillar. “The technol- with the family of AccuGrade earthmoving tech- rebound of the drum in respect to the frame. This ogy allows operators to be more proactive, and it nologies and grade control systems, including the measurement allows a stiffness value to be dis- analysis software suite AccuGrade Office. It allows played and correlated to density. (It’s important to you to track jobs and monitor productivity to note that stiffness is not the same as density.) For ensure quality, as well as find hidden efficiencies on example, loose, lightly compacted soil or asphalt the job. will have a smaller response or rebound. “As you “These systems can improve quality through pro- make successive passes, you typically will get a cess control,” Sjoblad explains. “Previous to these systems, operators would rely more on their senses, then wait for verification. There’s downtime in this scenario. Also, only localized spots are tested, so you never really know if the whole job is compacted uni- formly. There can be areas where there is poor com- paction. But with this technology, you can see visual indications of compaction over every square foot. Systems like the BOP (BOMAG Operating “Uniformity is important in soil compaction,” he Panel) provide data that can be used to verify continues. “If you have localized areas that fail, you and document the compaction process, and have to go back and fix them. And remediation is potentially reduce testing costs. a lot more expensive if it is done after pavement is laid, compared to fixing problems while the ground is open. An onboard compaction monitoring sy
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