When you’ve been in the tack business for as long as we have, you learn a few TACKtics. But, of course, no one has been in the trackless tack business for as long as Blacklidge, the Original Trackless Tack Coat Experts, so we thought we’d share five of our TACKtical steps to achieve the ultimate performance from UltraTack®.
#1: A Clean and Dry Road
A clean and dry road is good practice for any tack coat, especially UltraTack. If any dirt or dust is on the road, the tack will adhere to it and not the underlying surface which can cause an insufficient bond between the layers of the road, prompting slippage or delamination. In addition, tracking will occur if dirt or water is present during application, causing pickup and hindering the tack’s performance. Commodity products usually track regardless if there is dirt on the road or not, so when a non-tracking tack coat tracks, the dirty surface never receives the blame.
#2: Full Coverage Application
When applying a tack coat, the application should fully cover the surface. Full coverage at the correct rate is imperative. If a tack coat is too thick, it will take longer to break, but if a tack coat is too thin, full coverage cannot be achieved. Many times, to obtain a correct application rate and full coverage, we turn off select nozzles along the spray bar to allow more pressure to the open nozzles, which provides a more solid spray. At Blacklidge, we recommend using only one nozzle per foot to get full coverage at the desired rate while still meeting the 15 to 30-minute break time.
#3: Shooting at the Correct Temperature
We recommend that our customers shoot UltraTack at 170 degrees. This temperature makes the product less viscous and reduces the time it takes to break. Evaporation is partly how an emulsion breaks; the hotter the emulsion, the quicker this process will take place. However, there is a downfall to overheating. If the product becomes too hot, you can boil the water/emulsifier out of the tack, destroying the product.
#4: Clean Out
Clean out is one of the most critical steps. Performing a regular clean out ensures that your truck is ready for the next day. The key to a successful clean out is to ensure too much solvent isn’t introduced while cleaning the bars. An excess of solvent can soften the asphalt in the emulsion, causing UltraTack to become soft and sticky, which results in tracking from the job site. Another possible issue of added solvent is an unstable product. At Blacklidge, we recommend using a 20-ounce bottle to measure the amount of mixed solvent to clean the product. After measuring the mixture, we recommend sucking back the product using the 20-ounce bottle of mixed solvent to add 10 ounces of the mixture to each nozzle end. Following these simple steps lowers the chance of solvent mixing with the product.
#5: Shooting Product as Delivered
When the application rate is off, or a project is short gallons of tack, don’t dilute the product with water as a solution. UltraTack has been manufactured and distributed at a specific viscosity that will achieve the targeted application rate. Adding water changes the chemistry of the emulsion, resulting in sieve formation, advanced separation, and the water completely dispersing from the asphalt, all of which result in a rigorous cleanout and useless product.
Tack has come a long way, and it’s here to stay. Nothing binds the layers of an asphalt road together better than tack, and nothing outperforms UltraTack. Follow these TACKtical pointers, and you too could become a trackless tack expert with Blacklidge.