tack tracking
Example of pavement with excessive tack tracking.

Tack tracking (also known as adhesive removal) can and will reduce the life of asphalt pavement by 70%. At Blacklidge, we are working to educate our customers and agencies on how to ensure the tack stays intact – on the road and not on equipment, public vehicles or the crew’s shoes! The following specification update will help engineers and agencies greatly increase the life and appearance of asphalt pavement projects.

Non-Tracking Tack Draft Sample Spec

1.0 Low-Tracking or Non-Tracking Requirements. Products accepted for use as low-tracking or non-tracking tack shall not stick to the tires, tracks or other parts of paving equipment or vehicles such that the surface to be overlaid becomes visible or void of tack prior to the placement of the asphaltic concrete pavement mixture. The tack material shall exhibit a low-tracking or non-tracking characteristic within 20 minutes of being applied to the roadway. Trucks and equipment should not be allowed on the tack’s surface until tack is dry and ready for traffic.Products accepted for use shall exhibit a laboratory “no-pick-up” time of 20 minutes or less per TM-87. The product shall bond the two pavements. Products accepted for use shall exhibit a laboratory bond strength greater than or equivalent to a standard SS-1h or CSS-1h tack material.

asphalt softening test
A simple softening point test with a minimum of 165 F and a penetration under 10 dmm will make the difference between tracking and premium non-tracking tack coats.

These testing parameters are key to receiving the highest performing tack on the market: Start with a minimum softening point of at least 165 F and a penetration of 12 or less, especially in the summer months. We refer to this high softening point specification as a high-modulus asphalt emulsion.

Additionally, we have worked with asphalt associations to require that no tack tracking be allowed on projects that are considered for paving awards. We also suggest that D.O.T.’s pay for non-tracking tack coats as a separate item and add it to an asphalt emulsion index. Since there is no patent protecting this technology anymore and many suppliers have a trackless tack in their product portfolio, we must work together and take the next steps to build an asphalt pavement that lasts longer.

With these specifications and incentives in place, the pavement will last its full expected lifespan. The road will be safer for the driving public because line stripes will not be covered up, slippery tack will not build up at adjacent intersections and job sites will stay clean.

Following these recommendations will also promote our industry as the best option when choosing a pavement type. Specifying non-tracking tack coats will help contractors bid using the right product and help keep paving crews happier because, at the end of the day, they won’t have tack all over them!

At Blacklidge, we are doing our part to better the world by providing environmentally friendly and innovative asphalt products, like UltraTack® and UltraFuse® non-tracking tack coats, to our industry. We welcome you to reach out if you’d like to partner with us on your next paving project.

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