Resource: Asphalt & Concrete Alternative: Resin Pavement
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Title: Asphalt & Concrete Alternative: Resin Pavement
Resource type: Product
Topics: Buildings, Communities, Individual Choices, Land Use, Transportation, Water
Keywords: asphalt, paving, road, pavement
Audience: All
Region: Minnesota Statewide, Outside Minnesota
Summary: Paving alternatives for roads and trails that are cost-effective, non-polluting, renewably-based and less energy-intensive exist.
Content: Newly applied asphalt -- a mix of rock aggregate and non-renewable heavy (waste) hydrocarbons -- frequently contains measurable levels of many regulated volatile organic compounds and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Stormwater pollution from new asphalt pavement around bodies of water has been documented to violate pollution permits, and even after aging for a period of years hydrocarbon concentrations in stormwater can amount to 3%.

Soil Stabilization Products Company (SSPCO) of Merced, California, noted for product technologies (such as porous pavement) that minimize impact on natural environments and natural resources, has developed a bio-based binder that is an emulsion of half water and half pine resin and pitch, products produced along with other timber products from southern pines. Called Road Oyl, it was introduced in 1991 by SSPCO. Fairly conventional paving equipment (or small-scale equipment and hand labor) and practices are used to easily lay down a cold mixture of crushed stone of varying sizes and the liquid Road Oyl (6% - 9% by weight). After several days the pavement hardens by water evaporation and is slightly darker than the aggregate but maintains the same basic look.

In addition to the sustainable features noted above, other beneficial features of Road Oyl include:

* Installed cost normally somewhat more than hot-mix asphalt and less than concrete.

* Compressive strength and (Marshall Test) stability typically triple that of asphalt.

* Highly water-resistant; can withstand heavy wash and flooding.

* Not softened by contact with hydrocarbon solvents (ideal for use around fuel storage facilities).

* Mild, nondescript smell.

* Desirable look in natural settings.

* ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Key to success with Road Oyl is the proper size mix of aggregate particles (from ½" to #200 sieve; decomposed granite and crushed brick can be used, with sand or clayey sand).

At the web site for Environmental Business News (there is a charge to access the full article) is a 3-page review of Road Oyl from the November 1999 issue of that publication. It includes descriptions of a 7-year old horse trail in a wet area of California and problems due to a poor aggregate mix in Oberlin, Ohio. The web site has extensive test results and case studies from, for example, a trail in Wisconsin and streets outside Tucson, Arizona.

SSPCO has since developed what it considers to be an improved resin pavement product which it calls NaturalPAVE XL, which it states contains no petroleum ingredients and is appropriate for use in sensitive natural environments, including access to beach, estuary and riparian areas. See the web site below for more information about NaturalPAVE XL.

Organization: Soil Stabilization Products Company, Inc.
Address: P.O. Box 2779
Merced, CA 95344
800 number: (800) 523-9992
Suggested by: Paul Moss
Added: 10/19/00
Updated: 03/20/11