Asphalt Reclamation, also known as Road Reclamation and Full Depth Reclamation (FDR), is a cost-effective method of pavement rehabilitation. During FDR the full thickness of the asphalt surface and a portion of the underlying base is uniformly pulverized and graded to serve as the base for a new road. Additives such as cement or asphalt emulsion are often incorporated to increase strength. The result is a homogenous layer with improved structural capacity.
When is Road Reclamation Necessary?
When roads start to degrade, it is common for potholes, ruts, and cracks to form. Sometimes the response is to fill the potholes and seal the cracks, or perhaps cover the entire surface with a thin overlay of asphalt. While those actions may appear to solve the cosmetic issues, they do not address the root cause of the cracks, ruts, and potholes: a failing or deficient base.
Unfortunately, no matter how many times that road is milled or treated with an overlay, the same issues will recur until the insufficient base is addressed and remedied. Time, money, and resources are wasted and the root cause —the insufficient base—remains.
Where Does Road Reclamation Occur?
When the current road surface has been degraded to the point that the underlying base is unable to support the road surface, Reclamation is necessary. Milling a road or filling cracks and potholes does nothing to improve the base.
What is the Reclamation Process? How Does it Work?
During Reclamation the full thickness of the existing asphalt pavement/road surface, as well as a portion of the base, is pulverized to a specific size, using a machine such as the SX-6 or SX-8. Then, a layer of a binding agent is added to the surface in a precise, customized ratio. The process yields an improved base layer with improved structural capacity that can support the new road surface.
What are the Benefits of Road Reclamation?
Road reclamation is efficient in terms of time, money, and natural resources.
Reclamation saves money - One solution to repairing a base is to grind the entire surface down to the base, gather that material and transport it to a dump or landfill. Next, new materials are hauled in and the road is recreated with new materials. This is very costly in terms of labor and resources. Reclamation eliminates these costs.
Reclamation saves time - As noted above, transporting material to a landfill, and then replacing it with new material is costly, but it is also extremely time-consuming. Since Reclamation reuses the materials, it increases efficiency.
Reclamation saves resources - Rather than source new materials, Reclamation uses the existing materials. This recycling is more beneficial to our environment, both in terms of reusing material and in terms of reduced fuel costs.
Reclamation creates more durable roads - The stronger base created during Reclamation creates a solid foundation for longer-lasting, more durable roads that don’t suffer from cracks, holes, or ruts. Better roads mean safer travels, less time in traffic, and reduced road construction costs.