Company Background
PolyPavement Wear Surface and Surface Life
Maintenance and Repair
Freezing Weather Conditions
Freeze-Thaw Precautions
Wet Climate and Permanent Ground Moisture Conditions
Drainage Requirements
Soil Requirements
Strength Of The Treated Soil
Base and Sub Grade Requirements
Drying/Curing Time
PolyPavement Installers - Finding A Contractor
Application Precautions, Limitations and Enhancements

 

COMPANY BACKGROUND


We started PolyPavement as an independent company in 1996. PolyPavement’s Natural Soil Pavement technology was developed by ECO-Polymers in 1989. ECO-Polymers was established in 1982. ECO-Polymers is a privately owned polymer-soil technology development company. Currently, ECO-Polymers provides soil stabilization materials and application technology for roadway infrastructure construction in developing countries.

ECO-Polymers was the first and only company of its kind to develop soil stabilization and soil solidification technology suitable for creating an all-weather, abrasion-resistant wear-surface made of natural soil, utilizing high technology polymer binders, the physics of soil particle void fillers, and soil particle re-polarization chemistry. And for the first time in industrial history, the notion of converting ordinary dirt into rock-solid pavement became a reality. By making use of one or more aspects of the technology, an all-weather paved road and sub-structure capable of carrying any traffic load could be constructed in the poorest soil at a fraction of the cost of a conventional asphalt or concrete paved road. ECO-Polymers’ road construction technology has proven to be indispensable to developing countries.

As early as 1987 ECO-Polymers recognized the need for an easy-to-install, user-friendly, soil solidifying product that could be used by landscapers, contractors and do-it-yourself property owners to make natural soil pavement. This product would give the user the ability to convert the in-place soil into a mud-free, dust-free pavement with wear characteristics that rival asphalt and has the appearance of natural soil. By 1989 ECO-Polymers had developed a soil solidifier for the landscape market called ECO-CF Soil Binder. CF stands for Custom Formulated. It was a blend of high-tech water-based polymer emulsions with the ability to cross-link, coat and bind the tiniest soil particles tenaciously. It contained no soil particle void fillers. ECO-CF Soil Binder performed fantastically in traffic and non-traffic applications. In 1989 we established Evergreen Polymer Applications, a California-based contractor company that offered polymer-soil application materials and installation services. We offered Natural Soil Pavement as an end product.

After several years of installing ECO-CF Soil Binder and perfecting the field application processes, we began to realize that though the field-application methods were specific to ECO-CF Soil Binder, the work could be done quite readily by anyone who understood how to lay, grade and compact soil.

In 1991, shortly after ECO-CF Soil Binder was developed, the US Army Corps of Engineers solicited manufacturers of soil stabilization products and application technology to participate in a two-year laboratory and field study. The study was designed to identify all of the existing products that could be applied to soil easily (by troops) and best met the Corps’ performance criteria for traffic areas and non-traffic areas. Actually the Corps did a similar study in the early 1970’s. The first study determined that no products existed in the early 1970’s that met the Corps’ performance criteria. The second study looked at products that had been developed in the 20 years or so that had passed since the first study. Three hundred and fifteen products and methods were submitted to the Corps for the 1970’s study and thirty-five were submitted for the 1991 study. A substantial number of the submittals were water-based polymers.

ECO-Polymers submitted just one polymer product, ECO-CF Soil Binder and several spray-on application methods for the Corps’ study. Our submittal was called Dirt Glue and/or Sand Glue, a trade name that was used by one of ECO-Polymers’ licensed distributors. Dirt Glue / Sand Glue was to be applied by simply diluting it with water and spraying it onto the soil surface for traffic area applications and non-traffic area applications. The Corps tested all of the products under laboratory conditions first. Only the products that passed the laboratory tests qualified to be tested in the field. There were 7 of 35 products in the 1991 study that passed the laboratory tests and qualified for field-testing. This compares to 18 of the 315 products in the 1970’s study. Surprisingly, none of the polymer products passed the lab tests in the 1970’s study. And only one of the “soil stabilization” polymers passed the Corps’ laboratory criteria
in the 1991 study. The only polymer product that passed the laboratory tests was Dirt Glue / Sand Glue. None of the other polymer products qualified for the field-application portion of the study. Many of the polymers that failed to meet the Corps’ minimal performance criteria remain on the market today as “soil stabilization” or “dust control” polymers. One of those old products is actually registered now under the trade name DirtGlue. This product name could be confusing because it is not Dirt Glue; it is not ECO-CF Soil Binder; and it is not recommended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for soil applications.

The results of the field-application portion of the Corps’ study showed that ECO-CF (Dirt Glue) out-performed everything else. ECO-CF was the only product that utilized an easy-to-apply spray-on application method for traffic areas. ECO-CF was the only product that met or surpassed all of the Corps performance criteria for traffic area and non-traffic area applications. Only two of the non-polymer products passed any of the Corps’ performance criteria for traffic area applications and both of them had to be mixed into the soil 4 inches or more instead of spraying onto the soil surface. The results of the Corps’ study clearly established that ECO-CF Soil Binder was notably superior to any and all other “soil stabilization” polymers in existence as well as the non-polymer “soil stabilization” materials.

During the seven years that we completed soil stabilization and soil solidification projects as installation contractors, we developed the full gamut of application methods around the physical and chemical characteristics of ECO-CF Soil Binder. During that time, ECO-Polymers improved the formulation for ECO-CF Soil Binder. We changed the name of
the soil binder to PolyPavement. And in 1996 we started a new company with the same name. We no longer do installation projects. We offer PolyPavement Soil Solidifier and product-specific application technology to landscape architects, contractors and do-it-yourself property owners who want Natural Soil Pavement. We are now known as:

PolyPavement WEAR SURFACE AND SURFACE LIFE

Wear Surface: PolyPavement is a liquid soil solidifier. It is not merely a soil stabilizer. PolyPavement converts ordinary dirt into a rock-solid wear surface that rivals asphalt and concrete. Though a PolyPavement wear surface is not as strong as concrete, it is several times stronger than asphalt. In fact, a properly installed PolyPavement natural soil wear surface is tough enough to actually “burn rubber” when tires spin during fast starts by aggressively driven vehicles. This capability puts PolyPavement in a class of its own. Other water-based polymer soil stabilizers are primarily used for dust control. They cannot be used to make a permanent roadway wear surface.And the many soil stabilization polymers, enzymes and other materials that are used successfully in road construction, are only used to strengthen or stabilize the road base and/or the road sub-grade but they are not capable of producing a rock-solid roadway wear surface.

Surface Life: For the most part, it is impossible to predict how long a mix-in application of PolyPavement will last before maintenance is required. This is because the life of a PolyPavement surface depends on several factors other than time. The other factors are:
1. How the surface was treated with PolyPavement in the initial application.
2. The actual wear (abrasive action) the surface is subjected to as it is used.
3. The friability (lack of hardness) of the particles of the soil that is used.
4. The actual weather conditions the surface is subjected to.

When we are asked “how long will the PolyPavement surface last” we say “from 5 to 10 years with no maintenance under normal wear conditions.” This is a good general estimate based on our experience. If the surface is subject to extremes of the factors listed above, the surface will need a maintenance application of PolyPavement sooner than it would if not subjected to extreme conditions.

1. How the surface was treated with PolyPavement in the initial application is important. Normally we specify a “Toughening Coat” application of PolyPavement to give the surface additional resistance to abrasive wear. However, when the surface is given this treatment for extra strength, the appearance of the surface looks a little less like natural soil than when it does not receive the “Toughening Coat” treatment.

2. The actual wear (abrasion) the surface is subjected to as it is used is obviously very important. Abrasive action from foot traffic or rubber tires is cumulative. Ten thousand vehicles causes exactly twice the wear as five thousand vehicles. And one hundred thousand pedestrians causes exactly half the wear of two hundred thousand pedestrians.

3. The friability (lack of hardness) of the particles of the soil that is used to make the Natural Soil Pavement plays an important role in surface strength that can be easily overlooked. In relative terms, some soil particles are “hard” and others are “soft”. The harder the soil particles, the more resistant the pavement is to wear and tear. Generally speaking, “hard” soil particles are silica sand or crushed quarry rock. “Soft soil particles are limestone screenings or decomposed granite. Ordinary dirt can consist of various proportions of hard and soft soil particles. Decomposed granite is widely used for PolyPavement applications. Sometimes the rocks in decomposed granite and limestone screenings are highly friable and can be crumbled by hand. This “soft” rock can be successfully used for natural soil pavement, however it will not resist wear as well as pavement made using harder soil particles.

4. The actual weather conditions the surface is subjected to can be a factor if the weather is extreme. If a properly dried and cured PolyPavement surface happens to be subjected to continuous wet weather for sustained periods of time (two weeks or so), the surface will weaken. In the weakened state, the surface is less resistant to abrasion. Other weather factors, sun, snow, temperature extremes have little affect on the life of a PolyPavement surface.

Though many factors contribute to the life of a PolyPavement surface, it is reasonable to expect the PolyPavement surface to last for 5 to 10 years without a maintenance application.

It is important to note that a PolyPavement surface never has to be removed and replaced as required with asphalt. When a PolyPavement surface is worn to the point of needing repair, more PolyPavement can be added to the surface for a fraction of the cost of the original application. (See Maintenance & Repair below).

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR

PolyPavement is easy to maintain and repair. A PolyPavement surface is maintained by spraying properly diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier directly onto the surface and allowing it to dry. Repairs are accomplished by spreading pre-mixed soil and PolyPavement Soil Solidifier onto the damaged and/or worn surface and compact it onto the old PolyPavement surface. Additionally, a slurry-like mixture of PolyPavement and soil can be poured into place to resurface or repair damaged portions of PolyPavement.

Properly installed PolyPavement Soil Solidifier produces Natural Soil Pavement that has more than twice the supportive strength of asphalt. PolyPavement is categorized as a rigid pavement. Under normal conditions of low frequency traffic and moderate weather, a two-inch thick PolyPavement application can be expected to provide a maintenance-free all-weather surface for approximately 5 to 10 years. However, PolyPavement should be given periodic spray-on maintenance applications. Maintenance applications prevent deterioration and the need for maintenance applications is infrequent.

Whether or not PolyPavement is maintained, PolyPavement does not deteriorate in a manner that requires it to be removed and replaced. The sun's UV rays weaken the PolyPavement soil particle bond at the surface. The weakened bond coupled with repeated tire contact tends to abrade tiny particles from the surface and, after a few years, the surface texture becomes rough. Given more time, the surface loses more fine soil particles and becomes rougher.

To keep PolyPavement looking as if it is newly installed, a spray-on maintenance application of diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier should be completed before the natural soil pavement surface loses any soil particles and becomes rough. The maintenance application will re-strengthen the surface bonding and reverse the damaging affects of the sun's UV rays. If the natural soil pavement surface has lost a significant amount of soil particles and has become worn and rough, a spray-on maintenance application will toughen the surface but a spray on application cannot make a rough surface smooth.

A PolyPavement surface still resists traffic wear when the surface has worn, but the surface will not have the finished appearance that it had when the PolyPavement Soil Solidifier was initially installed.

 MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR METHODS

  1. MAINTENANCE

Spray-on diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier and allow it to dry.

At the first sign of soil loss, a spray-on maintenance application should be completed. A spray-on maintenance application is accomplished by soaking the PolyPavement natural soil surface with diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier. The dilution rate should be set at approximately 20 parts water to 1 part PolyPavement Soil Solidifier. The diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier should be spray-applied directly onto the natural soil pavement surface at the maximum amount that it can be applied without run-off (approximately 0.20 gallon of diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier per square yard). The surface should then be allowed to dry before it is used.

  2. DAMAGE REPAIR

Batch mix PolyPavement Soil Solidifier with Soil, Spread and Compact into Place.

Once PolyPavement has become worn and rough or in the event that the surface has been damaged and needs repairing, the surface can be repaired by applying a mixture of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier and soil directly onto the worn and/or damaged PolyPavement surface.

The PolyPavement Soil Solidifier and soil batches are mixed using only the finer particles of the same soil that was used for the initial application and the same percent of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier. First the surface of the existing worn and/or damaged PolyPavement is cleared of debris and sprayed with diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier, then spread the batch mix evenly onto the soil surface and compact with a steel drum roller or hand-held tamper.

Batch-mix PolyPavement Soil Solidifier with Soil, Pour or Trowel into Place.

Once PolyPavement has become worn and rough or in the event that the surface has been damaged and needs repairing, the surface can be repaired by pouring a slurry-like mixture of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier and soil directly onto the worn and/or damaged PolyPavement surface and allowing it to dry.

The PolyPavement Soil Solidifier and soil batches are mixed using only the finer particles of the same soil that was used for the initial application and the same percent of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier. The slurry-like batch mix is prepared by adding more water to the mix so the mix becomes wet enough to spread or pour. First the surface of the existing worn and/or damaged PolyPavement is cleared of debris and sprayed with diluted PolyPavement Soil Solidifier. Then the batch mix is poured onto the surface and troweled evenly over the entire surface and allowed to dry.

FREEZING WEATHER CONDITIONS

PolyPavement may be installed in climates where the temperature can dip to below zero with confidence. However, PolyPavement must be installed when the temperature is above 42 °F and the temperature has to remain above 42 °F for a sustained period of time sufficient to allow the newly installed PolyPavement to dry and cure. This means that in a climate that has seasonal changes in temperatures, PolyPavement must be installed early enough in the warm season so that a freeze does not occur before the PolyPavement has thoroughly dried. If a new PolyPavement installation freezes before it has thoroughly dried, the PolyPavement might be damaged beyond repair. Therefore, it is recommended that in the northern states of the USA, PolyPavement applications be completed by the end of August.

Once PolyPavement has dried and cured, it is not damaged significantly by freeze-thawing conditions. However, in climates where there is snow and ice, we have to be concerned with the methods and materials that are used to deal with snow and ice. The removal methods a well as chemical deicers might cause damage to a PolyPavement surface.

Snow Plows and Snow Shovels: Normally a snow plow or snow shovel will not damage any kind of pavement whether it be asphalt, concrete or PolyPavement. However, if a snow plow should happen to catch its edge on an already damaged or cracked portion of the pavement or catch its edge on a junction box or manhole cover there is a potential for serious damage. If a snow plow is to be used on any pavement, care should be taken to avoid conditions where the snow plow might catch an edge.

A worn rough PolyPavement surface is more likely to be damaged by a snow plow than a smooth finished PolyPavement surface. The reason for this is the worn PolyPavement surface is more likely to have small pebbles and rocks that protrude from the surface. If a snow plow catches a protruding pebble, the pebble will be popped out of the PolyPavement. If the PolyPavement surface has a high number of protruding rocks, a snow plow could be very damaging.

Chemical deicers: Chemical deicers are surface acting agents. These agents are employed because they have the ability to break the bond between the ice and the pavement and thereby prevent the ice from attaching tenaciously to the pavement surface. Some of these deicers have the ability to break the bond between PolyPavement Soil Solidifier and soil particles. As a matter of interest, if residual chemical deicers migrate to roadway shoulder soil that has not been treated with PolyPavement Soil Solidifier, the deicer becomes a soil contaminant that prevents the soil from being treated successfully with PolyPavement Soil Solidifier.

Salt, for the most part, is not structurally damaging to a PolyPavement surface. But salt dissolves in water and it tends to build up on the surface and discolor the pavement.

The preferred way to remove snow from a PolyPavement surface is with a snow blower. And sand would be preferred over salt to mitigate the hazard caused by ice on PolyPavement.

Heaving: Another type of damaging condition that occurs in cold climates is called heaving. Our understanding is water in the pavement and in the sub grade freezes and expands. The pavement and sub grade expand and move in an upward direction. If the upward force is sufficient, it will crack the pavement. Heaving occurs in asphalt and concrete. The tendency to heave can be reduced significantly by managing the flow of water away from the pavement surface and away from the sub grade.

With regard to heaving, PolyPavement is less likely to be damaged than asphalt or concrete. PolyPavement can be installed so that water cannot penetrate the surface. However, if water finds its way to the sub grade, heaving is more likely to occur. An additional measure to reduce the tendency for PolyPavement to heave is to specify that a crushed rock base be placed under the PolyPavement before it is installed.

FREEZE-THAW PRECAUTIONS

Though a properly installed PolyPavement wear-surface resists freeze-thaw damage, it should be mentioned as a precaution that freeze-thaw damage will occur and could be very severe if a PolyPavement wear-surface is installed directly on top of a sub-grade that has not been properly prepared to address local ground water levels or surface water conditions.

If a PolyPavement wear surface is installed on top of a sub-grade that is not elevated or built-up sufficiently above the ground water level, then the ground moisture will seep slowly from a lateral direction into the sub-grade soil and seep slowly into the PolyPavement wear-surface. PolyPavement has high resistance to surface water penetration but it is not resistant to water invasion from a lateral direction or from beneath. After a period of days or weeks, the water will thoroughly seep into the PolyPavement. If the water remains, it will weaken the PolyPavement bond, but when it dries, the strength of the bond returns. However, if the PolyPavement should happen to freeze while the water is present, the expanding water/ice within the soil particles will break the polymers' bond between the soil particles permanently. When the wet-frozen PolyPavement thaws-out, the treated soil will be nothing more than wet dirt (mud) and PolyPavement will have to be re-installed.

This potential freeze-thaw problem is prevented by using sound road building techniques such as placing a crushed rock road base material atop the compact sub-grade several inches thick. Next, install a layer of compacted soil on top of the crushed rock and then treat the soil with PolyPavement. A geo-textile material might also be incorporated in the design. For detailed drawings of the basic designs, follow our website links to the caddetails website, login and review CAD drawings 3 and 4 under Installation Details.

WET CLIMATE OR PERMANENT GROUND MOISTURE CONDITIONS

Wet climate and permanent ground moisture conditions are a potential problem for a PolyPavement installation. Though PolyPavement works well in wet climates, when PolyPavement is first installed it must be allowed to dry. If the climate or the ground moisture conditions do not have alternating cycles of wet conditions and dry conditions that allow naturally existing wet muddy soil to dry, then soil treated with PolyPavement will not have conditions that allow it to dry. It can rain daily on a PolyPavement surface that has been allowed to dry without damaging it, but it must first be allowed to dry.

PolyPavement can be used successfully in wet climate conditions where the surface soil remains continuously damp due to a high water table. In this case, the trail or roadway surface must be elevated above the ground moisture level. This can be done by first installing a supportive bed of gravel road base material and then installing the soil that is to be treated with PolyPavement on top of the supportive road base material. A supportive bed of gravel road base material will prevent groundwater from seeping into the PolyPavement treated soil from beneath. Obvious areas where a supportive gravel road base material should be installed are swamps, marshes and rain forests.

PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is a water based polymer emulsion. The presence of water in the emulsion prevents the polymers from polymerizing or solidifying. When PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is applied to soil to make natural soil pavement, it is mixed into the soil wet, compacted and allowed to dry. Drying is absolutely essential for a successful PolyPavement application. If a PolyPavement application does not dry, it remains as nothing more than wet dirt until it dries.

PolyPavement cannot be installed during a rain. After PolyPavement is properly installed, it remains resistant to water invasion in its cured state. Prior to drying, water will adversely affect the application. Precautions should be taken to avoid wetting newly installed PolyPavement before it has had the opportunity to dry.

DRAINAGE REQUIREMENTS

Properly installed PolyPavement resists water invasion in a manner that is more like asphalt than concrete. Concrete has water-resisting characteristics that allow it to be used to channel flowing water continuously with little or no damage. However asphalt cannot be used to channel flowing water without eroding. But asphalt has high resistance to sheet-flowing water.

Since PolyPavement's water-resistance characteristics are like asphalt and does not do well with channel flowing water, there is a need for good drainage design and water management. A PolyPavement surface should be contoured and sloped to drain in a manner that allows every drop of water that hits it to sheet-flow off the surface using the shortest route possible. The PolyPavement surface should not be sloped to drain using the pavement surface to carry the water a long distance before it finds its way off of the surface. At locations where a naturally flowing rainwater run-off channel has to cross the PolyPavement, there could be a need to install a sub-surface drain to prevent the rainwater run-off from damaging the PolyPavement surface.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS

PolyPavement Soil Solidifier works well in all types of "clean" naturally existing soils that are free of contamination (man-made and free-existing chemicals). All that is required of the soil for PolyPavement Soil Solidifier to work excellently is that the soil have a sufficient proportion of fine particles to provide maximum particle contact points and minimum void space between the soil particles. Most naturally existing soil meets the suitability requirements for a PolyPavement Soil Solidifier application, but some soil may not be suitable. PolyPavement Soil Solidifier also works well in suitable sand and it works well in suitable crushed quarry rock.

Obviously, the question of the suitability of the soil, the sand or the crushed quarry rock must be answered positively before proceeding with a PolyPavement application.

PolyPavement has determined that the suitability of soil, sand or crushed quarry rock depends on whether it has sufficient self-cohesiveness. If the soil, sand or crushed quarry rock holds together in a clump when it is moistened properly and squeezed tightly in the hand, the soil has a measure of natural cohesiveness and it might be suitable for a PolyPavement application.

If the soil clump is gently broken and it breaks apart in two clean pieces then the soil has a sufficient measure of natural cohesiveness for a PolyPavement Soil Solidifier application. But, if the soil clump breaks apart into many pieces when it
is gently broken, then it is unsuitable for a PolyPavement application.

In-Place Soil: Most existing in-place soil meets the minimum requirements for a PolyPavement application. However, the in-place soil more often does not meet the architect's aesthetic requirements. When the in-place soil does not meet the aesthetic requirements, a suitable sand or crushed quarry rock is imported for the PolyPavement application.

Sand: Sand, like the in-place soil, must be tested for suitability. Most sand that is offered for sale by local suppliers has been washed and all of the fine sand particles have been removed. It is unlikely that sand that has no fine particles will pass the soil suitability test. And if it happens to pass the soil suitability test, it will probably pass marginally. When a sand or soil-like material passes the soil suitability test marginally, it is necessary to increase the amount of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier to assure sufficient binding strength. Normally, the specified concentration of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is 2% by volume of compact soil, but for marginal granular soils, the concentration of soil solidifier could be specified at the maximum concentration of 2.5%. The precise percent concentration of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier to use in a marginal soil is determined by making samples under controlled laboratory conditions.

Crushed Quarry Rock: Crushed quarry rock, like sand and the in-place soil, must be tested for suitability. If a particular gradation of crushed quarry rock (i.e. three-eighths minus) happens not to pass the soil suitability test, another gradation can be specified (i.e. one-quarter minus or one-eighth minus). The quarry operator has the ability to provide a crushed rock that passes the soil suitability test.

It should be noted that clean crushed quarry rock that is absolutely free of clay and has sufficient quarry fines to provide the contact points necessary for binding may not hold together well when subjected to the soil suitability test. It might appear to fail the test. However, clean crushed quarry rock with sufficient fines is one of the best materials to use with PolyPavement. When a question about the suitability of a clean crushed quarry material arises, an actual laboratory sample should be prepared to confirm that the quarry material has sufficient fines for good binding.

Clay Soils: Clay soils have lots of fine particles and clay soils will normally pass the soil suitability test. PolyPavement Soil Solidifier works well in some clay soils however, soils that have an extremely high clay content are not recommended for treatment with PolyPavement Soil Solidifier. When the soil has extremely high clay content, the soil is very expansive when wet and it is extremely difficult to work with in PolyPavement applications. Also, when soil with a high clay content dries, it forms many unwanted surface cracks. However, unsuitable clay soils can be ammended with a coarse sand or crushed quarry-rock to make them more absorbent, easier to work with and less proned to cracking. A PolyPavement tech can help you determine the right ratio.

STRENGTH OF THE TREATED SOIL

The strength of soils that have been treated with PolyPavement Soil Solidifier depends on these factors:

1. The amount or degree of natural cohesiveness of the soil (soil suitability).
2. The amount or the percentage of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier that was added to the soil.
3. Whether or not the treated soil has fully dried and cured.
4. The actual hardness or strength of the soil particles themselves before treatment.

Though all of these factors affect the strength of the treated soil, the factors that have the greatest affect on the actual end results are: 1) the soil passing the soil suitability test and 2) the PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is applied at the level of concentration specified/required according to the application instructions provided by PolyPavement's technical staff.

If the soil passes the soil suitability test and the concentration of PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is specified at 2% by volume of compact soil; then the unconfined compressive strength of the treated soil will be in the range of 800 to 2,200 pounds per square inch (psi). If a relatively soft rock such as limestone or decomposed granite is used in the PolyPavement mix, the resulting strength will be at the lower end of the range. If a relatively hard crushed stone is used in the PolyPavement mix, then the resulting strength will be at the higher end of the range. The strength of all other treated soils will fall somewhere in the middle of the range.

The strength measures are appreciated when the strength of PolyPavement is compared to the strength of asphalt and concrete. The unconfined compressive strength of asphalt tests in the range of 250 psi to 300 psi. Concrete, on the other hand tests in the range of 4,000 psi to 5,000 psi. From these comparisons, soil that has been treated properly with PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is more than twice the strength of asphalt. However, concrete is more than twice the strength of PolyPavement.

PolyPavement is classified as a rigid pavement. It has more flexibility than concrete but not enough to be regarded as flexible pavement like asphalt. Though PolyPavement is classified as rigid, PolyPavement is not affected by heat expansion and contraction like concrete and PolyPavement does not need any expansion joints. The polymers that comprise PolyPavement Soil Solidifier are very flexible in the dry/cured state. The polymers coat each soil particle and bind them with a flexible material that acts like an expansion joint between each and every soil particle. This allows sufficient room for the soil particles to expand and contract without affecting the pavement structurally.

BASE AND SUBGRADE REQUIREMENTS

The Base and Subgrade Provide the Foundation: PolyPavement is a natural soil surfacing material. Asphalt and concrete are also surfacing materials. In order for a surfacing material to support a vehicle, the surfacing material must have a supportive foundation. The foundation of a pavement surface is referred to as the "subgrade". The subgrade is at the bottom of the roadway section and the material that is placed between the subgrade and the pavement surface is called the "base". The base and the subgrade work together to provide support for the pavement and to mitigate problems caused by various weather/climate conditions.

The existing soil compacted to plus 90 percent is normally specified for the subgrade material for low-traffic roadways. Compacted soil will support any weight of rubber tire vehicle as long as the soil remains dry. The base material that is normally specified for low-traffic roadways is crushed quarry rock. The crushed quarry rock provides a buffer between the subgrade soil and the pavement that helps prevent damage to the pavement surface. However, in dry climates with "good soils", the sub-grade soil is often used as the base material without crushed quarry rock.

With asphalt and concrete, water often enters the base and/or the subgrade from above by seeping through cracks in the pavement surface. Water also enters the sub-grade laterally (from the sides) and from beneath as a result of poor drainage or a high water table.

When water finds its way to the sub-grade, it weakens the sub-grade soil immediately upon contact. If a crushed rock base is present, the water will not weaken the crushed rock.

When water weakens the subgrade, the weight of the traffic that passes over the weak spot causes the pavement to "pump". Pumping is an up and down action that is caused to happen repeatedly directly over the weak spot as vehicles pass. Soon afterwards, the pavement breaks and crumbles and a pothole forms.

PolyPavement Base and Subgrade Requirements: Of course PolyPavement requires a supportive foundation. And like asphalt and concrete, the existing soil compacted to plus 90 percent provides an excellent subgrade for PolyPavement. But most often, a PolyPavement surface does not need a crushed rock base. Instead, the subgrade soil can be used as the base material for PolyPavement most of the time. PolyPavement is practically impermeable to water and it is extremely resistant to cracking. It does not form any structural cracks due to expansion and contraction or due to normal wearing or weathering. As a factual point, PolyPavement does not crack unless it is loaded excessively over a weak sub-grade or structurally stressed by physical forces strong enough to crack it. Because PolyPavement does not develop structural cracks, there is a very low probability of water seeping through a PolyPavement surface and weakening the subgrade. Therefore, a PolyPavement road design does not require a crushed rock base to protect the subgrade from water that might enter through the surface.

However, in wet areas where the water table is high and the natural drainage is poor, water management design precautions are recommended and/or required. Proper drainage should be utilized to manage rainwater away from the sub-grade. If the water table is high, the roadbed or the sub-grade should be built up above the water table. Crushed rock is recommended for building up the roadbed and providing a base in areas that a high water table.

DRYING AND CURING TIME

Drying and curing is a two-stage process. First PolyPavement dries and then it cures. Newly installed PolyPavement can be used as intended as soon as the surface dries.

Drying time cannot be predicted with to-the-minute accuracy because drying is a water evaporation process that depends on the weather. PolyPavement does not set like concrete through a chemical process. On a hot sunny day the surface will dry within a matter of minutes. But on a cool cloudy day it could take a full day for the surface to dry. When planning a PolyPavement installation, ample time should be allowed for the surface to dry and it is better to plan on the weather being unfavorable than to plan on favorable weather.

Curing time is longer. PolyPavement Soil Soilidifier contains three basic ingredients. The ingredients are polymers, water and emulsifiers. Of course the polymers are the active ingredients; the water is the transport medium for the polymers and the emulsifiers are surface acting agents that keep the polymers suspended in the water. Emulsifiers are like soap or a detergent. They make the water wetter or give water greater ability to wet other materials. On the plus side, emulsifiers break surface tension and improve the seepage rate of the water through tightly packed soil particles. But on the minus side, an emulsifier draws water to itself. As long as emulsifiers are present in newly installed PolyPavement, the pavement has low resistance to water invasion.

PolyPavement has maximum resistance to water invasion after it cures. By design, the emulsifiers in PolyPavement Soil Solidifier degrade and lose their effectiveness. The curing time for PolyPavement is actually the time it takes for the emulsifiers to fully degrade. The complete curing process takes approximately 30 days. However, sunlight and daylight greatly increase the speed of the emulsifier's degrading process and the emulsifiers that exist at the surface of newly installed PolyPavement degrade almost as quickly as the surface dries. What this means for newly installed PolyPavement
is the surface becomes resistant to water invasion rather quickly and an unexpected rain that occurs shortly after installation will probably not be damaging. However, if flooding or total submersion occurs before the PolyPavement has cured, the pavement will not have maximum resistance to water invasion that comes from below and laterally.

PolyPavement INSTALLERS

PolyPavement is easy to install. There is no need to have contractors become certified installers. PolyPavement is most often installed by professional landscape contractors and grounds-maintenance personnel. Landscape contractors, grounds maintenance workers, grading contractors and paving contractors are capable of becoming competent PolyPavement installers after reviewing our written application instructions. PolyPavement Application Engineers are available to discuss the installation details and answer any installation questions.

PolyPavement may also be installed by competent do-it-yourselfers. They too need only to review and follow written application instructions after discussing the application instruction details with a PolyPavement Application Engineer.

FINDING A CONTRACTOR

If you are a Landscape Architect and you want to find a contractor in your area to install PolyPavement, just specify PolyPavement in your construction plans and put the plans out for bids. The bidding contractors will call PolyPavement technical department for information about bidding the job. If you have already identified one or more contractors for the job, and they do not know about PolyPavement, direct them to this web site. If they have additional questions, put them in telephone contact with our office. When they call our technical department, they will be given a detailed verbal overview of the installation process and they will be shown how to bid the labor, the equipment and the materials.

If you are not a Landscape Architect and you want to find a local contractor, the Blue Book for Building and Construction is an excellent source for all types of contractors, large and small. When seeking a contractor located in a given geographical area, visit www.thebluebook.com and select the desired geographical area and enter the type of contractor. Normally, PolyPavement is installed by Landscape Contractors, however Paving Contractors, Excavating Contractors and Road Construction Contractors certainly have the skills required to install PolyPavement. The Blue Book website will generate a list of local contractors with names, contact information, and information about many of the contractors’ specialties and experience.

No special equipment is required for a PolyPavement installation. A spray rig, a roto-tiller and a steel drum compactor are basic. Most of the above mentioned types of contractors and grounds maintenance professionals already have the basic equipment. If they do not have the basic equipment, it is readily available at equipment rental yards.

For smaller projects, first identify several potential installers (local contractors) and ask them for a quote on a natural-soil-pavement installation project. When the contractor indicates that he has not used PolyPavement, direct the contractor to this web site and give him/her our phone number (323 954 2240). If they visit the web site and call our technical department, they will be shown how to cost-out the labor, equipment and materials for a PolyPavement installation project.

POLYPAVEMENT SUPPLIERS AND REPRESENTATIVES

Brook's Stone Ranch Inc.
2051 FM 1102
New Braunfels, TX  78132
Ph. (830)624-7554
www.brooksstoneranch.com

Valley Rock Landscape Materials
4018 Taylor Rd.
Loomis, CA  95650
Ph. (916) 652-7209
www.valleyrock.com

APPLICATION PRECAUTIONS, LIMITATIONS AND ENHANCEMENTS

1. PRECAUTIONS

A. CURRENT SOIL/AIR TEMPERATURE: For maximum effectiveness and for the most predictable application end-results, soil temperatures and ambient air temperatures during the time that the applied PolyPavement is drying should be no less than 42 degrees Fahrenheit. At colder temperatures PolyPavement particles tend to shrink, harden and lose the cross-linking or chaining characteristic that is necessary for bonding.

B. COMPACTION: Soil cannot be compacted properly unless the moisture level is at Optimum Moisture Content for compaction. Attempts to compact soil that is slightly over-wet will result in the soil sticking to the compaction equipment. And over-wet soil will tend to "pump" or ooze. Do not attempt compaction when the soil is too wet. Wait! Also, the surface soil cannot be compacted to maximum density unless the subgrade soil is firm and compact. If the subgrade is hard like a rock, maximum density is readily achieved. If the subgrade is soft like a mattress maximum density is impossible to achieve.

C. CONTAMINATED TANKS, HOSES AND EQUIPMENT: It is important that storage tanks, application tanks, and transfer equipment be absolutely free of foreign chemicals. Completely flush tanks, hoses, and nozzles with water until there is no discoloration of the water before using them for a PolyPavement Soil Solidifier application. Small amounts of residual oils or asphaltic emulsion left in application or storage tanks will interfere with PolyPavement's polymer particles ability to bind or penetrate the soil.

D. CONTAMINATED SOIL: Soil can sometimes be contaminated with chemicals that interfere with or prevent bonding. It is difficult to detect soil contamination. Potential contaminants are garden herbicides, chemical de-icing agents, petroleum oils and other industrial chemicals. The soil is probably contaminated if (1) drops of water fail to penetrate the soil or form beads on the surface; (2) the soil does not support vegetative growth; (3) the soil is light in color when dry and forms a powdery dust; and (4) the soil is imported fill material from a former industrial site. Contaminated soil requires removal, replacement or pre-treatment before a PolyPavement application. If soil contamination is suspected, do not apply PolyPavement.

E. DRY SOIL: For spray-on applications, if the soil is bone dry, it will be necessary to moisten it slightly with water prior to applying diluted PolyPavement to promote penetration.

F. EXCESSIVE POLYPAVEMENT: Normally, more of a good thing is better. But that is not necessarily so with PolyPavement. PolyPavement should never be applied to soil at a concentration greater than 3% by volume of compact soil. If this limit is exceeded, the strength of the bond does not increase. Also, the polymer-soil surface might self-seal and the subsurface will not dry in the time required.

G. EXCESSIVE RUN-OFF: If excessive run-off occurs while spray-applying diluted PolyPavement, the spread rate should be reduced. The spray pass will have to be completed in two or more successive spray passes to achieve the required total. Do not allow the treated soil to dry between the spray passes or the maximum depth of penetration will not be reached.

H. FREEZING: PolyPavement is a water-based emulsion. As with all water-based emulsions, freezing will permanently damage the emulsion. PolyPavement should not be applied in temperatures less than 42 °F. If PolyPavement is applied and there is a freeze prior to drying, then the application will be damaged.

I.LOADING THE DILUTION TANK: Add PolyPavement to the water inside a nearly-filled dilution tank to prevent foaming. Finish filling the tank with water after the PolyPavement is added to assure thorough blending of the PolyPavement emulsion with the water.

J. RAIN: PolyPavement is resistant to water invasion in the cured state. However, prior to drying, water will adversely affect the application. Precautions should be taken to avoid wetting PolyPavement that has been applied but has not yet dried. Do not attempt to apply PolyPavement during or before a rain. If rain is predicted within 24 hours, the PolyPavement application should be postponed. If automatic sprinklers are present, they should be turned-off for at least 24 hours or longer to avoid potential damage.

K. SHADE: Shade or no sunlight extends the drying time and the curing time of a PolyPavement application. A PolyPavement application should not be planned in permanent shade unless it can be allowed sufficient time to dry and cure. Though a PolyPavement surface will dry quickly in warm shade, it will not cure quickly in warm shade.

2. LIMITATIONS

A. DRYING TIME: Drying time cannot be predicted with accuracy. Drying is a water evaporation process. It varies with the weather. On a hot sunny day a wet soil surface will dry to the touch in about 15 minutes. On a cool cloudy day a wet soil surface might not dry to the touch for several hours. When the surface dries, PolyPavement treated soil attains 80 percent of its maximum strength and may be used as planned.

B. CURING TIME: The curing of PolyPavement treated soil is a two-stage process. First, the treated soil dries through water evaporation. After drying, PolyPavement begins to cure. The drying time is directly related to the weather. The higher the temperature and wind speed the quicker it dries. Full-depth curing requires two to four weeks. PolyPavement treated soil attains maximum resistance to water invasion after it has cured.

C. DILUTION EFFECTS (Spray-on Applications): PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is a concentrated particle binder that was designed to be diluted with water before applying. All dilutions of PolyPavement within the range of 3 to 1 and 125 to 1 applied to one type of soil or another have higher or lower bonding strength respectively. However, as the dilution rate decreases, the ability to penetrate the soil decreases. For this reason PolyPavement developed the multiple spray pass concept.

For a given type of particle mass, minimal bonding is achieved at the higher dilution ratios (i.e. 100 to 1). Maximum bonding of a given type of particle mass is achieved at the lower dilution ratios (i.e. 10 to 1). The minimum recommended dilution ratio for PolyPavement is 3 to 1, water to PolyPavement. The maximum recommended dilution ratio for PolyPavement is 125 to 1, water to PolyPavement.

The lower dilution ratios are used for sealing and waterproofing soil surfaces that have already been treated with PolyPavement. The higher dilution ratios (40 to 1 and above) are effective for soil preparation or for reducing PM10 dust particle emissions.

D. SOIL PARTICLE SIZE: The size of the particles that make up a given soil mass may range from 1/100 of a millimeter (dust size) to 1 millimeter (pinhead size). PolyPavement is designed to work best with a good gradation of soil that contains fine soil and dust particles. The better the distribution of small particles in a given soil mass, the less voids there are in the mass, and the more particle contact points there are for bonding.

The small particles are called fines. There can be too few fines in a given soil or there can be too many fines. Gravel is an example of too few fines. There are simply not sufficient contact points in gravel for bonding. Powder is an example of too many fines. Though fine particle soil can be successfully treated, it requires more attention than well-graded soil.

PolyPavement Soil Solidifier is more efficient when used in ordinary dirt. Ordinary dirt usually has sufficient fines to fill the voids between the granular particles and rocks. Dirt usually has a good number of particle contact points.

E. UNCONFINED COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH: Typical soil treated with 2% PolyPavement by volume of compact soil develops unconfined compressive strength in the range of four to six times greater than asphalt. Rock dust treated with 2% PolyPavement develops unconfined compressive strength that is up to ten times greater than asphalt. If PolyPavement treated soil is cured and submerged in water, as in a flood, for a sustained period of time (days to weeks), the compressive strength reduces to approximately twice the strength of submerged asphalt. However, PolyPavement regains the higher compressive strength when the water dries.

F. UNSUPPORTIVE SUBGRADE: Surface compaction cannot be achieved without there being a supportive sub-surface to compact against. By the same token, surface treatment with PolyPavement or any other material cannot improve the supportive strength of the sub-grade. If the end-use of a PolyPavement application requires supportive strength, then adequate compaction of the sub-grade is a necessary pre-condition for the PolyPavement application.

3. ENHANCEMENTS

A. COMPACTION: PolyPavement improves the ability to compact the soil. The individual soil particles are first coated with PolyPavement and then squeezed together by compaction when the soil is wet. All PolyPavement traffic area applications utilize compaction to achieve the bond and increase the duration of effectiveness. As the treated soil is used by traffic, further compaction occurs which further strengthens the treated soil after the soil dries.

B. SUPPORTIVE SUBGRADE: Surface compaction is achieved quickly and easily when the subgrade has been thoroughly compacted and provides a supportive sub-surface layer to compact against.

C. PRE-WETTING: If the area to be treated is extremely dry, it may be necessary to pre-wet and condition the soil to improve the soil's water absorption capability and general workability. Pre-wetting is suggested when the soil is dry to allow the use of a lower dilution ratio and reduce the number of tank loads of diluted PolyPavement required to complete the job. When pre-wetting is required, the PolyPavement application is enhanced by pre-wetting with a 100 to 1 mixture of water and PolyPavement.

D. SUNLIGHT: A PolyPavement application requires direct sunlight to facilitate curing quickly. Without exposure to either direct sunlight or indirect sunlight, the surface will remain susceptible to water invasion for a prolonged period.

E. WATER SOURCES: It is best to use clean potable water for a PolyPavement application. Potable water will be free of contaminants and tiny particulate matter that might interfere with the PolyPavement application or bonding process.

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P.O. Box 36339, Los Angeles, California 90036 • Phone: (323) 954-2240 • Fax: (323) 954-2244
E-mail: tech@polypavement.com