What is an Asphalt Release Agent (ARA)?
An asphalt release agent, also known as an ARA, is a chemical product that can be applied to certain surfaces like truck beds and asphalt spreading tools to prevent asphalt buildup. They are applied as a liquid to form a thin film, preventing bonding. This not only helps with clean-up but also helps maintain pavement quality by ensuring no old or cooling asphalt is mixed in with a fresh batch.
Tests for Finding the Right ARA
Some ARAs may do their job too well at helping asphalt not adhere to a surface and end up compromising the integrity of the pavement. To avoid this, here are some tests to run to make sure that your ARAs aren’t damaging the binder within the asphalt.
Stripping Test = Take the ARA you plan to use and fill up a large quart jar with the asphalt release agent liquid. After this is done, carefully pour the hot asphalt into it. The discoloration of the ARA will show how stripping the agent is. During this process, you should also check to see if the asphalt is stripping from the aggregate.
Mixture Slide Test = This test is meant to replicate the conditions in a truck bed. Take an actual plate of old asphalt cut from a truck bed and apply the ARA. Place the hot mix over the plate where the ARA has been applied, tilt it, and see how much of the fresh asphalt slides off.
Asphalt Performance Test = This test is meant to simulate asphalt on pavers, rakes, shovels, and even asphalt plant elevator slats. Take asphalt and pour it onto the same truck bed plate. After some time, remove the patty of asphalt from the plate and record the weight. This happens around two more times without the reapplication of the release agent.
What is the Best Asphalt Release Agent?
Previously, diesel was used to prevent asphalt from sticking to a truck bed. But now asphalt release agents are on the market. The best asphalt release agent will not be overly stripping and will perform well on the mixture slide test and asphalt performance test. The less ARA is needed for a consistent film and good asphalt quality, the better. The best asphalt release agent will also take the environment into consideration. Workers and wildlife should be protected on the job site. A bio-based ARA, like those made with soy, is preferable to ARAs that contain petroleum.
Looking for An ARA to Help with Your Next Project?
TidalWashers.com is happy to help! We have a variety of ARAs that will keep your trucks and tools clean and in top condition. Click here to learn more about our available options or contact us here for more information about ARAs!