Asphalt Industry Tutorials

Advance your career by increasing your knowledge.

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The asphalt industry is just about as complex and diverse as the medical industry when it comes to specific roles, technology and equipment.  

Even after engineers have designed the plans, and construction crews have laid the base layers, the ability to properly pave, assess, or repair an asphalt road requires a level of skill that few possess.

Participants, from flag persons to heavy equipment operators, need to attain qualifications for the specific field they are working in on a daily basis.

A lot of that skill-set is acquired over time as workers climb from entry level positions to those they become capable of performing over a long period of time.

Unfortunately, it is abundantly clear that a large percentage of the industry starts out with several misconceptions that are never corrected.

First, is that all asphalt is the same. "It's what I bring home on my boots."

Second, is the believe that the old way is the best way. "My grandfather paved the first road in our town and it's still under there somewhere."

We hope to enhance everyone's historical skill-sets while removing any potentially ineffective beliefs based on conditions that no longer apply, and allow industry members to not only learn new skills  but prove to their employers that they can take on new roles of responsibility without risking the safety of workers or the reputation of their company.

Student Expectations

You don't become an expert on any topic overnight.

For all intents and purposes, an expert is someone with authoritative credentials, and acquired knowledge, who presents their own "newly-informed studies" to the world which are based, and supported by, the information acquired by those who have preceded them.

It is very much like a patent application where someone provides their own unique twist or incremental upgrade to all of the methods and processes that existed prior to their brainstorm. 

Unless you've just arrived from another planet, you can't be considered an expert unless you attribute some of your insight to the great minds who came before you.

Brainstorms simply do not exist without the random connection of acquired knowledge.

What we want to do is to provide you with the connective knowledge which will not only allow you to learn from the past, but inspire you to profit from it.

Your Knowledge Has Value

Commercial successes occur when people monetize the connections that others either fail to see, or fail to act upon.

Expertise in any field is the ability to incrementally obtain comprehension of previously recorded data from others, (which might seem at first to be incomprehensible), as well as the ability to trust the value of your own personal experiences (regardless of conflicting data).

You need to take what you know already, on any given day, and attempt to advance your knowledge just one step further.

That one step, through a platform such as this, allows you to interact with those on the same, or higher levels of material fact or experiential knowledge.

Eventually, you will have the confidence to speak out about your area of daily activities such that you have an opinion about what is the best solution to the current problem based on a distillation and evaluation of what purported experts have had to say on the matter in the past.

You may even have a commercially successful brainstorm that will enrich you and those who support your goal to achieve more each day.

Build your own brand

Never underestimate the value of what you see or comprehend as a front line worker, especially if it conflicts with what you are told is the recommended method.

But, be warned. As soon as you know more than the person above you, you can expect to either be promoted or fired.

Therefore it is best to avoid conflict while proving your worth.

Work towards obtaining certifications and advanced knowledge such that you have valuable job skills which are recognised as transferable, even if your employer won't pay for these courses.


Courses in this Program:

Lessons in The Basics of Asphalt:

  1. 1 What is Bitumen?

    Objective: Grasp the fundamentals of asphalt.

  2. 2 Conflicting Nomenclature

  3. 3 Properties of Bitumen

  4. 4 What is Bitumen/Asphalt used for?

  5. 5 History of Bitumen for Asphalt

Lessons in The Complexities of Bitumen:

  1. 1 Chemical Composition of Bitumen

  2. 2 Rheological Behaviour of Bitumen

  3. 3 Colloidal Structure of Bitumen

Lessons in Processing Bitumen:

  1. 1 Fractional Distillation

  2. 2 Air Blowing Short Residues

  3. 3 Worldwide Bitumen Production

  4. 4 Potential Lack of Bitumen

  5. 5 Asphalt from Oil Sands

  6. 6 Liquefying Asphalt Cement

  7. 7 Storing and Transporting Bitumen

Lessons in Binder Grading Systems:

  1. 1 Viscosity Graded Binders - AC/AR

  2. 2 Performance Graded Binders - PG

    Objective: To learn what performance grade binders are.

  3. 3 PG Binder Spec Sheets

Lessons in Binder Modification:

  1. 1 Asphaltic Binder Additives

  2. 2 Polymer Modification

  3. 3 HiMA Highly Polymer Modified Binders

  4. 4 Crumb Rubber Modification

Lessons in Asphalt Plants:

  1. 1 Asphalt Mixing Plants

  2. 2 Batch Plants

  3. 3 Portable Cold Asphalt Recycling Plant

  4. 4 Baghouse Dust Collection

Lessons in Asphalt Mixing:

  1. 1 Hot Mix Asphalt

    Objective: To learn about hot mix asphalt.

  2. 2 Warm Mix Asphalt

    Objective: To learn about warm mix asphalt.

  3. 3 Grader Blade Mixing

Lessons in HMA Pavement Mix Design:

  1. 1 Dense Graded Mixes

  2. 2 Fine / Coarse-Graded Dense Mixes

  3. 3 Open-Graded Cold Mixes

  4. 4 Open-Graded Friction Courses (OGFC)

  5. 5 Open-Graded Porous Asphalt

  6. 6 Pavement Mix Selection Guide

  7. 7 Aggregates

  8. 8 Asphalt Mix Grades

    Objective: To learn about the different grades of asphalt mix.

  9. 9 HMA Mix Design

    Objective: To understand why there are various asphalt mix formulas.

  10. 10 Stone Matrix Asphalt Mixes

  11. 11 Voids in the Mineral Aggregate

    Objective: Understand the mixture design of voids.

  12. 12 Superpave Mix Design

  13. 13 Bailey Method

  14. 14 Primary Control Sieve - PCS

  15. 15 Aggregate Packing

  16. 16 Performance-based Mixture Design

Lessons in Road Building:

  1. 1 Road Nomenclature

  2. 2 How do you build a road?

    Objective: To learn the very basics of road construction.

  3. 3 Flexible or Rigid

  4. 4 Flexible Pavement

    Objective: To learn what a flexible pavement is.

  5. 5 Stage Construction

  6. 6 Mechanical-Empirical Pavement Design

  7. 7 Texas Mechanistic-Empirical Flexible Pavement Design (TxME)

    Objective: To see how the TxME program aids pavement design.

  8. 8 Perpetual Pavement

    Objective: To learn what perpetual pavement is.

  9. 9 PerRoad 4.4

    Objective: To learn about the PerRoad perpetual pavement design software.

  10. 10 PerRoadXpress 1.0

  11. 11 Rigid Pavement

    Objective: To learn what rigid pavements are.

  12. 12 Composite Pavement

    Objective: To learn what a composite pavement is made of.

  13. 13 Material Selection

    Objective: To learn the importance of proper material selection.

  14. 14 Need for Compaction

  15. 15 Drainage

  16. 16 Prime Coats

Lessons in Material Delivery Vehicles:

  1. 1 Dump Trucks

  2. 2 Live Bottom Trailers

  3. 3 Release Agents

  4. 4 Agency Requirements

Lessons in Material Transfer Vehicles - MTV:

  1. 1 What are Material Transfer Vehicles?

  2. 2 Windrow Elevator

Lessons in Asphalt Pavers:

  1. 1 Best Paving Practices

  2. 2 Paving Proper Joints

  3. 3 Paver / Screed Pre-Checks

  4. 4 Feeding an Asphalt Paver

  5. 5 Laying Asphalt

  6. 6 Chain Conveyors

  7. 7 Asphalt Paver Augers

  8. 8 Screeds

Lessons in Asphalt Laydown Principles and Techniques:

  1. 1 Lift Thickness

  2. 2 Proper Head of Material

  3. 3 Creating a Safety Edge

Lessons in Asphalt Roller Compactors:

  1. 1 Compacting Asphalt

  2. 2 Optimal Rolling Temperature

  3. 3 Rolling Techniques

  4. 4 Rolling Sequence

  5. 5 Rolling Joints

  6. 6 Breakdown Rolling

  7. 7 Intermediate Rolling

  8. 8 Finish Rolling

  9. 9 Research on Asphalt Compaction

  10. 10 Typical Agency Specifications

Lessons in Types of Road Failure:

  1. 1 Classes of Defects

  2. 2 Localized Failures

  3. 3 Cracking Types

  4. 4 Fatigue Cracking

  5. 5 Alligator Cracking

  6. 6 Reflective / Reflection Cracking

  7. 7 Thermal Cracking

  8. 8 Shrinkage Cracking

  9. 9 Block Cracking

  10. 10 Transverse Cracking

  11. 11 Longitudinal Cracking

  12. 12 Lane Joint / Seam Cracks

  13. 13 MLC - Meandering Longitudinal Cracking

  14. 14 Edge Joint Cracks

  15. 15 PEC - Pavement Edge Cracking

  16. 16 Slippage

  17. 17 Water Bleeding and Pumping

  18. 18 Distortion - Deformation

  19. 19 RUT - Rutting / Channeling

  20. 20 Corrugations / Washboards / Shoving

  21. 21 Depressions / Birdbaths

  22. 22 Upheaval

  23. 23 Roughness

  24. 24 Scabbing

  25. 25 Disintegration

  26. 26 Potholes

  27. 27 Raveling / Weathering

  28. 28 Drip Track Erosion

  29. 29 Slippery Surface

  30. 30 Polished Aggregates

  31. 31 Skid Resistance Math

  32. 32 Flushing / Bleeding

  33. 33 Debonding / Delamination

  34. 34 Stripping of Binder from HMA

  35. 35 Anti-Stripping Agents

  36. 36 Segregation - Non-uniform Mix

Lessons in Causes of Asphalt Failure:

  1. 1 Causes of Asphalt Failure

  2. 2 Pavement Stresses

  3. 3 Aging / Hardening

  4. 4 Sunlight's UV Rays

  5. 5 Water

  6. 6 Changing Seasons - Freeze Thaw Cycles

  7. 7 Frost Heaves

  8. 8 Traffic Loading

  9. 9 Contact with Related Compounds

  10. 10 Contact with Other Chemicals

  11. 11 Improper Asphalt Mixture

  12. 12 Improper Tack Coat

Lessons in Pavement Condition Ratings:

  1. 1 LTPP - Distress Identification Manuals

  2. 2 Testing Methods

  3. 3 International Roughness Index (IRI)

  4. 4 Skid Resistance

  5. 5 PCI / RSR - Pavement Condition Index Ratings

Lessons in Pavement Management Systems:

  1. 1 Pavement Management Systems

  2. 2 RSL - Remaining Service Life

  3. 3 Utilizing GIS Tools and Techniques

  4. 4 City-wide Road Assessment Tools

Lessons in Pavement Preservation:

  1. 1 Patching

  2. 2 Filling Potholes

Lessons in Repairing Flexible Pavement:

Lessons in Asphalt Repair Materials:

  1. 1 Geotextiles

  2. 2 Geotextile Asphalt Repairs

Lessons in Asphalt Emulsions:

  1. 1 Asphalt Emulsions

  2. 2 Asphalt Emulsion Plants

  3. 3 Classifying Emulsions

  4. 4 Breaking and Curing

  5. 5 Anionic and Cationic

    Objective: To learn about anionic and cationic asphalt emulsions.

  6. 6 Diluted Emulsions

    Objective: To learn about diluting asphalt emulsions.

  7. 7 Slow Set Cationic Emulsions

  8. 8 Medium Set Cationic Emulsions

  9. 9 Rapid Set Cationic Emulsions

  10. 10 Anionic Emulsions

  11. 11 Speciality Formulations

    Objective: To learn about speciality asphalt emulsions.

  12. 12 High Float Emulsions

  13. 13 Reflective Titanium Dioxide

Lessons in Bond / Tack Coats:

  1. 1 Asphalt Tack Coat Overview

    Objective: To provide an overview of the tack coat process.

  2. 2 Types of Tack Coats

    Objective: To learn the different types of tack coats.

  3. 3 Bonding Characteristics

    Objective: To learn about tack coat bonding characteristics.

  4. 4 Shear and Tension Issues

    Objective: To learn about the stresses affecting asphalt interlayers.

  5. 5 Testing Tack Bond Strength

  6. 6 Tack Coat Curing Time

    Objective: To learn about how tack coat cures.

  7. 7 Aging of Tack Coats

    Objective: To learn about the aging of tack coats.

  8. 8 Existing Surface Conditions

    Objective: To learn the importance of evaluating the placement surface.

  9. 9 Slippage Cracking

    Objective: To learn what slippage cracking is.

  10. 10 Tracking is Bad

    Objective: To learn what tracking of emulsion is.

  11. 11 Removing Dust

    Objective: To learn the importance of having a clean surface before applying tack.

  12. 12 Temperature of Application Locale

    Objective: To learn the importance of having tack that matches local temperatures.

  13. 13 Moisture During Construction

  14. 14 Application Temperature

  15. 15 Tack Coat Tips

  16. 16 Inlays / Overlays

  17. 17 Tack Coat Coverage

  18. 18 Tack Coat Application Rates

  19. 19 Diluting Tack

  20. 20 Optimal Application Rates?

  21. 21 Tack Coat Calculations

  22. 22 Tack Coat Equipment

Lessons in Asphalt Rejuvenators:

  1. 1 Asphalt Rejuvenators

  2. 2 Maltenes and Asphaltenes

  3. 3 Maltene-Based Rejuvenators

  4. 4 Maltene Science

  5. 5 Bio-Oil Replasticizers

  6. 6 Rejuvenator Application Process

  7. 7 When to Use Rejuvenators

  8. 8 Rejuvenator Suppliers

Lessons in Sealcoating:

Lessons in Pavement Preservation Coatings:

  1. 1 Fog Seal / Fogcoats

  2. 2 Slurry Sealing

  3. 3 Scrub Seal

  4. 4 Micro-surfacing Levelling Treatment

  5. 5 Micro-surfacing Polymer Manufacturers

  6. 6 Chip Sealing / Chip and Seal

  7. 7 Cape Seal - Chipseal / Microsurfacing

  8. 8 Thinlay / HMA Ultra-Thin Overlay

  9. 9 Dust Control Agents

  10. 10 Crack Sealing

  11. 11 Crack Cleaning

  12. 12 Coal Tar Sealants

Lessons in Chip Sealing:

  1. 1 Chip Seal Binders

  2. 2 Chip Seal Aggregates

  3. 3 Chipseal Application Rates

  4. 4 Chip Seal Design

  5. 5 Chip Seal Best Practices

Lessons in Asphalt Distributors:

  1. 1 Liquid Asphalt Distributors

  2. 2 Distributor Related Warnings

  3. 3 Operator Controls

  4. 4 Pumping System

  5. 5 Filling Procedure

  6. 6 Foaming

  7. 7 Circulation Settings

  8. 8 Storage Tank

  9. 9 Heating System

  10. 10 Spray Bar / Wand

  11. 11 Nozzles

  12. 12 Cationic Emulsion Effects

Lessons in Aggregate Chip Spreaders:

  1. 1 What is an aggregate / chip spreader?

  2. 2 Chip Spreader Manufacturers

Lessons in Cold Planers / Milling Machines:

  1. 1 What are Cold Planers?

  2. 2 Levelling Controls / Sensors

  3. 3 Smaller Milling Units

Lessons in Recycling Asphalt:

  1. 1 RAP - Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement

  2. 2 CIR Cold-In-Place Recycling

  3. 3 Full Depth Reclamation

  4. 4 Recycling Equipment

  5. 5 RAP Stockpiles

  6. 6 RAP Rejuvenators

  7. 7 RAP Associations

  8. 8 Hot-in-Place Recycling

  9. 9 RAP Studies

  10. 10 Getting to 100% RAP

  11. 11 Using RAP for Surface Treatments

  12. 12 RAP Program Design

  13. 13 Rubblizing Concrete

Lessons in Melting Kettles:

Lessons in First Aid:

  1. 1 Asphalt Burns

Lessons in Safety Procedures:

  1. 1 Fumes and Noxious Gases

  2. 2 Hydrogen Sulfide

  3. 3 Spontaneous Combustion

  4. 4 Safety Issues and Training

  5. 5 Job-site Accidents

  6. 6 Avoiding Getting Run Over

Lessons in Bitumen Testing Methods:

  1. 1 Penetration Tests

  2. 2 Softening Point Test

  3. 3 Viscosity Tests

  4. 4 RTFO/PAV - Ageing Test Processes

  5. 5 MSCR - Multiple Stress Creep and Recovery

  6. 6 DTT - Direct Tension Testing

Lessons in Bitumen Testing Devices:

  1. 1 BBR - Bending Beam Rheometer

  2. 2 DSR - Dynamic Shear Rheometer

Lessons in Asphalt Testing Methods:

  1. 1 Collecting Paver Samples

  2. 2 Various Methods

  3. 3 DST - Direct Shear Testing

  4. 4 DTC - Direct Tension Compression

  5. 5 Blister Test

  6. 6 Adhesion Test

Lessons in Asphalt Testing Devices:

  1. 1 Asphalt Burn-off Cages

Lessons in Testing Standards:

Lessons in Research Programs:

  1. 1 EMPA - Switzerland

Lessons in Research Conferences:

  1. 1 MAIREPAV - EMPA / iSMARTi

Lessons in College / University Programs:

  1. 1 Lake Land College - Illinois

Lessons in Free Training Courses:

  1. 1 Free Courses from NHI

  2. 2 Free Courses from MDOT

  3. 3 Free Courses from BOMAG

  4. 4 Free Courses from ISSA

Lessons in Other Paid Courses:

  1. 1 Bomag Training Courses

  2. 2 AASHTO - American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

  3. 3 PAVIA - Pavement Academy - Pavement Interactive

Lessons in Industry Related Tradeshows:

Lessons in Asphalt Industry Jobs:

  1. 1 Road Grader Operator

Lessons in Apps and Programs:

  1. 1 Listing of Apps and Programs

About Les Henderson

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I am the author of several books and websites related to consumer fraud.

I proclaim to have the ability to review countless research documents and material specifications in order to reduce the technical down to the comprehensible.

Please hold me to that standard and call me out whenever you feel lost in all the technical and scientific jargon that I must present to those that fully comprehend it.
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