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Australia’s First Intelligent Compaction Workshop a Success

Dr. George Chang presents an intelligent compaction intro at Australia's first intelligent compaction workshop.

Pavement engineering firm The Transtec Group led Australia’s first Intelligent Compaction (IC) workshop in Brisbane to share what agencies in the US have learned and experienced in the past 15 years of IC implementation.

IC is a roller-based technology that measures roller passes, compaction temperatures, and stiffness of compacted materials in real-time. It allows for the real-time detection of paving and compaction issues so paving crews can adjust the operation to improve the final pavement quality. Using IC improves construction quality control (QC) and efficiency to make pavements last longer and to reduce maintenance costs.

The workshop, held on May 8, brought together Australian agencies, research groups, contractors, and vendors. It was organized by the Australian Geomechanics Society and co-sponsored by Monash University, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), FSG Geotechnics & Foundations, Insitu Test, and the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA). Topics covered included IC basics/theory/models, how IC can be implemented, lessons-learned from implementation in the US and China, a demonstration of Veta software, IC case studies from Australia, and a vibrant panel discussion.

Intelligent compaction panel discussion

Those in the panel discussion included an executive of AAPA, which plans to support road agency and industry members in the introduction of IC and address any barriers.

“The Australian Asphalt Pavement Association and its members are interested in IC as part of our industry’s commitment to continual improvement,” said Dr. Erik Denneman, AAPA Director of Technology and Leadership. “We expect that IC will lead to increased uniformity of compaction.”

Peter Evans, the Deputy Chief Engineer with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) of Queensland, was also member of the panel discussion.

“It was interesting to see how well-developed IC technology is now and its increasing use in the US,” said Evans. “I look forward to working with the industry to introduce this into TMR.”

Dr. George Chang, Director of Research at The Transtec Group, led the workshop.

“The main takeaway from Transtec’s IC workshops is for agencies, groups, and companies to fully understand IC’s benefits and see how it can be a great quality control tool,” said Dr. Chang.

The Transtec Group recently provided complete consulting support to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) during a year-long IC and infrared scanning (IR) demonstration project. Because of the success of the project, MoDOT has committed to fully implementing IC by 2021.

Other agencies or companies interested in IC or IR—also known as paver-mounted thermal profiling (PMTP)—can get started with the Intelligent Construction Technical Support Center. Services offered include online HelpDesk support for Veta software, training workshops, field project support, and complete support packages.