Everyone in the road construction industry knows that the longitudinal joint is often the first part of the pavement to fail. This is because the air voids in longitudinal joints make them more susceptible to elements such as air and water and dust than the rest of the pavement. These elements work their way down through the joint causing deterioration and cracking, and as a result can create potholes in the road. When the longitudinal joint fails, the rest of the road soon follows.
That is why a void reducing asphalt membrane (VRAM) is recommended to be applied at the time of construction. When applied, it significantly reduces air voids in longitudinal joints from the bottom up and protects the road from air and water intrusion, extending the life of the road pavement.
Note: VRAM is referred to as longitudinal joint sealant (LJS) in Illinois.
What is VRAM?
VRAM is a mix of asphalt binder, polymer and modifiers. It is placed along the eventual longitudinal joint location and migrates upwards, which fills the air voids. VRAM is a product created to provide road longevity, sustainability and durability to reduce the presence of air voids.
- Owner: Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
- Prime Paving Contractor: United Contractors Midwest (UCM)
- Applicator: Illiana
- Location: Harvel, Christian County, IL
- Date Constructed: October 17, 2023
This project took place on a 14-mile two-lane state highway and began at the Montgomery County Line in Harvey, Illinois, running northeast to Morrisonville, Illinois. The personnel on the project were UCM’s superintendent Will Freesen, an IDOT inspector, Illiana’s superintendent Cullen Hesterberg, Emulsicoat’s Field Support Engineer Cody Egan and Asphalt Materials, Inc.’s (AMI) Jim Cunningham. The VRAM application began at 7:50 a.m., and the ambient temperature on board was 39°F while the material on board was 310°F.
The VRAM was successfully applied and did not have any pickup on vehicle tires. J-Band®, an AMI VRAM product, played a vital role on this project. J-Band® provides cost savings and protects the most important part of the roadway, the longitudinal joint. This product is the future of road infrastructure.
For a closer look at projects that have incorporated a VRAM during construction and to discover the benefits of longer-lasting roads in terms of cost savings, time efficiency, and safety, you can explore our interactive map here.
J-Band®, CCAP® and T-Bond® are registered trademarks of Asphalt Materials, Inc. AMIBIND™, AMIBOND™, AMICYCLE™, AMIGUARD™ and AMISEAL™ are trademarks of Asphalt Materials, Inc.