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Asphalt Reclamation Overview

What is Road Reclamation

Asphalt Reclamation, also known as Full Depth Reclamation (FDR), is a cost effective method of pavement rehabilitation. During FDR the full thickness of the asphalt surface and a portion of the underlying base are uniformly graded and pulverized to serve as the base for a new road. Additives such as cement or asphalt emulsion are often incorporated to increase strength. The result is a homogenous layer with improved structural capacity. 

Why is Road Reclamation Necessary? 

When roads start to degrade, it is common for potholes, ruts and cracks to form. Sometimes the response is to fill the potholes and seal the cracks, or perhaps cover the entire surface with a thin overlay of asphalt. While those actions may appear to solve the cosmetic issues, they do not address the root cause of the cracks, ruts and potholes: a failing or deficient base. 

Unfortunately no matter how many times that road is milled or treated with an overlay, the same issues will recur until the insufficient base is addressed and remedied. Time, money and resources are wasted and the root cause —the insufficient base—remains. 

Where does Road Reclamation occur? 

When the current road surface has been degraded to the point that the underlying base is unable to support the road surface Road Reclamation is necessary. Milling a road or filling cracks and potholes does nothing to improve the base.  

This is where Road Reclamation solves the problems.  

What is the Road Reclamation Process? How Does it Work? 

During Road Reclamation the full thickness of the existing asphalt pavement/road surface, as well as a portion of the base, is pulverized to a specific size, using a machine such as the Roadtec SX-6 or SX-8.  Then, a layer of a binding agent is added to the surface in a precise, customized ratio.  The process yields an improved base layer with improved structural capacity that can support the new road surface.  

What are the Benefits of Road Reclamation? 

Road reclamation is efficient in terms of time, money and natural resources.  

Reclamation saves money - One solution to repairing a base is to grind the entire surface down to the base, gather that material and transport that old material to a dump or landfill. Next, new materials are hauled in and the road is recreated with all these new materials. This is very costly in terms of labor and resources. Reclamation eliminates these costs. 

Reclamation saves time - As noted above, transporting material to a landfill and then replacing it with new material is costly, but it is also extremely time consuming. Since Reclamation reuses the materials, it increases efficiency.  

Reclamation saves resources - Rather than source new materials, Road Reclamation uses the existing materials. This recycling is more beneficial to our environment, both in terms of reusing material and in terms of reduced fuel costs.  

Reclamation creates more durable roads - The stronger base created during Road Reclamation creates a solid foundation for longer lasting, more durable roads that don’t suffer from cracks, holes or ruts. Better roads mean safer travels, less time in traffic, and reduced road construction costs.  

Related Information

Job Stories

SX-8 Integral to Success of Atlanta Reclamation Project

Best Practices in Full Depth Reclamation: Asphalt Pro Magazine

Products

SX-6 Reclaimer

SX-8 Reclaimer

Education

What is Soil Stabilzation?

Video

SX-4 Reclaims University Roadways