Evaluation of the curing time and other characteristics of prime coats applied to a granular base
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Prime coats have been in use for many decades to help protect the base before the subsequent application of bituminous surface treatments. Prime coat is an application of a low viscosity binder onto the base to help protect the base from moisture, to provide an adequate bond between the bituminous surface coating and the base, to strengthen the base near the surface by binding the fines, and to protect the base from detrimental effects of weather and light traffic until the surface can be constructed. For a prime coat to function efficiently it should penetrate sufficiently into the base and should be cured before the application of subsequent layers. Evaluation of the time required for curing of prime coats and how the curing time depends on various weather parameters has received a lack of attention. In view of this, the time taken for curing of different prime coats and the dependence of curing time on weather parameters was studied. The prime coats most commonly used in Texas were selected for this study, namely; MC-30, EC-30, CSS-1H, SS-1H and AEP. All testing was done in real conditions, that is, samples were prepared and exposed to actual weather conditions. Since each prime coat is chemically very different, they were analyzed separately to determine the minimum curing time. Curing time was calculated in three different weather conditions to understand how the weather affects curing time. Further, two different application methods were used to determine the effect of application method on the curing time. In addition to determining curing times, other important engineering properties of prime coats that determine the performance of prime coats such as strength, permeability and penetration were also studied. Strength and permeability tests were done on cured specimens and the effect of application method on these values was also determined. Strength values were measured using a pocket penetrometer and penetration was determined by using sand penetration tests. A unique ranking system list was developed using curing time, strength, penetration and permeability as the key factors to determine the prime coat which would serve all the intended functions effectively and efficiently.