Optimized taconite-based pavement repair compound and deployment system

Principal Investigator(s):

Lawrence Zanko, Senior Research Program Manager, UMD-NRRI


Project summary:

Potholes and other types of premature pavement failures are an ongoing repair challenge and expense for transportation maintenance departments at all levels. These pavement failures, at a minimum, create rough roads and poor driving conditions, but they often degenerate into vehicle-damaging safety hazards that incur the wrath of the driving public, negative attention from the news media, and interrupt or slow commerce. The National Resources Research Institute (NRRI) has developed and patented a rigid, taconite mineral-based, all season, rapid setting repair compound that contains neither petroleum nor portland cement. As such, its environmental footprint is much smaller than cold or hot mix asphalt products, mastic, or portland cement-based repair compounds. This project is: 1) refining NRRI's taconite-based repair compound, with an emphasis on developing and optimizing one or more pumpable/extrudable formulations having an appropriate particle size distribution; and 2) developing, field testing, and demonstrating a low-cost mechanized system that can efficiently mix and a place the repair compound in larger quantities while minimizing or eliminating direct contact and hand-mixing by maintenance personnel. The optimized formulation would utilize relatively low-cost and abundant mining byproducts and co-products, and the mechanized deployment system would make use of relatively inexpensive, commercially available (i.e., off-the-shelf) equipment. The expected economic benefits include cost savings for both raw materials and maintenance labor. In addition, the rapid-setting nature of the formulation combined with the mechanized deployment system would allow pavement and pothole repairs to be conducted faster and with moving traffic control, thereby avoiding lengthy traffic-disrupting lane closures. Key project outcomes are lower costs, good-quality and longer-lasting repairs, and improved productivity.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2017003
  • Start date: 05/2016
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Infrastructure
  • Topics: Asphalt, Concrete, Maintenance