BT Labs: Driving Quality and Innovation for Associated Asphalt

From highways to airport landing strips, rooftops to bridges – asphalt plays a critical role in the infrastructure of our daily lives. As the impact of the environment changes and the needs of our customers become more advanced, Associated Asphalt looks to the Bituminous Technologies® (BT) Labs division to pave the way forward for our products by assuring quality control and innovation.

Previously, Associated Asphalt outsourced product and materials testing to the Asphalt Institute and other third-party labs. In an effort to bring that process in-house and expand our service offerings, Associated Asphalt acquired Mariani Asphalt’s lab in 2009 and later created BT Labs in 2010 to support the need to produce quality, innovative products that comply with federal and state regulations; all while solving the asphalt and paving challenges our customers face. With three AASHTO Accredited laboratories in Paulsboro, NJ, Tampa, FL, and Savannah, Georgia, we have access to state-of-the-art testing equipment and a team of knowledgeable, certified technicians. These labs are in charge of Research & Development, Quality Control & Assurance, and third-party testing for internal and external customers.

Assuring Quality PG Binder and Emulsion Products

When it comes to formulating specialty paving grade binders and emulsions, our customers depend on a reliable supply of asphalt materials that are durable and easy to use. There is no room for inaccuracy or inadequate materials; which is why our labs work hard to make sure that all materials and formulations that Associated Asphalt supplies meet specifications for customers and state regulations.

Through various methods of testing with advanced equipment, our team of technicians are able to ensure that our asphalt products will perform in our customers’ specified environments. We verify that our materials meet state standards, are free of contaminants, and that our asphalt formulations resist rutting, thermal cracking, fatigue damage, and stripping.

In addition to testing Associated Asphalt’s materials, our labs offer third-party testing services at competitive fees for those needing data on their asphalt products. So when one of our formulation partners is working on a new asphalt product to solve a unique customer challenge, we can perform the necessary tests to assure compliance and project success.

All-in-all, we hope to pave the way forward for quality in the industry at large, not just our own products.

Setting the Standard for State Regulation Compliance

Some of our most important partners in asphalt material and formulation testing are the state departments who set the standards for paving grade and emulsions. Each of the states in our footprint face unique climate challenges that drive these guidelines. For example, paving grade produced for Pennsylvania roads will require crack resistant formulas to endure cold winters, while asphalt applied to the hot highways of Florida must be designed to resist rutting.

BT Labs prioritizes keeping an open line of communication with state and federal agencies to make sure that we meeting specification standards. Part of having a good rapport with these representatives also means that we’re a trusted consultant when new challenges arrive. Playing a role in the solution allows us to innovate and adapt quickly to changing specifications.

Paving the Way Forward

As our tagline suggests, Associated Asphalt is dedicated to paving the way forward for product quality and innovation. That’s why our testing doesn’t stop at the task at hand and our labs are constantly looking towards the future. Our specialty products and sales marketing teams work with customers to find the right product to fit the unique performance criteria. Then, BT Labs is able to create the right formulation and test materials to provide assurance that the product will both meet our standards of performance and fulfill the needs of the application.

Our most recent successes range from materials used in standard Department of Transportation paving applications, like chip seals and overlays, to asphalt binders for shingles. We’ve also demonstrated our abilities in the applications of our StellarFlexFR® asphalt binder that provide a jet fuel resistant pavement for an airfield apron used to park nostalgic war-birds in Pennsylvania and protection from damage caused by horse urine on a horse-drawn carriage path in St. Augustine, Florida. When we can provide efficient and effective asphalt solutions for our partners, we call it a job well done.

Curious about what solutions Associated Asphalt can provide for your next project? Contact us to discover more about what it means to be an Associated Asphalt partner.