Comment: Specified quality is essential

Dominic Browne

Instarmac’s Karl Brannigan, national sales manager for UltraCrete, discusses the importance of specifications for highways product certification and product acceptance schemes.

We all understand the importance of using approved products on our road network and the consequences that can arise when not using certified materials to carry out repairs. It is essential that all asphalt materials used for pothole repairs, ironwork and utility reinstatements in carriageways, footpaths and cycle tracks meet the industry standards that guarantee long-term performance.

Such standards are clearly set out in the Specification for Highway Works (MCHW SHW) Clause 946 and the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways (SROH) – key industry documents, which dictate how roads are built and repairs are carried out. All products used on our road network need to be assessed and certified through a UKAS-accredited certification body to demonstrate they conform to these standards of performance.

Standard updates

The SROH is set to be updated (see pages 70-72), but the issue of standards is as important as ever. Two bodies who offer industry recognised certification for cold lay asphalt surfacing materials are the British Board of Agrément (BBA), which provides BBA HAPAS certificates, and Pavement Testing Services (PTS) which provides PTS PAS certification. In addition, the PTS product acceptance scheme (PTS PAS) was established in line with MCHW SHW clauses 104.15 and 104.16 and is fully recognised by all highway authorities.

Both the BBA and PTS are supported in their product assessment and certification by a technical supervisory panel, which includes representation from Highways England – which acts on behalf of the overseeing organisations of the Department for Transport, Transport Scotland, the Welsh Assembly and the Department of Regional Development, Northern Ireland – the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport, Road Surface Treatments Association, Mineral Products Association, Joint Authorities Group, Midlands Highways Alliance and the Highways Authorities and Utilities Committee (UK) working group for SROH and SROH Innovations.

Quality management

Products certified through the BBA and PTS are proven to not only meet the test and performance criteria required to withstand the demands of our carriageways and footpaths, but also provide peace of mind that all certified products have been developed by manufacturers with strong quality management systems, strict process control and manufacturing consistency and traceability.

When the standard was first introduced, Instarmac was extremely proud to have been one of the first manufacturers to gain approval through the BBA.

Providing quality products that are fit for purpose has always been of the utmost importance to Instarmac. With this in mind, many of its high performance materials have been thoroughly tested and have gained independent certification by both the BBA and PTS.

Tough Patch now PTS PAS Certified

Instarmac has made pioneering step by partnering with PTS to have Tough Patch, an innovation in reactive cold lay materials, recently certified for use. This permanent cold lay repair material incorporates reactive binder technology and rapid cure and is able to be cored after 24 hours.

Tough Patch has been awarded with PTS PAS Certification.

Tested in accordance with MCHW SHW Volume 1 Clause 104.15 and 104.16, Tough Patch has been proven to provide a permanent repair in a variety of environments.

When saw cut and used in conjunction with UltraCrete SCJ seal and tack coat spray, Tough Patch 6mm provides a permanent repair on footways, footpaths and cycle tracks and Tough Patch 10mm is proven to provide a first time permanent repair in type 3 and 4 carriageways.

As well as complying with all the test requirements of the revised SHW Clause 946 and as defined in SROH, Tough Patch has been proven to outperform these standards in a number of areas.

SROH requires all cold lay materials to be capable of being cored within six months of installation, however Tough Patch surpasses these requirements, allowing cores to be taken after 24 hours.

In addition to the SHW and SROH test requirements, Tough Patch 6mm and 10mm grades have been assessed for wheel tracking and permanent deformation at 60°C – the standard is only 45°C – and both grades demonstrated enhanced performance to classify as suitable for 'very heavily stressed sites requiring very high rut resistance'.

Available in 25kg bags and buckets, Tough Patch permanent surface repair material can be used in all weathers and is proven to last the life of the road, eliminating costly repeat visits to site.

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