Why do some machines (Skid Tester, Gyratory Compactor, RTFO) are not available in a combined ASTM & EN version?

Skid Tester technical specifications are defined in a range of EN and ASTM standards. All standards define a device with the same specifications (e.g. dimensions and weights) — apart from few ones. For example, the spring-loaded force on the slider must be 22.2N ± 0.5N in EN 1097-8 and 2500g ± 100g in ASTM E303, and the two ranges are not overlapping. All our Skid Testers are factory-calibrated and the spring load value is defined in the calibration certificate, so the device can conform to either EN or ASTM. Since the spring load is adjustable, it is possible at any time to adjust its value, but this operation will void the current calibration,  requiring a new one to be done.

EN and ASTM standards include slightly different specifications for Gyratory Compactors too. Even if the machines are mechanically identical, the internal angle setting is 0.82° for EN 12697-31 and 1.16° for ASTM D6925 / AASHTO T312. This requires different factory presets and calibration certificates, because the angle calibration procedure is also different. All IPC Global Gyratory Compactors allow for an adjustment of the angle to both EN and ASTM values, but this operation would require an internal angle calibration with ILS device.

On the other hand, even if at a first glance they seem identical, ASTM and EN versions of Rolling Thin-Film Ovens (RTFO) have completely different inner dimensions. ASTM D2872 requires a 381 x 483 x 445 ± 13 mm chamber, while EN 12607-1 includes a 340 x 405 x 445 ± 15 mm one, so a combined ASTM & EN version is not possible.

Can I use my existing compaction molds?

At CONTROLS, we are continuously trying to improve the compatibility of accessories between different versions of asphalt and soil compactors, and compaction molds come first. So, if you replace your old compactor or you add a second one to your laboratory, you should be able to use all the compaction molds you already own.

If you’re using a Gyratory Compactor, Gyrocomp molds are 100% compatible with Galileo or Galileo Research. Only Servopac and Gyropac molds are not compatible with any other model.

All the latest generation Marshall and Proctor/CBR compactors are compatible with all Marshall and Proctor/CBR molds used in previous models, so you’ll be able to keep on using them.

Please remember that compaction molds suffer from wearing due to continuous use, so check their condition before using them on a new compactor.

Do I need a temperature-controlled cabinet for performance testing on asphalt mixes?

Asphalt mixture is a thermo-visco-plastic material, so its mechanical behavior is heavily affected by the test’s temperature. All relevant test standards require the control of the specimen temperature, or temperature in its close proximity, to a precise fixed value, typically ±0.5 or 1°C. This is only possible with a dedicated temperature-controlled cabinet, monitoring the specimen’s temperature during the whole test. Temperature is a test parameter, same as force, displacement and stiffness, so it is normally measured and recorded while the test is being performed, as a proof of test conformity. This is critical for tests that take a long time to complete, such as Permanent Deformation or Fatigue. On the other hand, temperature control is not needed when stabilized soil is tested, like in AASHTO T307 Resilient Modulus.

Can I upgrade my old UTM with current IPC Global dynamic testing accessories?

If your laboratory is already equipped with an IPC Global UTM or AMPT, you will be able to fit it with our latest compatible accessories, since the compatibility with new jigs and transducers is almost 100%. Only some old equipment (first generation SPT/AMPT, old Matta testers) could require some major update to perform the latest test configurations.

In case you have a UTM from another manufacturer, there are still some upgrade possibilities, but they are a bit more complicated. Most of test jigs for compressive only tests can be mounted without any problem, you only need to check if they can fit into your UTM frame. On the other hand, test jigs for tension or tension/compression tests require to be connected to the UTM frame and actuator on both sides (top and bottom), so some adapters may be needed. We are able to support you in this operation.

If the test accessories must be equipped with transducers, we can support you in two ways. First, we can provide you all the details of the transducers compatible with our jig. Second, we can supply the required transducer, but then you will have to connect it to your UTM controller, and and take care of its calibration as well.

If using a controller from another manufacturer, it is not possible for us to help you control the test performance. IPC Global’s UTS software and UTS Neutron suite are only compatible with IMACS and IMACS2 controllers. But you can always consider upgrading your controller to IMACS2!

How can I obtain a binder/solvent batch to be used for binder recovery?

To recover binder with rotary evaporator or Abson device you need a small batch of binder/solvent solution, containing at least 120g of binder. The recovered binder is then used for binder characterization tests.

Typically, with manual solvent extractors this is easily done by carefully cleaning the unit from residual binder from previous extraction, then performing an extraction with longer soaking time, to increase the percentage of binder in the solution.

With automatic closed-loop solvent extractors this operation is complicated by the fact that, at the end of the extraction, the solution is collected into the “dirt solvent” tank. Since these units have large capacity and are designed for high operativity, the tank complete cleaning is a complicated and time-consuming operation.

Also, it’s not possible to take advantage of the distillation process in the solvent recovery unit, because the presence of air would cause an unwanted binder oxidation. If you’re interested in collecting a binder/solvent solution batch, we recommend to equip your automatic extractor unit with a sampling connector for a rotary evaporator flask. This system allows to collect a binder/solvent solution sample without contamination from other binder residuals, with an easy and safe operation.

What solvent can I use for binder extraction?

All CONTROLS Group binder extractions units, especially the fully automated models, are suitable to be used with chlorinated solvents, mainly TCE (trichloroethylene), PCE (perchloroethylene) and DCM (methylene chloride). The use of flammable solvents is only possible for models where an explosion-proof version is available.