KM International helps clear up the confusion around thais cutting-edge tech
By now, most asphalt contractors are familiar with the infrared asphalt repair process — or have at least heard it mentioned in various ads, articles, and trade shows. Although many contractors have a working knowledge of infrared repair and the benefits it offers, there are still some preconceived notions that come to mind when talking about infrared repair. As one of the industry’s leading infrared manufacturers, KM International would like to put to rest some of the common misconceptions associated with infrared repair.
True or False: Some Infrared Machines Heat Up Faster Than Others
False. Asphalt can only absorb heat at a certain rate, so many assume that the more heat you throw at the asphalt, the faster it will heat up — but this is not the case. Standard heating times will be between 7 and 10 minutes for 1.5 to 2 inches of penetration into the asphalt. The asphalt quality and lifetime will be more of a variable than the machine itself. For example, if you are repairing a roller mark on a paving project that was installed just two weeks ago, that will heat up faster than asphalt that was laid 10 to 15 years ago.
True or False: Infrared Takes Less Time Than Saw Cut to Remove and Replace
True. On average, a typical infrared repair will take 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish, whereas a saw cut R&R repair typically takes 40 to 50 minutes. So, for every one saw cut repair you make you can perform at least two infrared repairs — if not three.
True or False: You Can Reuse/Recycle the Existing Asphalt
True. One of the major benefits of infrared repair is that you are recycling the existing asphalt. This means two things: first, infrared repair is considered “green technology,” and secondly, you are using far less new material in the repair. Most infrared repairs only require five or six shovels of asphalt, far less than the full ton saw cut R&R or skin patching often require.
True or False: Infrared is a Long-Term Repair
True, but depends on the repair type and user. Infrared is widely considered to be a long-term fix for a variety of repairs. The only time infrared could be considered a temporary fix is when there is a substantial base failure that needs to be addressed requiring a full-depth remove and replace. In terms of quality, an infrared repair will only be as good as the rake and lute man. Anything with asphalt, especially hand patching, is more of an art than science. If you have a quality rake and lute man, the repair will last. However, if the rake and lute man are inexperienced, the repair may not be up to par.
True or False: All Infrared Machines Are the Same
False. Every infrared machine has its own unique design and control features. KM International machines, for example, use a ceramic refractory blanket instead of stainless-steel heat tubes. This helps ensure an even heat throughout the entire repair area. Additionally, KM International units are the only units that feature a push-button start. This is done for the convenience and safety of the machine operator.
True or False: Infrared Machines “Burn” the Asphalt
False (depending on the machine). All KM infrared machines incorporate heat cycling technology, which is a key design feature. This prevents the overheating and burning of the asphalt. The heat cycling technology is an automatic heating sequence in which the machine runs for 45 seconds, and then shuts off for 10 seconds. The machine follows this sequence for a full 10-minute cycle. This sequence allows the heat to fully penetrate the asphalt without burning or scorching the top layer.
True or False: Infrared Machines Are Dangerous
False. KM International (along with other infrared manufacturers) consider safety to be the top priority and manufacture their infrared equipment with key safety features to keep the operator and additional employees safe.
True or False: Infrared Machines Have Limited Capabilities
False. Infrared machines can be used for a variety of applications including, but not limited to, general asphalt repairs, repairing new paving mistakes (such as roller marks or bird baths), thermoplastic installations, repairing damage around storm drains, and much more.
Infrared machines, as well as the infrared repair process, have come a long way in 30 years. KM International continues to help educate those customers already performing infrared repairs, as well as those who are new to infrared technology. If you are interested in adding infrared services to your business, do some research and talk to the manufacturers as well as other contractors who already perform infrared services. That will help you see if it would be a good fit for your business. Whether you are a sealcoater, paver, or any other asphalt-related company, infrared technology can be a real asset to your business.
Contact us to learn more about Infrared Asphalt Repair. At KM International, we know firsthand how beneficial the infrared asphalt repair method can be to businesses of all sizes. In addition to improving profit margins while being able to work all year long, you can trust that repair will last longer and be more durable than other options.
To learn more, visit us at kminternational.com or call us at (800) 492-1757.