Much of Australia’s road network is made of unbound granular material without a sealed surface.
Raised dust from unsealed roads creates a number of challenges for the road user, asset owner, neighbours and the environment. These include impaired visibility and the risk of impacting community health and amenity for the rural farming industry.
By applying a proper dust suppressant, matching the gravel road condition specific to the site, dust emission can be reduced. This aims to provide a healthier air environment, an increase in road safety and ride comfort and reducing the cost of vehicle repair, road maintenance and aggregate replacement. It can also lead to increased crop and fruit yields for adjacent farmers which has financial benefits for the economy.
SAMI Bitumen Technologies is working with specialist companies like Dust-a-Side (DAS) to develop solutions using bitumen emulsion to help asset owners of gravel roads in dust control management.
DAS, a global specialist in dust control management, was first established in South Africa in 1973. Noticing dust control as a major problem for the Australian civil and construction industry, the company expanded into Australia in 2005.
General Manager, Neil Hoskin, says the business has developed a unique management system of treating gravel haul roads with SAMI bitumen emulsion to reduce dust generation and maintenance costs.
“We offer full establishment and maintenance services on heavy vehicle haul roads and light vehicle access roads across industry in Australia,” Mr. Hoskin says.
“DAS is an emulsion of bitumen in water specially formulated to suppress dust on roads, hardstands and laydown areas in heavy industrial environments such as mines, quarries and construction sites,” Mr. Hoskin says.
“Optimal results have been achieved by incorporating the product into the surface-wearing course layer via a stabilisation process. This has been proven to yield the most productive roads at the lowest lifecycle cost.”
Mr. Hoskin says the DAS product is delivered in a concentrated liquid form ready for use.
“It is typically diluted in a water cart at a concentration of 2.5 per cent right up to 50 per cent depending on the specific requirement,” Mr. Hoskin says.
“Case studies show the product leads to an operational dust reduction of 90 per cent, water savings up to 95 per cent, and wider operation cost savings and efficiencies due to the reduced need for water carts.”
Additionally, DAS case studies show the product provides faster recovery times after wet-weather and reduced likelihood of tyre damage due to the use of a road sweeper to maintain clean running surfaces and spillage reduction.
Mr. Hoskin says following profiling to specification, the prepared surface is ripped and mixed with the product to provide a stabilised wearing course. The surface is then sealed to deter any water ingress, with the roads bladed and compacted to shape.
“Heavy-duty haul trucks can be used as part of the compaction process, with newly established roads opened to normal traffic immediately after establishment. The product does not leach out once bonding and stabilisation have occurred,” Mr. Hoskin says.
After application, DSA product forms an impermeable seal so roads and other dust-bearing surfaces are dust and mud free, and functional in all weather conditions.
“For dust control and surface sealing results, our product can simply be used as a spray-on treatment,” says Mr. Hoskin.
“Dust control and management capabilities not only address and significantly reduce dust issues, they also contribute to safer infrastructure, reduced water consumption and improved production gains on site, or in operating plants across the supply chain.”
Mr. Hoskin says tightening dust emission control regulations, smarter operational requirements, water scarcity and environmental management, as well as ongoing expectations of delivering a healthier work place, all feature heavily in current civil operational plans.
DAS is currently operating from locations in Brisbane, Perth and Newcastle, and investing heavily in its sales and operational capability to deliver organic growth for the company.
“We’re also excited about exploring new opportunities in the market with SAMI, as both businesses look to expand their horizons,” Mr. Hoskin says.