Balanced Mix Design

People have been optimizing the design of asphalt mix to create more stable and durable pavements foryears. Although Superpave is currently used by most state highway agencies (SHA), its original intentionof incorporating performance tests into mixture analysis portion has not yet been realized. Also, currentvolumetric analysis alone cannot adequately assess mix variables such as recycled […]

Indoor Air Quality — Healthy Buildings

Indoor air quality (IAQ) affects us all. We want the air we breathe to be clean, allergens (respiratory and topical skin irritants) to be lessened, and exposure to hazardous chemicals and other materials to be non-existent in the structures where we work and live. Poor IAQ potential sources cover a wide range of possibilities and even […]

Consolidation of Concrete By Internal Vibration

By Luke M. Snell One of the big challenges on construction projects is to get concrete adequately vibrated. On many projects, the person vibrating the concrete is poorly trained and does not realize that the job is one of the most important to achieving a well consolidated concrete. This has become more critical; now we […]

It Pays to do the Dirt Work First

Just as construction projects start from the ground up —  so does the project design.  Doing the soil work first, in the form of a geotechnical site evaluation, is a sensible first step to take for a successful design.  A qualified geotechnical engineer should be one of the first “boots on the ground”  design professionals to observe, […]

How The Rubber Met The Road

Something great was being cooked up in Mrs. McDonald’s kitchen in the 1960’s. Her husband, Charles McDonald, an Engineering Supervisor for the City of Phoenix at the time — melted, mixed, (in Mrs. McDonald’s kitchen) and spread out his tire taffy on the roads of Phoenix and became known as “The Father of Asphalt Rubber”. Mr. […]

Mother Nature — A Great Housekeeper

During a recent project through Western Technologies’ environmental group, Mother Nature showed up with her holistic and organic cleaning powers. Western Technologies (WT) was managing a remediation project for a gasoline release on a site located in Arizona. The site also contained a plume of free product waste oil and an abandoned old septic system. Since it was not a threat […]

Living with Hot Weather

One of the problems of doing concrete construction in the southwest is “living with the heat!” During the hot weather, concrete can be difficult to finish, more likely to crack and have lower long-term strength. I have been working with Infrared thermometers that can help contractors. The infrared thermometer measures the infrared energy given off by an […]

Certification of Batch Plants in Mongolia

While in Mongolia I did certifications of five concrete batch plants. Certification is a little different than those Western Technologies normally does. The equipment is manufactured in China, thus they do not have the plant and truck ratings that we have in the USA. I had to perform uniformity test at each batch plant. This test is […]

The Biggest Environmental Misconception

The biggest environmental misconception may be placing you, your employees, your clients and families at risk for exposure to asbestos, and vulnerable to regulatory non-compliance violations. The general belief that the use of asbestos fiber in building materials has been banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an untruth. In fact, you don’t need […]

Concrete Cracking – A Destructive Kind

Concrete cracking… could it be Alkali Silica Reaction (ASR)? Well known facts about concrete are that it will harden and crack. Concrete hardens due to chemical reactions known as hydration. Concrete may crack due to shrinkage of the hydration products and temperature changes. Other causes of cracking can be due to structural loading. However, concrete cracking that is […]