Microwave applicator for bituminous surface thermal bonding
This white paper presents a mobile microwave applicator for bonding of undesirable technological longitudinal joint opening occurring in bituminous pavement. Such defects are typical during road construction when two adjacent lanes are paved sequentially so that they need to be eventually bonded together across the whole depth of the road structure. Typically, after a new lane is deposited, a technological joint between the two lanes is merged with the aid of gas-jet followed by a road roller to improve thermal bonding.
The design of a mobile microwave applicator accounted for coupled electromagnetic-thermodynamic modelling using QuickWave software, microwave characterisation of selected bituminous mixtures, control of the exposure to microwave radiation, and heating rates measurements. This work solves significant technological issue of effective bonding of bituminous surfaces, thus, remarkably influencing road durability.