Micro surfacing is one of the toughest and most versatile pavement surface treatments available. While conventional slurry seal is used as an economical treatment for sealing and extending the service of roads, micro surfacing has many added capabilities. Because of its advanced additives, micro surfacing can be applied in a broad range of temperatures and weather conditions. It is particularly suitable for night applications on heavy-traffic streets, highways, and airfields. Micro surfacing sets extremely quickly and solves and prevents a variety of pavement problems. Micro surfacing dramatically increases the life of pavement when used as part of a preventive maintenance system.
Quality micro surfacing work requires consistent materials, scientific mix designs, high-quality equipment, and a trained, experienced contractor. California Pavement Maintenance Company excels in all categories and has done micro surfacing work for over 30 years. We only use top-of-the-line RoadSaver micro surfacing machines to increase performance, minimize downtime, and ensure that the micro is mixed and applied properly. We do micro surfacing work on city, county, and state roads, airports, and commercial parking lots.
Using various mix designs, techniques, and equipment, micro surfacing can be used successfully in many situations.
Micro creates a new, stable surface that is resistant to rutting and shoving in summer and reduces cracking in winter.
After micro surfacing, roads are often reopened to traffic within one hour.
Micro surfacing can be used to restore proper surface leveling on roads and runways. This helps to eliminate hydroplaning, making the area safe to use. Micro also has the unique ability to fill wheel ruts up to 1.5 inches (38mm) deep – without milling – when the pavement has stabilized and is not subject plastic deformation.
Dense-graded micro surfacing produces a skid-resistant surface on roadways and runways without loose rock that damages aircraft engines.
Micro surfacing is more expensive than some other surface treatments.
Micro surfacing is a polymer modified cold-mix paving system that can remedy a broad range of problems on today’s streets, highways, and airfields. Like its sister product, slurry seal, micro surfacing begins as a mixture of dense-graded aggregate, asphalt emulsion, water, and mineral fillers. It has capabilities beyond normal slurry thanks to the use of materials like advanced polymers and additives.
Even the best surfaces are subject to the wear and tear caused by time, weather, and traffic. By undertaking a program of planned pavement maintenance, major savings in rehabilitation costs may be achieved, as shown in the graph below.
The application of the proper asphalt preservation system will significantly extend the life of existing pavements by protecting the undersurface from damage caused by water seepage and oxidation. Improved surface performance is also achieved.
Micro surfacing was pioneered in Germany in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. German scientists began experimenting with conventional slurry to find a way to use it in thicker applications which could be applied in narrow courses for wheel ruts – and not destroy the expensive road striping lines on the autobahns.
When the scientists used highly selected aggregates and (asphalt) bitumen, and then incorporated special polymers and emulsifiers that allowed the product to remain stable even when applied in multi-stone thickness, the result was micro surfacing.
Introduced in the United States in 1980, micro surfacing now is recognized not only as the most cost-effective way to treat the surface wheel-rutting problem, but also a variety of other road surface problems. Micro surfacing is now used throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, and many other places around the world.
Micro surfacing is made and applied to existing pavements by RoadSaver micro surfacing machines manufactured by Rayner Equipment Systems. The machine carries all components, mixes them on site, and spreads the mixture onto the road surface. Materials are continuously and accurately measured, and then thoroughly combined in the micro surfacing machine’s mixer.
As the machine moves forward, the mixture is continuously fed into a full-width “surfacing” box which spreads the micro surfacing across the width of a traffic lane in a single pass. Specially engineered “rut” boxes, designed to deliver the largest aggregate particle into the deepest part of the rut to give maximum stability in the wheel path, may also be used.
The new surface is initially a dark brown color and changes to the finished black surface as the water is chemically ejected and the surface cures, often permitting traffic within one hour.
Download the ISSA’s guidelines for micro surfacing.