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NYC Uses a High Performance Thin Overlay to Solve a Hard Problem
Evotherm™ Used on New State-of-the-Art Kart Track
South Jersey Biz Magazine
Black is the New Green at Warm Mix Asphalt Conference
Asphalt Artisans

NYC Uses a High Performance Thin Overlay to Solve a Hard Problem

New York City’s First Avenue in Manhattan is now safer for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, and quieter for residents thanks, in part, to a new surface of High Performance Thin Overlay (HPTO) mix with a highly polymer-modified asphalt binder. The $7 million resurfacing project is part of a $6 billion NYC DOT investment in nearly 1,000 projects over the past six years to keep road infrastructure in a state of good repair.

First Avenue is a northbound one-way street and handles much of the northbound truck traffic through Manhattan. It was re-paved in 1983 with an 1894 thick Reinforced Portland Cement Concrete pavement (RPCCP). The pavement was the first new concrete pavement in NYC in 30 years and had been touted to have a design life of 40 years. After 30 years, the pavement was in very poor condition, and the NYC DOT began searching for a repair solution. The cost of removing and replacing the 1894thick RPCCP pavement was beyond the NYC DOT budget. In addition, aged water, gas, sewer and steam lines beneath First Avenue would likely break during the RPCCP removal process. Repairing and replacing utilities would have only added to the prohibitively expensive project.

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First Avenue – February 2012

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Evotherm™ Used on New State-of-the-Art Kart Track

evotherm-kart-track-1Evotherm™ was the asphalt of choice for the Mooresville Motorplex, a new world class state-of-the-art kart track in North Carolina. Blythe Construction paved the intricate, winding layout, using two pavers to pave the entire width of the track in one pass so that the hot centerline joint would form a smooth surface. The liquid is PG82-22 from our Savannah, GA, Refinery, with Evotherm™ added by Blythe. The track is 4,000 feet long and is a copy of a track in Italy. The facility is expected to open in October, and it will be the only track of its type in the U.S.

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Featured in South Jersey Biz Magazine

sjbiz-1South Jersey Biz magazine included our company in its recent “Green Awards” issue for the company’s warm-mix asphalt process. SJ Biz recognized NuStar for “proving that sustainable, efficient and environmentally sound policies can be good business, too'” “In general, asphalt is the most recycled product in the world and NuStar Asphalt is a leading producer of this product,” said Technical Services Director Doug Brown. “Asphalt also has a lower carbon footprint than concrete. We’re excited to be doing our part to improve our environment by supplying our warm mix asphalt product throughout the East Coast states. Because it’s applied at a much lower temperature, it’s a win for the environment in terms of emission reductions and it’s a win for our customers because they benefit from fuel savings and have access to a product that is easier to work with as they build and repair roads. Warm mix asphalt is also a win for the nation as a whole because research shows that this product results in better roads.”

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NuStar Asphalt’s Warm Mix Asphalt was used on a section of road that is part of the annual Giants’ Despair Hill Climb, an auto race established in 1906 just outside Wilkes-Barre, PA. It is the oldest continuing motorsport event in Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest auto races in the U.S.


Black is the New Green at Warm Mix Asphalt Conference

On June 17th, the Delaware Department of Transportation (Del-DOT), the Delaware Asphalt Pavement Association (DAPA), Mead Westvaco Corporation and NuStar Asphalt co-sponsored a Warm Mix Asphalt Workshop and Demonstration at the Del-DOT headquarters in Dover, DE. The Delaware Department of Transportation has completely embraced the concept of Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) and plans to use 100% warm mix by 2015. NuStar Asphalt attendees included Greg Kaneb, Vice President Strategic Development; Chris Gusty, Sr. Area Sales Manager; Al Michael, Sr. Area Sales Manager and Ronald Corun, Sr. Manager Asphalt Technical Services. NuStar Asphalt personnel handed out warm mix literature and NuStar WMA hats to the attendees. The event was designed to educate local county and town engineers, consulting engineers and contractors about the benefits and proper usage of WMA. More than 200 people were in attendance, and, unfortunately, approximately 30 prospective attendees were turned away because of lack of space.

Warm Mix Asphalt is a concept that uses a variety of technologies to improve workability and lower the temperature of asphalt mixtures. These technologies include injecting additives. NuStar Asphalt greatly simplifies the use of WMA for its customers by injecting the Evotherm™ 3G additive at the terminal. An asphalt contractor does not need to purchase injection equipment and/or additives and install, calibrate, operate and maintain an additive system when he purchases asphalt blended with Evotherm™ 3G from NuStar.

Warm Mix Asphalt offers many benefits to the contractor, the owner agency and the general public. The lower mix temperatures mean less fuel is required to heat up the mixture, resulting in reduced levels of emissions from the asphalt plant stack. Lower temperatures virtually eliminate fumes and odors from the asphalt mix during placement and compaction on the roadway, which create a much more comfortable environment for the workers and the traveling public. Lower mix temperatures also reduce the amount of aging of the liquid asphalt that occurs in the asphalt plant during the mixing process, which may lead to increased life of the asphalt mix on the roadway.All of the potential benefits make Warm Mix Asphalt a very “green” concept. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is actively promoting WMA to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies.

A live paving demonstration illustrated the workability and proper installation of WMA. Two warm mixes were placed 96 one with a water foaming mineral technology called Advera and one with Evotherm™ 3G. The mixes were produced by NuStar Asphalt customer Diamond Materials of Wilmington, DE, and were placed and compacted by NuStar customer George and Lynch, Inc. of Dover, DE. Typical Hot Mix Asphalt temperatures for this mix would be 300-315 degrees F. The Advera mix was delivered to the jobsite at 273 degrees F. It emitted a small amount of fumes during placement. The Evotherm™ 3G mix was delivered at 240 degrees F. It was hand-worked, placed and compacted with ease and no visible fumes were evident. The
side-by-side comparison clearly demonstrated the superior temperature reductions and workability delivered by NuStar Asphalt and Evotherm™ 3G. Workshop sponsors and attendees thought that the event was informational and a great success! Ron Corun, Sr. Asphalt Technical Services Manager


Asphalt Artisans

As I sat at the Federal Highway Expert Task Group meetings hosted in our corporate office in San Antonio, I was reminded of the extreme science behind what we do. Many times we go about our normal day-to-day jobs and take for granted the products that we make. Asphalt is not just the black, sticky, bottom of the barrel material, but a highly studied, refined and engineered product. I’m proud to be part of a group that leads the effort in product development both here and in the industry at large. This has been an exciting and busy year for our Technical group and I’d like to share some of those accomplishments with you.

First, earlier this year, we were introduced to a new product called Warm Mix Asphalt. While Frank Fee began talking about this product more than five years ago, it has more recently seen its first widespread use in our markets. What is warm mix? It is nothing less than the future of the asphalt business. Through the use of various technologies, asphalt can be applied to road surfaces at temperatures up to 100 degrees F below normal. What that means for the world is over 50% reduction in greenhouse gases emitted from hot mix plants, energy savings of up to 50% in the mix production, and greatly reduced exposure to fumes for those transporting and laying the product. Basically, the fumes you see coming from paving machines are all but eliminated. In addition to being environmentally friendly, this product also allows contractors to pave in the shoulder months of the season, adding to their and our company’s bottom line. After much technical analysis, our group elected to align with Meade Westvaco’s Evotherm™ 3G technology to formulate this product. Using this product not only provides our customers with the best technology available, but also gives NuStar the flexibility to add it to any product at any terminal through in-line injection. This gives us maximum flexibility and provides maximum customer service. Warm mix implementation was a yearlong effort involving the technical, terminal, refining, marketing, and projects groups. The first installation took place at the Paulsboro Refinery as we anticipated that product demand would be greatest in the northeast. It is estimated that warm mix asphalt could replace all hot mix paving within 10 years, and NuStar took a proactive approach to reach this new and growing market. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe most notable warm mix project undertaken this year happened at the most notable address in the United States – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Yes, we paved in front of the White House using our Paulsboro Refinery asphalt and two very technologically-advanced and engineered products – warm mix and StellarFlex-CR! StellarFlex-CR was developed by our technical group over the past several years to provide an extremely durable, yet flexible, pavement interlayer over concrete joints.

On Pennsylvania Avenue, Ron Corun oversaw the milling and paving operation day and night, where StellarFlex-CR was placed over concrete. The joints in the concrete had reflected up through the pavement so that re-paving was necessary within two years of the original placement. It is our estimate that this new pavement design will now last for 10 or more years, saving you, the taxpayer, money. But, more important to our company was doing a first class job in a very high profile neighborhood. Using StellarFlex-CR was not the end of our technology showcase at this location. We elected to provide a warm mix version that was the first of its kind ever placed in the US. This allowed for placing the material at greatly reduced temperatures during very hot and humid July days, saving the touring public the annoyance of smoke and fumes, and leaving only the workers to deal with the heat of the day. To conclude this project, a layer of PG 70-28 polymer modified asphalt was put on top of the crack relief interlayer, using a brown stone aggregate to make the pavement appear “historic.”

This entire operation involved personnel from our technical, marketing, refining, and PMA operations. As you can see, the Technical group cannot act alone in our endeavors. It takes a team approach to make things comes together. Second, the Technical group has also been busy getting the new terminals integrated into our quality control and quality assurance system, which is required by the state Departments of Transportation (DOT). Without the proper documentation, infrastructure, and support, we could not do business in these facilities. Laboratory and Research Manager Karissa Mooney, Technical Services Representative Chrissy Skala, and Laboratory Manager Larry Bristow led this daunting and laborious project. Many people don’t realize the extraordinary amount of effort it takes to gain states’ approvals and confidence, and NuStar rises to the top as an “extremely reliable and ethical company” in the DOT’s eyes. We work hard to maintain that image so that we can continue to supply the products that you work so hard to make. We successfully integrated the three SEM terminals in New Jersey, Texas and Virginia and the NuStar terminal in Pittsburg, California, to our list of 20 plus terminals in 30 plus states this year. In addition, Karissa Mooney led the effort to raise the level of AASHTO accreditation at our Catoosa, Oklahoma, terminal so that they could comply with the DOT requirements and serve the growing NuStar terminal system as a certifying laboratory. Next up, we’ll pursue a similar accreditation at the Pittsburg terminal laboratory. So, in an effort to maximize our internal effectiveness and save money, we are gearing up all of our laboratories to serve the needs of our customers and meet the requirements of our quality control plans with efficiency and excellence.

Third, when the Federal Highways Expert Task Groups (FHWA), responsible for recommending all the specifications under which we operate through extensive research and development, decided to host their fall meeting in San Antonio, our company rose to the occasion by offering to host the event at the corporate headquarters. Asphalt Technical Services Manager Frank Fee, who also serves at the Chairman of the mix task group, and member Karissa Mooney led this effort. Again, the best and brightest in the asphalt technical community came together under our company’s leadership and hospitality, which showcased NuStar as not only a world-class binder supplier, but also as a world class organization. The membership and the FHWA folks greatly appreciated the hospitality and were thankful for all the money saved by not having to rent a venue.

To conclude, this group’s research and development efforts are only a part of what we do. Keys to our overall successful business operation are our industry leadership, quality assurance and control, and our role as the “face” of the company to many local, state, and federal agencies. I’m proud to be a part of such a world class group of folks and, as a group, we are here to service the needs of our customers, both internal and external. We are, as they say, the leaders of the “black art science” we call asphalt refining. Doug Brown, Sr. Technical Services Manager