The Benefits of High-Friction Surfacing
Every four years, the ASCE Committee on America’s Infrastructure issues a report card grading the country’s many categories of infrastructure. In 2013, we received an overall grade of D+. In 2017, the country received the same grade—but the transit sector actually suffered, dropping from an individual grade of D to D-. Today, more than ever, America’s roadways need help. Businesses like Kafka Granite are developing solutions to issues like slippery bridges and deteriorating highways.
Whether you’re a Department of Transportation decision-maker or a contractor sourcing materials for a roadway project, you’ve probably come across high-friction surfacing treatments. High-friction surfacing is used to improve traction on bridge decks, entrance/exit ramps, curves, overpasses, and more. But it doesn’t just improve driving conditions—it also saves lives. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of this treatment.
6 Advantages of High-Friction Surfacing
1. Increased Traction
High-friction surfacing consists of a layer of two-part epoxy topped with a hard, fractured aggregate. The most significant benefit of this roadway treatment is the increased traction it offers when applied to roadways, bridge decks, and other high-crash locations. With proper surface preparation, non-skid surfacing epoxy overlays can be used to improve driving conditions on pre-existing roadways and new installations alike.
2. Safer Driving
That increased traction helps vehicles stay on the road, which is essential when winter weather, low temperatures, and even simple rainstorms create slippery driving conditions. Bridge decks, in particular, are prone to ice, as cold temperatures from below cause these areas to freeze faster than the rest of the roadway. Ultimately, high-friction surfacing allows tires to better grip a hardscape, which helps cars, trucks, and other moving vehicles navigate potentially dangerous conditions and high-risk areas of the road.
3. More Efficient Deicing
In addition to improving driving conditions upon installation, non-slip aggregates like Kafka Granite’s also help to improve the condition of the road itself. The aggregate in high-friction surfacing traps road salt, resulting in a quicker, more effective deicing process. This is particularly useful in areas of the country that experience extreme winter weather, such as the Midwest.
High-friction surfacing is better able to withstand the day-to-day forces of heavy traffic, the freeze/thaw cycle, and other weathering forces that would otherwise cause significant deterioration in a roadway. This is all thanks to the extremely hard non-slip aggregates used in this kind of surface treatment.
5. Cost Savings
High-friction surfacing may require an initial investment, but it more than makes up for this cost when you consider the lifecycle of the installation and the mounting costs of America’s many deficient roadways. These treatments can last for approximately 10 years, saving motorists and the government significant funds over that period. Additionally, after the aggregate has set, the excess material can be collected and reused in another project, ensuring that you get the most out of your investment.
6. Quick Installation
Halting or altering the flow of traffic is a major concern for DOT projects. A huge amount of work goes into simply setting up a project site with appropriate signage, lighting, lowered speed limits, and more. Ultimately, the faster a project can be completed, the better. High-friction surfacing fits neatly into this mindset, as treatments can often be installed over the course of a few hours.
Surface preparation is essential to a successful installation, however. First, the pre-existing hardscape must be cleaned and inspected for damage like cracks and breakage. Once any damage has been repaired, the area may also need to be scarified with a grinder to facilitate the adhesion of the epoxy.
Non-Slip Aggregates for High-Friction Surfacing
A consistent, high-quality aggregate is crucial for a lasting high-friction surfacing treatment. Kafka Granite has supplied aggregate for these projects across the United States. We offer a selection of extremely hard aggregates that will hold up under heavy traffic, intense freeze/thaw cycles, snowplow usage, and more. We’ve worked with a number of state DOT offices and are fully prepared to supply aggregate that meets your specifications.
Our quartz, granite, and recycled materials are available in over 40 colors, meaning that we can match any aesthetic and even allow you to distinguish sections of the road for bike paths, crosswalks, pedestrian walkways, and other demarkation projects. Our non-slip aggregates are also ideal for use in more decorative epoxy overlay streetscapes.
Installing High-Friction Surfacing? Partner with Kafka Granite!
Kafka Granite is dedicated to doing our part in making America’s roadways safer and more efficient. We’re extremely proud to have provided high-quality aggregate for high-friction surfacing projects across the nation.
If you’re looking for a non-skid aggregate that can be customized to your project needs and Department of Transportation requirements, contact Kafka Granite today. Our knowledgeable sales team will be happy to help you source the perfect aggregate and get to work improving your roadways and streetscapes.