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ASI Earthsure logo green          GreenCircle Mark - LCA Optimized

Prevention and Correction of Asphalt Based FOD

Foreign Object Damage (FOD) on an airfield is a constant concern. Potential cost of damage to turbine engines and airframes, as well as the possible loss of life, are risks that must be minimized.  In the context of asphalt pavements, FOD is nothing more than surface aggregate that has come loose from the pavement. Weathering cycles and UV rays dry out and weaken the asphalt binder, releasing aggregate and producing FOD. GSB-88® is engineered to fight these natural factors, maintain surface adhesion, and hence defeat and correct FOD.

GSB-88® serves at the top of the pavement deterioration curve, plus helps in solving other binder issues and maintaining good quality pavement in top condition. This dramatically reduces the damaging effects of surface oxidation. With early application of inexpensive GSB-88® to newer pavements and reapplication every 5 to 7 years, useful life expectancy for low load roads and many other pavements will be significantly extended.

10 years of Testing and Evaluation by DOD

In September of 2002, the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers Geo-technical and Structures Laboratory, Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS completed a two year laboratory and field evaluation of GSB-88®. Based in part on the recommendations made in that report, Congress allocated funding in FY-05 for application and evaluation of GSB-88® on Navy/DOD airfields through the Office of Naval Research and NAVFAC pavement specialists. Applications were performed from 2006 thru 2008 on widely varying airfield pavements, in climates as diverse as PA, FL, NC, NV, CA, and HI. The final report (157 pages) is now published and available to U.S. Government agencies and their contractors. A five page “Review” by the report’s author can be accessed here.

GSB-88® is listed in DOD’s Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS 32 01 13.63) for general use on all types of DOD asphalt pavement, but it is especially singled out as an effective preventive maintenance treatment on runways and high speed taxiways.

DOD and FAA MicroPAVER data has demonstrated GSB-88®’s ability to extend the useful life of asphalt airfield pavements generally between 25-50% with a single application. Multiple applications show even better life extension. In addition, data shows preservation benefits are increased by applying GSB-88® to pavements while they are in “Good” to “Satisfactory” condition to correct various asphalt binder issues.

Weathered & Deteriorated Pavements

The DOD has numerous older airfield pavements that must be repaved, reconstructed, or reduced to limited or no use. Although GSB-88® provides no increase in structural benefits, it can often significantly retard further surface deterioration that may lead to greater structural damage. In such cases, a heavier and less diluted application of GSB-88® may make a significant difference in an older pavements degree of readiness, or delay the need for repaving, or reconstruction, until proper engineering and funding can be obtained.

For example: in 2006 at NAS Fallon, NV, the Inboard runway was showing premature binder failure and creating potentially serious asphalt FOD issues. After other material and technology had failed to resolve the problem, a heavy treatment of GSB-88® was applied to the runway in September of 2006. After application, GSB-88® was observed to be holding the aggregate in place, and the runway was returned to full readiness - and maintained that readiness - for the 20+  months needed for engineering and funding.

Roads & Parking Lots

Pavement infrastructure within a facility is also critical to overall readiness. Too often, these pavements are overlooked due to scarce O&M funding, but the longer these assets are neglected, the more costly the correction process becomes. When followed with sufficient discipline, a well planned pavement preservation program that includes GSB-88 can greatly reduce the overall costs of pavement infrastructure, while significantly improving the quality of the facility’s operation capabilities.

Professional Service

GAO-03-753 report on “Opportunities to Reduce Corrosion Costs and Increase Readiness” encourages the DOD to be more aggressive in preventive maintenance and preservation of critical DOD assets. Understanding that the DOD has more asphalt pavement within its infrastructure than the entire US Interstate Highway System makes aggressive preservation even more critical. The simple “Repair and Replace” philosophies of the past are currently unsustainable and a more knowledgeable and aggressive asphalt preservation program is called for. GSB-88® has demonstrated cost saving preservation, safety, and environmental benefits proven over decades with hundreds of FAA and DOD airfield applications including more than 350 runways.

Asphalt Systems, Inc.® efficiently applies GSB-88® to pavement using a truck-mounted, computer-controlled asphalt distributor system. It is modified to allow a thin coat of hard, sharp sand to be applied in a single-pass operation, as seen in the video and pictures below.




 Pavement preparation for application of GSB-88® consists of ensuring the pavement is clean, so the product can effectively penetrate the surface asphalt binder. Most active airfield pavements are maintained in a state of cleanliness adequate for GSB-88® purposes, but for main runways, rubber removal is sometimes undertaken prior to application. In other areas - such as seldom-used taxiways, ramps and shoulders, there may be a need to sweep or otherwise clean the pavement surface. Also, debris and mud must be removed from all pavements prior to treatment.