PolyCom Stabilising Aid - Frequently asked questions
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What is PolyCom Stabilising Aid?
PolyCom Stabilising Aid is manufactured in Australia and is a granular polymer-based product that stabilises and improves the engineering properties such as strength (CBR) and water resistance of soil and gravel materials used in road construction and general earthworks.
Where can PolyCom be used?
PolyCom can be applied to stabilise and strengthen all roads (sealed and unsealed), road shoulders, subdivisional sub-grade construction, mining haul roads, railway sub-grades, embankments, transport hardstands and general earthworks.
What type of materials does PolyCom work with?
The PolyCom advantage is that it can be applied to wide variety of material types, including silt, clay, gravels and crushed rock at the one simple application rate so no complicated mix design is required.
Will pavements treated with PolyCom remain flexible?
Yes. PolyCom-stabilised pavements deliver comparable results to traditional stabilising methods with regard to strength but also remain flexible and resist shrinkage cracking and becoming brittle.
Will PolyCom help to achieve compaction in road construction and earthworks?
Yes. PolyCom will enable higher more uniform densities with less compactive effort, whilst reducing the optimum moisture content (OMC) of the material.
How is PolyCom applied?
PolyCom is applied dry with a purpose-built spreader at the rate of 2kg per 50m3 (100 tonnes) of material. One 2kg pack of PolyCom will stabilise 500m2 at 100mm depth.
How does PolyCom work?
After spreading and addition of water as required PolyCom works by binding the particles when compacted, thereby increasing water resistance and improving and preserving the dry strength of the construction material.
How can such a low application rate be so effective?
PolyCom has been designed so that it is transported and distributed uniformly throughout the material by water. Cross-blending or mixing the PolyCom treated material completes the distribution process. PolyCom also acts as a lubricant within the material aiding workability resulting in a denser, stronger pavement.
Can PolyCom be used for subgrade improvement and capping?
Yes. PolyCom introduces water resistance and increased strength to subgrades, delivering a more resilient and sustainable platform for your project. This produces costs savings through more economic pavement designs and drainage options. Sub-grade capping with PolyCom can substantially reduce re-work from weather or traffic damage in cut to fill operations, again reducing project costs.
Is PolyCom safe from an OHS perspective?
Yes. No special precautions or PPE are usually required (refer to MSDS) and no heavy lifting is required.
What about unsealed roads? Will PolyCom work with unsealed roads and will it reduce maintenance?
PolyCom is particularly suited to unsealed roads and will in fact reduce maintenance. PolyCom creates a tightly bound surface, reducing water ingress and therefore reducing sediment runoff. This means maintenance grading interventions can be reduced down to one quarter in most situations.
Do I need any special equipment to work with PolyCom?
No. Once spread with a PolyCom spreader, PolyCom is designed to easily blend with the material so that all that is required is standard road construction equipment, ie water cart, rollers (including a fully-ballasted, high tyre pressure multi-wheeled roller) and a grader. Another advantage for remote communities is that PolyCom-treated material can be blade mixed after addition of water to achieve adequate mixing.
Will PolyCom harm my machinery or paintwork?
No. PolyCom will not react with metal or paintwork and therefore will not harm construction machinery.
I want to buy PolyCom but how do I know what to do with it and how to use it?
Your PolyCom distributor will loan you a PolyCom spreader (also available for sale) or spread the PolyCom for new customers and trained PolyCom staff will provide on-site training and guidance to all new customers for as long as is required so that you obtain the best results from your purchase. Using PolyCom does not require additional personnel, onerous new skills or high-tech expensive equipment and will become a normal part of operations.
Will adding PolyCom delay my project?
No. The addition of PolyCom is not a factor in project duration, requiring only a few minutes to spread. After spreading, the road can be constructed as normal.
Can I use a stabilising machine to blend the PolyCom-treated material?
Yes. A stabilising machine can increase efficiencies and be cost-effective where long lengths and deep stabilising (in excess of 200mm) is required.
Does PolyCom have a finite curing time and can it be re-worked?
PolyCom does not have a set curing time. Strengthening of the pavement begins with compaction and as it dries following the addition of PolyCom. As such the pavement can be re-worked at any time should weather or other factors intervene. You will not “lose” the pavement nor the PolyCom. With PolyCom-treated roads, a maintenance grade is usually required after 12-18 months. This is effectively carried out by adding around 10% of the original PolyCom amount.
Can I mix PolyCom off-site and transport to the job?
Yes. Materials can be pre-mixed with PolyCom off-site and stockpiled until ready for transportation to site. Applications for this treatment include quarry materials (ie similar concept to cement-treated crushed rock), subdivision construction where material from elsewhere is required for level adjustment or additional strength, etc. Because PolyCom does not have any set curing time, it will not “go off” and materials can be stockpiled indefinitely and re-mixed as required. Leaching of PolyCom from the stockpile material will not occur.
Will PolyCom bulk up the stabilised layer and therefore I need to remove material from site?
No. The addition rate of PolyCom at 0.002% or 20 ppm is so low that no bulking of the stabilised material will occur so there is no requirement to dispose of surplus material.
How can PolyCom assist in mine haul roads?
PolyCom will reduce haul fleet costs by improving the running course strength, produce a more wearable surface and reduce rolling resistance in haul roads. PolyCom is also suitable for use underground.
Who is currently purchasing PolyCom?
Rural local government to create a more sustainable method of unsealed road maintenance, particularly through reduced gravel imports and reduced grading interventions. Rural and urban local government for patch stabilisation of failed pavement areas on environmental grounds in lieu of other materials. Land developers for sub-grade improvement and all-weather access roads to save excavation and crushed rock costs. Mining and energy companies to upgrade long-haul roads and reduce fleet running costs and road maintenance costs. Transport operators and industrial operations requiring a low-maintenance, all-weather access road and yard with the added benefit of reducing dust.
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