FHWA Concrete Program Impacts, Working with States and Industry to Advance Concrete Technology
First of all, I would like to welcome you all to the FHWA Pavements Webinar Series, and this is the fifth of six webinars for the FHWA Pavements Webinar series. And today's will be focused on FHWA's concrete program areas. Before we get started, I would like to introduce you all to the webinar series, as well as spend some time over the meeting platform, MS Teams. So for those of you who do not already know me, my name is Heather Dylla and I'm one of the moderators of this webinar series. I'm the sustainable pavements engineer in the Office of Preconstruction, Construction and Pavements.
In this role, some of the program areas I’m responsible for the pavement design policy, analysis tools such as life cycle cost analysis or life cycle assessment, and how to design more resilient pavements. Helping me today host this webinar series, and all of them for that matter, is Jen Albert, and she is a pavement materials engineer with FHWA’s Resource Center and she has a background in pavement design and pavement management and works with me specifically in the area of the pavement design policy. Next slide , Sharon. So how did we get to this idea of a webinar series? For those of you that have been with us, since you've probably heard this message many times, but I do think it's important to reiterate that since 2019, Jen and I have been reviewing the pavement design policy. And during that effort we had five peer exchanges with state agency representatives, the FHWA Division Office representatives to basically discuss the state of practice of pavement design and any challenges or barriers to designing pavements to best meet the agency's needs and mission. With that,
some of the feedback that we received from these events was really what spurred the idea for the creation of this webinar series. There were several topics that were discussed during the peer exchanges that participants vocalized interest in learning more, and so that's what identified the topic areas for the webinars series. And so if you have any questions or feedback regarding the webinars series, please don't hesitate to contact Jen or I and our email addresses are noted here above. With that I would like to turn it over to Sharon. Sharon's going to give you a brief overview of MS Teams and is a resource during this webinar series.
If you have any technical issues using MS Teams, feel free to reach out to her as well, or myself, or Jen, and we’ll try to make sure we can meet your needs in this event. Go ahead. Hello, my name is Sharon and I just wanted to go over a couple of best practices for this event. I'm quite sure most of you have now use MS Teams but just wanted to make sure you know the little icons here. We have your turn on and turn off camera, your mute and unmute and we have your raise hands. We ask that you raise hands when you want to ask questions during the presentation.
You can also type any questions in the chat pod that is being monitored and we will answer all of your questions. You are able to see all of the participants if you click on the little two people icons here. And if you have any questions and issues you can contact me at [unclear] and I will turn it back over to Heather.
Get the next slide. I think--there we go; and so with that at this time I'd like to introduce you to today's speakers. We’re going to have three presentations today. I just wanna make sure I'm not muted. I've forgotten to unmute myself before.
So anyways, three speakers today. The first speaker is going to be Robert Spragg, materials research engineer with FHWA's Office of Infrastructure Research and Development, Robert oversees the concrete pavement and concrete materials research with FHWA and manages the concrete laboratory at Turner Fairbank Highways Research Center. He conducts applied research and applied engineering research and provides technical assistance to infrastructure owners across North America. And has been with FHWA since 2019.
He has his bachelor’s and master’s and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Purdue University and lives in Virginia with his wife Louisa and three-year-old son. Mike Praul is a senior concrete engineer with FHWA's Office of Preconstruction, Construction, and Pavements, and Mike leads FHWA's performance engineered mixtures implementation efforts as well as manages a FHWA’s mobile concrete technology trailer or center, sorry. We often call it the trailer. He collaborates with states, industry, and the research community to advance concrete technology and has been with FHWA for 33 years.
He has his bachelor’s in civil engineering from Clarkson University and a master’s From Renssalear-- I know I mispronounced it and looked at YouTube and how to pronounce it, and they pronounced it differently in every video--Polytech Institute. Mike has two grown daughters and lives in Augusta, ME, with his wife Jodi. And then lastly we have Tom Yu back again with us. He's a pavement design program manager in the Office of Infrastructure at FHWA's headquarters in DC.
He joined FHWA in December of 2007 after working six years for the US Army Core of Engineers and 17 years as a consultant. His areas of expertise include pavement response, performance modeling, pavement design, an pavement rehabilitation. In his current position his main areas of responsibility include pavement designed evaluation analysis.
With that, we're going to turn over to our first speaker, Robert. Thank you. Awesome, well thank you very much and thank you everyone for having me here with the chance to present to you today. I'm from the Office of Infrastructure RD.
I'm kind of serving as the warm- up act for my colleagues from the Office of Infrastructure that will be presenting a little bit later. Next slide, please. We’ll talk a little bit about, I'll put these up on the screen, acronyms that we're going to use in this presentation. I'll draw your attention as you kind of read through the list. Calcium oxychloride, That's the CaOxy there, the LT-DSC which is a low temperature differential scanning calorimeter. And then lastly on the right column the TGA which is thermogravimetric analysis so you can feel free to scroll back to these if you need to. Next slide please. SO
we can talk a little bit about what are the objectives of the Concrete Pavements Research Program are. But really what I'm going to spend time in this presentation today is talking about some of our internal research that we're conducting at our labs at Turner Fairbank in Northern Virginia, provide a little bit of an overview of those lab facilities. I'm going to talk about some of the external research that we're doing through partnerships and external programs. And then lastly, we'll talk about engagement and technical assistance that we provide to state DOTs. Next slide, please. So the Concrete Pavements Research Program operates out of Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center.
For those of you that have had the pleasure of visiting our facility, welcome. If not, hopefully you have some at some point, a chance to come out and see our facilities and things like that. But it's in McLean, VA, about 8 miles outside of Washington DC, and it's a federally funded research lab that conducts a wide range of applied engineering research. So we have 11 laboratories looking at infrastructure materials, and if we could go to the next slide.
We have capabilities to look all the way at small scale in the microscope. Here we're looking at an SCM or an optical microscope all the way up to large scale structural behavior in our structural laboratories. Most of the concrete pavements activities are conducted in the concrete lab and our internal projects are overseen by Federal Highway staff, and then they are conducted by researchers working on contract in our laboratories. So our next set of slides, if you could go on, is going to talk about some of our internal research activities that we're doing, and primarily one of these is supporting the performance engineered mixtures initiative that Federal Highway is advancing in that we're going to hear a little bit more with the mobile concrete technology center. And Mike is going to share a little bit about that, but basically what PP 84 is, in the performance engineered mixtures initiative, is it provides an opportunity for a state to take a performance based specification, tailor it to their local experience in practice and presents a justifiable technical background. This new initiative brought along with it, when this was released I believe in 2016 or 2017, brought along some new test methods that, while they had had some experience in the concrete research community, had not necessarily been implemented in the construction as a construction practice.
So one of the things that the research program is working towards is helping understand what the major factors that influence them and then understanding how they can best be implemented in a program. So with that we're going to talk a little about the two specific initiatives, if we could go on to the next slide, where we have been working in the area of supporting PM, and one of those is increased accessibility of calcium oxychloride testing. So calcium oxychloride is a compound that forms as the reaction product between cement hydration products and then chlorides that come from deicing salts, and this particular compound also comes with the volume change, so it's about 1 1/2 times the volume change the water experiences at it as it changes from liquid water into solid water. And we all know that that's one of the main reasons that we air entrain our concretes because that volume change can lead to damage.
Well, that we have about 1 1/2 times the volume change with calcium oxychloride, and the other important thing about calcium oxychloride is that it can occur at temperatures above typical freezing temperatures. And so what we see in practice sometimes is that you don't see damage during the winter months, but you'll see damage occurring in your pavement and in your pavement joints after the winter months when this temperature starts being in the 60s and 70s is when this reaction really starts happening. The current way to evaluate whether your particular mixture or your mixture system is susceptible to calcium oxychloride damage is using a low temperature differential scanning calorimeter. For those of you that have used one of these before, like congratulations because not many people have, but not many of us have used one of these. I actually haven't used one myself and it's because it's not very common in state material labs. I know when my advisor was using this in school, he bought a low temperature differential scanning calorimeter specifically to look at calcium oxychloride.
So it's not necessarily a piece of equipment that a lot of laboratories have, and there's a lot of institutional knowledge with and then put that in a in a more complicated approach is that it takes it down to the extremely low temperature range. So specifically it goes to -90 degrees Celsius, or about -130 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not something that a lot of even commercial testing labs have the capability to do. So we've spent some time looking at how we could make this testing more accessible, and really what we mean by accessible is how could it be used by state DOTs. So what we've done is, we've done some correlations with thermogravimetric analysis, which TGA is a more accessible technique.
You know, a lot of university labs, maybe even some state DOT labs have this to look at hydration products. And a lot of commercial testing labs have this type of equipment as well. And then also we've looked at using and LT-DSC but with a smaller temperature range that doesn't allow you or doesn't require you to purchase this low temperature add-on and both of those things are things that we think would help support this testing and help advance the practice in adopting this. And some of our plan work in the future in this area is looking at developing precision and bias information for the current AASHTO test method that's out there and then also looking at a performance model for concrete and specifically instead of doing this advanced testing on the paced portion of your mixture. Could you take the knowledge of what your mixture is, its air content in 28 day resistivity reading, for example, would that give you an indication if you're susceptible to calcium oxychloride damage or not? And I'll say that our initial data says that yes, that it does give a good indication, but that's an active area of our research, so next slide if you don't mind. So I guess I'll put it out there.
If your agency is experiencing premature joint deterioration, or if you're interested in some of the calcium oxychloride evaluation techniques, and if they might be a useful addition to your program, feel free to reach out to me and my email is up there on the screen in a couple places throughout the presentation. Next slide if you don't mind. Another active area of the PM initiative, and I think if you have some experience with PM, you'll recognize some of these terms, but its resistivity information factor, so some of the traditional ways of measuring or trying to estimate permeability of concrete or its transport properties are tied to electrical measurements. And since about the early 1990s, electrical resistivity has kind of taken the place or is starting to take the place of other test methods such ASTM, [unclear], or the RCT test, and it's growing in popularity. It's relatively easy to do.
You know, the equipment is relatively inexpensive. It doesn't take a lot of experience or expertise to be able to do these types of measurements, but with that comes the need to understand what the major factors are and how they influence the results In the tests, I mean so the AASHTO comp 3C is working to finalize a lot of these test methods, and I think that if you happen to have members of comp 3C in your program we’ll be seeing an update at the next meeting about the finalized resistivity test methods. But also one of the things that we work on is training to illustrate how this could work into your program. And then lastly, we're looking at future techniques with this type of material as well. Next slide please. Another area of our research is looking at volume stability and so when we say volume stability we mean early age shrinkage or drying shrinkage and how that can lead to cracking. Traditional and
untraditional concrete materials, early age shrinkage is not necessarily a problem because in conventional materials where you have a little bit higher water to [unclear] ratio, most of the volume instability comes from as the materials dry. In higher performance materials such as lower water- cement ratios are. A lot of that shrinkage happens even before that 24 hour period where you would start to measure shrinkage in a conventional test. So volume stability at early ages is typically measured or typically termed autogenous shrinkage. And the current technologies to measure that are like a tube test. Here we have a picture of one on the top and we're expanding this to include measuring on concrete or measuring on concrete materials that have fibers in them and or inclusions and things like that.
So you necessarily wouldn't have to sit out the mortar fraction or things like that. So we're looking at how that can be more representative of the type of materials that we're using. The other thing that influences volume stability and leads to early age cracking is the amount of restraint that is applied to a material as it sets and as it shrinks.
So this particular test here that's pictured on the bottom is called a dual ring test, and this test has grown out of popularity from Purdue in the early 2000s, but basically what it can do is it can simulate stresses that develop either due to temperature or due to drying, and it can tell you how close you material is cracking or the risk of your material cracking. And we're looking at technologies that can reduce this cracking potential. So this one here that we've highlighted is internal curing. There's a couple other ones as well, but internal curing is basically a strategy where you would use aggregates that have a little bit higher porosity in them than than conventional aggregates, and you would use aggregates that give up their water easily. So the water is in the aggregates Before-set and then after-set is instead of shrinkage you would have water that's coming out of your aggregates and replacing that volume reduction that comes from that shrinkage reaction.
Then lastly, next slide please. We have a project currently where we're looking at curing and specifically the ability to quantify curing. So we've had some discussions with different agency representatives and they seem to express a common frustration in that you know, they've developed research-based best practices for curing either of their bridge decks or their pavements, but they don't necessarily feel that they have a methodology.
That allows them to quantify how well those best practices are followed. So here we have a picture of a couple different techniques and we have a research project at Turner Fairbank that we're conducting in our laboratory looking at how we can use these tools to quantify curing, and really we would be trying to answer the question of: did you know in this project, know as you placed your concrete where your best practices followed? Right, so we have some data that we're generating and that should hopefully be making good progress here as we as we speak Actually, they’re in the lab today. Next slide if you don't mind. And then lastly, I think that this is something that I think is very popular in the field and you probably heard about this, but it's what we've called the ASR T-FAST test, right? So, the Turner Fairbank Aggregate Susceptibility test measures an aggregate susceptibility to the alkali silica reaction. And alkali silica
tests when in the ones that we, even the ones that we currently run, have been around since the 1930s and 40s. They have challenges, and they are typically used as a screening test, but they're not necessarily good at picking up, or they're not necessarily good at correlating to field performance. So this test has come from about a decade of research that we've done in our chemistry lab, understanding the reaction mechanisms in ASR and what it will do is it will use a very small amount of aggregate.
It'll put it in a test tube for about 21 days, and then after that 21 day period you measure the ion concentration in that solution there. And depending on the ratio or the ratio of concentrations and the different ions. It'll tell you how reactive your aggregate is, and they're working towards incorporating the ability to look at a particular mixture, but right now their method actually just looks at aggregates. And they've submitted that to AASHTO COMP. So if you're a member of AASHTO COMP, you'll have an opportunity to comment on that and see some of the data. And I know they've--the chemistry lab and then the folks in the chemistry group have been partnering with DOTs and rolling this out and so far from the mixtures they have looked at, they say that they have 100% agreement with the exposure block farms that they have outside in in situ conditions that that really give a good indication of what its performance is.
OK, so that brings me to the end of our in-house research that we're conducting. The next couple slides I'm going to spend talking about some of our external partnerships, and then also some of our engagement activities. So this slide is a discussion of some of the--one of the things that we like to make or take advantage of, called the small business innovative research. And basically what this is is a program through the US DOT that allows us to look at technologies that are more commercially viable than some of the research and development activities that maybe a state DOT would pursue, or maybe even a university might pursue. I mean some of the things that have come out of this or are shown on the screen-- so here on the left side we have what's called the SLAM.
I'm not even sure what it stands for, so I'm sorry about that. But basically what this is--you could make it analogous to the modern day way to measure air content, right? So this is a device that uses it's kind of like an LDTV in the end of this orange tube. It hits the LDVT and depending on how the metal piece of the LDVT rebounds is correlated to how many air voids are in your concrete. And so what they've been able to do is they've been able to adapt this technology from the defense industry and they are looking at ways to characterize total air and air quality in a measurement that takes about 3 seconds. So this is an exciting technology And we've been keeping an eye on it. They're actually in their phase 2B of this research program now, but we hope to be able to roll this out, at least roll out our experience with it to agencies here in the future.
The one the picture in the middle is a technique that's looking at the susceptibility of fly- ashes and their ability to reduce air voided or affectedness of air entraining admixtures. So we know that currently the way that we assess this susceptibility is to look at either loss of ignition or the foam index test. Both of those presents some challenges.
This particular technique is a little bit faster the way that it would work is that you take a little bit of your admixture. You take a little bit of your fly ash. You put them in this in this device and it measures how the light refracts through your solution and depending on how the light refracts, you'll know if your polymer is being adsorbed by these fly-ash particles or not. And really when we talk about reducing air void effectiveness, that's what happens, is your fly-ash adsorb these polymers that form your air entraining admixture? And then lastly is a solicitation that's out now and that's a device that we're using, or that we're hoping to see if there's any potential people that can come up with a solution but allow us to extend some of the concepts that we talked a little bit earlier on resistivity to bring those more, bring those into the future. I guess I could say.
So next slide. We also take advantage of the exploratory advanced research program, so these are some highlights from exploratory advanced research projects, but really the goal of exploratory advanced research is to advance basic scientific research, right? So a lot of the things that we do in our labs, a lot of the research that your agencies probably do, or what we termed applied engineering research which are targeting results that that could be implemented in five years or less, right? The idea of an exploratory advanced research or the EAR program is to look at things that are a little bit further out, so specifically some recent projects that they have looked at or looking at mechanisms of hydration and setting in Portland cement concretes using non-Portland cement- based binder systems or systems with minimal amounts of Portland cement, so that's probably a little bit further out than the next couple years so that's why they fall into this program kind of nicely. Our current programs currently have three current research projects with the exploratory Advanced Research Program and they are looking at nontraditional or natural pozzolans. They're looking at what they've they've called data-driven methods, but basically it's kind of like machine learning to understand reactivity and in different types of fly-ashes, and then also, they're looking at reclaimed fly ash and how that could be used in a concrete mixture. Alright, so then this the next slide please.
This last one is looking at transportation, pooled fund projects and I think Mike will be talking about a TPF that the Office of Infrastructure is doing. This one happens to be highlighting, or my goal here is to highlight something that Indiana is the lead agency on, but also has some participation from some other states and what they're doing is looking at a way to assess opening times, but not using either the maturity method which is kind of an indirect way or looking at breaking samples to determine opening time, but they're looking at measuring in situ using mechanical property sensors, and so this is kind of a new one. I think it kicked off here in the last couple weeks, so if that sounds interesting, feel free to reach out to Indiana on that and we're certainly excited to share some more details as that comes along. OK, and then if you don't mind the next one, but then again so that brings me to the end of our research. Another important part of what we do in our research program is too engage and provide technical assistance to state DOTs, right. So we engage with AASHTO task forces.
We host workshops. We hosted a workshop back in December on pozzolonic materials and I think there was some good attendance from state agencies and also good attendance from industry as well. We heard a lot of good, interesting approaches that they're taking on, and then webinars like this webinar series. So thank you everyone for participating and feel free to reach out to us if, well-- reach out to me specifically if anything on these set of slides caught your eye. We also look to provide technical assistance so we can, you know, provide some of our experience can help you if you have a research project or if you have any particular issue that you're experiencing.
We can leverage some of our expertise, but also some of our capabilities in the laboratory as well. And over the last year we've worked with Idaho DOT, Florida, Arizona, and the Delaware River and Bay Authority on some of their projects. With that, so next slide, if you don't mind, we are looking to host a seminar sometime in 2022 on air void effectiveness. So this is a little bit about some of the techniques that I talked a little bit earlier about that we're developing through the SBIR program and then also traditional measurements, [unclear] and things like that, so we'd be interested to either host you in person, at Turner Fairbank for this, or if it's still virtual.
I'm at that point. Maybe a virtual time, but if it's in person we would also plan on getting down to the concrete lab and getting some hands on time with with some of these new techniques, traditional techniques and then also new techniques. But feel free to sign up. There's a link there that will take you to a sign-up page where you know will make sure and share any new developments with regards to this seminar that we're planning to host. So I think that's it for me. The next slide is a disclaimer that my lawyer tells me I have to put in there and then lastly is a slide with contact information.
So thank you everyone for your time and attention and thanks for the opportunity to share with you today. OK, thank you so much, Robert. Great presentation. At this point in time,
we're going to pause and see if there are any questions from any of the participants. So if you have any questions, please feel free to type them in the chat pod. Or you can raise your hand and unmute yourself and ask. So, at this point in time, I don't see anything in the chat pod and I don't see any hands raised. Perfect so I will share a link to register for this.
Maybe not register is not the right word, but expressing interest in potentially keeping aware of what's going on with this particular seminar that I was talking about. Hey Robert, do you have the link without bitly? I can share that too with the group, but I know some of the participants have trouble with bity links. Sure, yeah, so I'll look for the non-bitly link. It's one of those long ones that has, like you know all kinds of stuff after, but I'll share that in the chat pod as well.
Actually probably been OK, great, thank you. So at this point in time I, don't see any questions for you Robert, but feel free again to type in the chat pod. We can come back at the end and Robert will still be available to answer any questions. If you think of any as we go through the presentation.
So next we'll bring on Mike Praul, so Mike, take it away. OK. OK, thanks Jen. Can you see my picture in the bottom right? Your picture, yes.
It's not your video. Right, for those not familiar with the trailer, my background picture is a shot from inside it, but I appreciate the invitation to come today and present on the Mobile Concrete Technology Center. I think it's one of FHWA's more unique programs, and again for those who are not familiar with it, we have taken this trailer and installed a concrete laboratory that we are charged with demonstrating and implementing new technologies. Next slide, please. First, this is who we are.
If you engage with our program, these are the folks you should be working with. I work very closely and get a ton of assistance from Bob Conway in our Resource Center office, and I saw Lisa McDaniels in on the call today. Lisa is in the Iowa Division and is a real database and data management guru, which is far beyond my wheelhouse. So Lisa gives us a ton of good work in that area. And then the bottom roll folks are the contract staff that work day to day with the trailer, Jagan, is the project manager.
Josh and Jim are engineers and Nikolai and Jerry, our technicians. So next slide please. OK, for this I guess.
I point you to the graphic. I think really captures what we're all about. Is that our role is to bridge the gap between research and implementation. We’re charged with identifying promising new technologies, either coming out of research or that are out there and not being used to the degree that we see some value and then work with states and industry on how to incorporate these technologies into their programs.
And then we also provide—this is concrete and asphalt. Leslie and I do some things together. With our trailer presentations, but we do specification reviews, technical assistance, and some training. The next slide, please. These program activities and I want to highlight this is pre-covid program activities as well as what we fully anticipate to be post-covid because the first two bullets are really the backbone of our program and that is the field visits to active construction projects or we get an invitation from a state DOT to come and set up on one of their active projects, and we coordinate with their contractor and we demonstrate our technologies on their concrete on their projects to see what works best for them.
As you can see that picture on the top right. The gentleman in the white hard had kneeling in the middle is Nicolai our senior technician, demonstrating one of our technologies right out there right next to the paver. And the second bullet, the quality of the concrete paving process workshop; I'll talk a little bit more about that on another slide.
But, we build off our field experience at work with states to implement the technologies that make the most sense for them. And then the rest of the bullets are some of the other activities we engage in. And I will talk about a couple of those on future slides. So next slide, please.
With our site visits, again we get a request from a state DOT. We come for two weeks and the first week we focus on traditional and innovative testing, and we want to compare side by side so people don't just see the new technology but really get to compare it with what it's either intended to replace or improve upon. And again we focus on fresh properties the first week and, next slide please.
And then the second week we focus on hardened properties and we also host an open house where we not only invite sort of the local community, but contractors from around the state, the other state districts, state central office personnel. We sometimes we get academia that shows up. In South Carolina, we had a great group from Clemson that came and toured. So we do the open house and then at the end of the week we share a preliminary report and we prepare all our data in control chart format, as we are heavily promoting the use of control charts, certainly by industry in their production but also from the agency perspective so they could really get a better understanding of the quality of the product they're getting.
The next slide, please. Next. We do the conventional tests again. We do these to demonstrate for comparison purposes, as well as continuing to generate data to support in the long term for comparison with the newer tests. Next slide please.
This is some of the newer tests and newer technologies that we deal with, and I want to call your attention to the picture on the right. The capillary pressure sensor than Robert showed that in his presentation, and I think this is a good example of how our respective programs coordinate that we are not a research vehicle. We do not do research with the technology center. We are an implementation vehicle. But this device in the picture is something we became aware of four or five years ago. It's a German device that purports to provide some assessment of the real time effectiveness of curing for concrete, and as Robert mentioned, there's a lot of interest in the concrete community in this kind of technology, both for real time assessment for construction inspection, and construction process-type issues, but also after-the-fact assessments to measure the effectiveness of various curing compounds or approaches to curing.
So this was a device we saw and we started to just gather some data and try it on our projects and we thought it was promising enough. We discussed it with Robert and kind of concurrent with the interest being shown in this subject area and that generated this project again that Robert is now pursuing and we are now supporting with both our data and ultimately with field installations when we are again mobile. Next slide, please.
I got some more of the tests mentioned on this slide, particularly the Phoenix test. That's a new test that was developed by Dr. Lay at Oklahoma State. Several states are interested. It measures the water content and it is intended to be a direct replacement for the microwave water test that purports to be easier to run. And we are in the process along with the state of Vermont and the state of Minnesota in doing some field trials, and we are kind of collaborating our assessment of the Phoenix, along with, you know, working with the Oklahoma State folks.
Next slide, please. We do get around. This is the green states is where we have been since 2008 and we are you see the whole lot, west NS Wyoming. We were supposed to be in Wyoming this past year and obviously that is postponed. But we do have a standing invitation once we’re mobile again and the folks down South Carolina. We should have that kind of, I think, half green.
We were in South Carolina and we completed our first week of testing and the contractor had a schedule change and had a couple schedule changes and then Covid. So we are, again, halfway through our visit to South Carolina, but will be finishing that up. So we do get around quite a bit. And that's one of the unique things that we do bring is the ability to sort of see national trends as they're developing, and I'll show you how we've put that information to use here in just a bit. OK, next slide please. We follow up our field visits with this quality in the concrete paving process workshop.
It's a free workshop. It's two days and it says concrete materials and construction. But what we really try to do is to demonstrate how these new technologies will fit into the state that we visited based on their construction practices, their specifications, their materials. We try to get about 50/50 balance in the workshop because the goal of it is accessories and action plan coming out of it. Because the state invites us to come in for a reason. You know they're looking to investigate some issue with their concrete program.
Most often they're looking at making some specification changes and are looking for us to help provide the data and information to help guide that development. Next slide, please. And this is a real kind of a success story that how we hope all of these things go.
Since here in 2019, because of the size of California, when we got the invitation from Caltrans, we made it a bit more than our standard visit. We went to two projects, three open houses, three workshops and Caltrans came to us with having identified several specification issues they wanted to address. And we looked at their specifications. We had some ideas and we went to the project, we sort of, we tailored our testing program around those specific areas they were looking to address. We developed data for each of the areas to support the specification changes that we were recommending. And what came out of the workshop was this Caltrans-industry-FHWA working group, and again we were closely with Bob Conway and with two away from the California Division participated with that working group and they adopted our specification change regarding opening for traffic.
And the green highlight their the return on investment. We spent about $300,000 in program money to have the trailer in California and do what we did there. And on the very first project that they implemented this specification change, Caltrans did an analysis and they sent us a very nice acknowledgement that said, our specs, our suggested specification language, saved them over $9 million on just the first project. So that's often times with what we do with technology implementation.
It can take awhile to see the Success, that change takes time, and we don't often get this kind of example, but this is really why we do what we do. We want to make more effective concrete and concrete infrastructure on US highways. Next slide, please. We have an equipment loan program.
Again, this is something. Again, I think that makes us a bit unique with what we do. I have about a half million dollars in equipment inventory that is free to states or industry to borrow and try. And then the whole intent is our program mission is to implement new technology, and there are a lot of agencies and companies may be reluctant to put some upfront investment into a technology that may or may not fit their needs.
So we loaned them the equipment; we let them try it. We have various lengths of loans with loan people equipment for a year or more so that they can try it and see if it fits their needs. We provide training and all the equipment.
We certainly about performance engineered mixture and the technologies associated with PP 84 are certainly a heavy focus area and something we do a lot of work in and now most of the equipment we have is sort of constantly out on loan. We have very little in inventory and we have become more adjusting logistical entity to coordinate shipping from one borrower to the next, which is fantastic. So I will have the website listed at the end.
And get some more information on this, but if you do have an interest in borrowing some equipment from us, certainly get in touch with me. Alright, next slide please. Again, we do training and then again, this is the kind of sort of pre- and hopefully post-covid training that we do a lot of hands-on face-to-face, direct interaction and engagement with our stakeholders and we like to do the side-by-side comparison so they don't just see it, but they see how it compares to today and what the advantages of the new technologies are.
Next slide, please. Now here in 2020, so we're not doing the site visits in 2020, and then I don't expect we'll be doing them in 2021. We have replaced that and again, I said the success of our program really hinges on engagement with the states and industry folks who are going to ultimately implement these technologies. So I will talk a little bit more about the life training in a minute, but on a number of our technologies we’re developing a lot of how-to videos, and we've seen whether it's on YouTube or other sources, even manufacturers, there's a lot of good video information on a lot of our technologies, but that's all aimed at engineers and there's not a lot out there for technicians, and our technicians have a lot of experience with these various technologies, and we saw that as a way to continue to reach our target audience in the long term, so that they can have kind of real time on-demand, as they're about ready to run this new test for the first time, they can call up an instruction video, five to six minute video, and run through it. So we're pretty excited about that. We are doing virtual tours for conferences.
Just yesterday we participated with the Missouri and Kansas ACPA annual meeting, and we did one in Texas a couple of months back. You see the other activities, a lot of it has not changed. There's a lot of what we do. The equipment loan hasn't changed a bit with Covid, and the specification reviews and other technical assistance we do has not been impacted.
Next slide, please. This we're really excited about. These are “Live from the MCTC” training and as we do these we demonstrate these live at-- These sessions are on request and how we do these--the audience-- We will target the training to whatever audience were invited to present to, either engineers, technicians, or combination, and how we run these is you see Jagan's picture in the lower right. Jagan narrates remotely and then on-site Josh leads the onsite discussion and Nicolai and Jerry do the hands-on demonstration and the up-close camera work. Next slide, please. These are the technologies that are available.
We have a few pre-made slides and video clips on each of these, but it is primarily a face-to- face live discussion through the technology; intended to be a, you know, a very informal discussion to kind of recreate the across the lab table environment to familiarize people with our technologies. Next slide, please. These are some of the sessions we've done.
I want to highlight the West Virginia one that I mentioned sometimes and when it comes to technology implementation it can take some time and we had the mobile technology center in West Virginia about 5-6 years ago and we thought that the resistivity testing was something that very much fit their needs and made a lot of sense and we heavily promoted it to them. And five years later they got back in touch with us and said we've been looking into this for the past few years. We agree it's right for us.
We're going out outfit all of our state labs with resistivity testing, and can you folks do some training for us? So we did some training for their engineers and when they take delivery of all the devices we’ll be doing training for all their technicians. So again, that's something that, you know, that paid off five years later, because fortunately they kept us in mind. Northern New England was an interesting one because when we initially envisioned these, we thought our target audience was either small group industry or one or two contractor or supplier or state agency thinking we wanted to still get across the implementation idea. And so it would be much-- it's much easier to talk with one agency at the time about how does this technology meet your needs, so we approach some of the folks that we've worked with through the years and including the Northern New England Concrete Group.
And when I asked them to let their members know, that this training was available, the executive director got back to me and said, well, this fits in well with some things we're doing with our ACI group. Would you be willing to present to 45 or 50 technicians from multiple companies? And so that was what we did. So we have a lot of flexibility with this. If there's any other training you're interested in, any other technologies that were listed, get in touch with me and the one thing that is a little different with this training is we are not saying we're going to present on the Super Air Meter next Tuesday from 11 to noon.
Yeah, these are on demand sessions. We want folks to come to us and we will sort of customize the training to the audience and to your desires. So again, it's up to you to initiate the contact and we can kind of take it from there. But we're not putting these out as broad announcements and just doing webinars. Next slide, please. One of the technical publications that might be of interest to you and again this is something that builds on this national experience and trend identification ability that we have.
By this one-pager series is an effort to kind of build off that, take our data and our experiences and make the concrete community at large aware of the topic. They're very narrowly focused. They're not intended to cover the whole issue. They are intended to basically say hey, here's an issue. Here’s
some of the data we've got that shows this as an issue, and some proposed solutions and sources for more information and discussion, and they get here is the list of topics for ones we've put out so far. We have a couple more in the works right now. And these are available through our website. Next slide, please.
And the last thing, I want to show You, another tool that we have to share with you if you're interested one of the underlying concepts that performance engineered mixture initiative is optimizing and graduation, and it's certainly an interesting and important topic when it comes to cement Use and cement reduction potential. Some introduction: so this spreadsheet tool we have, it's similar to something I think that is offered through the CP Tech Center. I think they have something similar but with ours, we've developed this. You input your aggregate gradations. OK, go ahead. Next slide, please.
And you then you input the blend of each one of your aggregates. And then you see the results in both the in the Shell Stone Work Ability chart, the 818 chart, as well as the Tarantula Curve. Yeah, so the intent here, as you can see with this particular aggregate gradations, set of aggregate gradations and this blend, the mix was too coarse and I think each one of the chart shows that. Next slide. Please. I think it's so making an adjustment to the blend, it shows now that we've gone too far onto the fine side. Next. And now this, I think we know it's getting pretty close to optimize so you can see how you can very quickly hone in on an optimized mix design and kind of see again with a variety of assessment tools we have provided this to states and industry all over the country. Again,
we have versions for three bin Aggregate, 4 bin Aggregate and five bin aggregate. So whatever your situation is, I think we can meet the needs and shoot me an email if this looks like it could be an interesting tool for you. Next slide, please. There's our website, but then you can get some more information on the things I presented here today. The list of our technologies and again our contact information is on there.
If you would like follow-up information or to schedule one of our training sessions. Next slide. Yeah, and that wraps it up for me. That's about five years ago my wife and I took the vacation of a lifetime up to Alaska, so that's the end of my talk, and I think my contact information is on the last slide. OK, thanks so much Mike.
Great presentation. You have a couple comments and kudos in the chat pod. At this point in time, I don't see any questions. If anybody has any questions for Mike, please again you can raise your hand.
Or you can type a question in the chat pod. Thank you very much to [unclear] for the note. I was actually traveling home after three postponements.
My wife and I went to visit my daughter in Wisconsin and then on to her what her family in Iowa and we just got home late yesterday so I did not see the live virtual tour yesterday. So Mike I appreciate that. And then [unclear], your support is always appreciated.
Alright, very good. Thank you very much, Mike. Again, if you have any questions, feel free to type them in the chat pod will come back at the end to visit any questions you may have thought of. Next, we're going to move on to Tom Yu. So Tom,
it's all yours. Thank you. I'm a very short presentation. Next slide please. I'm going to be talking about technical resources that are available to you. Next slide, please. Thank you. So there
are several resources I'm going to be going over: concrete clips, there's a video series; the pavement notebook; pavement publications; and other resources. And rather than showing you what they are, I thought what I would do is show you where you can find these resources. So I'm going to share my screen. Woops, that’s the wrong one, sorry. So the first, what you can do to find concrete clips on YouTube is go to YouTube FHWA channel; if you do a Google search you'll find that. And then do a search. Whoops,
there are lot of FHWA videos, so what you will do is then in the YouTube do a search for concrete clips. Then you see a video showing up. Then if you click on the view the full playlist you'll see a series of 17 videos in this series here. So we have these videos are intended to be informational. It'll give you a good, brief summary of the information.
And we have on video a lot of the subjects that Mike talked about. So for example, we have a supplementary cementitious materials. There's on some testing for performance engineered next mixtures, ensured durability test methods and so on. So you can view these videos for quick summary. But then if you want more information we can go to other technical resources.
So for pavement notebook you will type in the search: FHWA pavement notebook. Then you can go right to the pavement notebook and here we have the information organized into 10 different chapters for different subject areas. Under concrete pavements we have many different guidance documents, many different technical briefs. For example, a lot of the videos actually have a companion technical brief to go with it. For example.
we have one on internal curing for example. We have a video on internal curing. So there are many, many different tech briefs and other references that are available in our pavement notebook. And additional information is also available if you click on pavement publications that will bring up the whole library of all the references we have at FHWA.
So these are all the recent report works. I think this is. [background noise] There's some noise. OK, thank you. OK, so these are the resources at FHWA, and then the one last thing I like to the show is all the technical references that are available Tech Center.
So for that if you want to type in CP Tech and then ISU, you can find National Concrete Pavement Technology Center and they have a very nice website with a very nice, well organized information on all kinds of technical resources and the couple I'd like to go over a couple things if you click on the Resources, these are references that are available on different topics. For example they have very extensive information on concrete recycling so anything related to concrete recycling you'll find under that tab. And it includes how it ties in the sustainability, for example. And then if you look at other tabs, for example on the publications you have research reports. But one other thing I'd like to point out is if you click on other publications, they have other things like techniques and things like that.
I just wanted to bring it to attention that whole series of map briefs, you're probably familiar with it. These are very good brief technical briefs summary of key subject areas, for example this one is the latest on ASR. This is a very nice summary information on that subject. So this is very good. I will kindly recommend that you browse through CP Tech Center website for additional information and FHWA pavement notebook.
So let's see. So that's all I have. Let me stop sharing. OK thanks Tom. Again, one last opportunity. If anybody has any questions, please feel free to type them in the chat pod or you can raise your hand, unmute yourself and ask a question to any of our speakers.
Thanks again to all three of our speakers. Tom at this point in time we don't have any questions for you or for any of our speakers. So Heather, I think we will turn it over to you. Yes, Sharon will give you-- can you put up the last two slides, please? And this will give you a little bit more time for our guys to think of any questions. Did it freeze? Hi Heather. Sure, how are you? I was wondering if you could shed some light on if you have any idea from FHWA perspective as to when you would be able to, for example, partake in meetings, conferences, and so forth, or even our workshops.
I know that the Mobile Concrete Technology Center participated, as has been discussed in the chat there right at them at the most can workshop, but do you have any idea? Do you have any direction from Federal Highway as to or from your leadership as to when you would be able to kind of get back out and join us, so to speak. That I don't know. Tom or Mike, Did you guys hear anything like maybe you have heard something other than I have because you have the trailer. Yeah, what we've been told is the agency's position now is we cannot commit to any offsite travel through the end of June and beyond that you know the last official notice was through the end of December. Again, we've been told that's been updated now through the end of June. Beyond that Leif, you know, to be determined.
Yeah, and my comment, if even if we were to be given the thumbs up, green, go at it on July 1st. I don't expect that the mobile technology center would be-- there may be states willing to invite us, but we have to deal with the reality of a contractor maybe reluctant to have four guys from DC crawling all over his job. You know, for the balance of this year and that's just the reality. So we are not even with the state invitation, we're not going to horse ourselves onto a project where the contractor is not fully on board and we can run the program like it has been run. So
even if the agency is opened up, yeah, I think practical considerations-- We're certainly making plans to be non-mobile for 2021. OK, thank you and then you know related to the pavement notebook that Tom highlighted there. I think that is a great resource and I don't know if you--it's easy enough to navigate through but you have any, I don't know, a plan of what you intend to update or fill in.
You know, I know that's probably a project in it was kind of in development, so to speak, or it's always a moving target, but could you shed some light on that? Either Tom or Heather, as to what you plan to do, when where you intend to fill in the blank, so to speak in the in the pavement notebook. Actually, we're making updates all the time. Is this-- We plan to keep it updated with all the latest references and right now we, the organization is not the greatest right now. We have pretty much, I mean it's by pretty broad subject areas, but we will be looking at the more structure to it so the information is more easily found. But it is a live document and is not static. It is being updated with new references.
So you don't have a timeline as to some of that, like in 2021 and 2022, These are the things we intend to do. Is that like? Is there a flow or a kind of a plan? Be interest interesting for from my perspective anyway, to kind of know where you're planning on going with some of that. I guess OK, when I say live is not static it means updates.
are being made continuously. It's not, we don't have a a set time frame for saying OK this is a new release is getting updated as we get into the new documents. OK, alright, fair enough alright thank you.
OK, I think--Heather, are you able to unmute yourself? I can see you. Now. Yes, OK, it's just if you unmute then you have to stop OK, sorry about that; doesn't give you both. So we can conclude our webinars series and just as a reminder, the newsletter is announcing all of the upcoming webinars, so if you didn't get it, the second version of the newsletter went out this week. If you didn't get it, I would encourage you to sign up to the newsletter.
Jen is gonna type that link into the chat and that's where you can sign up for the newsletter and get all of the latest and greatest release of some of these deliverables as well as know what upcoming webinars are coming on, etc. Next month we're going to have our last Webinar of this series on pavement resiliency and sustainability. My personal favorite topics, but I'm biased, on March 23rd so please join us then and as always, we do take your feedback seriously. So please fill out the survey. There's two ways to get into the survey.
You can either go to menti.com and enter in the code here that is: 10 30 45 8 or Jen is going to put the link here into the chat for you guys to go directly to the survey. It’s a four question survey, but we do get ideas of potential webinar topics. I know some of the feedback we received was more detailed webinars, for example on how to do life cycle cost analysis, so please do know that we are looking at those and encourage you to put your feedback in there.
In addition, that's an important place to put your email if you want any copies of the PDF of the presentation today as well as your professional development hours certificate. So the last question will have a location where you can put your email and that's the list I will send the certificates to. I have sent out all of the webinars to date and we'll get this one out to you guys as soon as possible. So if you didn't receive one of the webinars, please contact me and I'll make sure you get the information, but it's likely because there may have been a mistake in the email that was entered in the survey or you didn't fill out that survey, so that's why it's important. With that, we'll conclude the webinar and thank you for joining us.