West Coxsackie, N.Y. — The Seal/No Seal (SNS) Group has released the results of the study by Dr. Dan Zollinger at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) on Qualification of Joint Sealant Effectiveness Regarding Jointed Concrete Pavement Performance. A key outcome of this project is the advancement of a mechanistic tool for analysis of specific combinations of traffic, climate, base materials, and sealant condition on subbase erosion and pavement performance. This is the first tool of its kind that allows assessment of the sealant effectiveness on pavement performance.

This study did not attempt to research sealant effectiveness through traditional approaches such as characterizing sealant performance in terms of joint seal properties. Instead, TTI took a more rigorous approach to evaluate performance in terms of the amount of infiltration through the joint and the consequential impacts on subbase erosion and pavement distress.

Another aspect of the study evaluated the use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to detect the existence of moisture under the slabs. With the use of GPR, it now appears feasible to detect the existence of moisture under the slabs in the vicinity of the joint from a water infiltration standpoint and more importantly, to assess when a sealant is no longer effective. 

For a shortened version of the report, a Tech Brief can be viewed at http://sealnoseal.org/PDF/TechBrief/Tech_Brief_SNS_TTI_Report.pdf

The Seal/No Seal Group was formed to respond to the age-old industry question about the value of sealing concrete pavement joints. Its mission is to develop a committed membership that takes responsibility for determining the long-term effectiveness of sealants in concrete pavements. Information on The Seal/No Seal Group and its efforts can be found at www.sealnoseal.org.