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EZ Asphalt Technology
Millions of dollars each year are spent to repair highway cracks and road damage. In cold climates, these damages are complicated by asphalt binder cracking at low temperatures, making it difficult to maintain and improve roads. Until recently, there was no simple and dependable method of determining the temperature at which binder cracking occurs. Binders that could better withstand colder temperatures were also undetermined.
EZ Asphalt Technology LLC in Athens holds the solution. Sang-Soo Kim, Ph.D., PE, creator of Asphalt Binder Cracking Device (ABCD), founded the company in 2007.
ABCD accurately measures asphalt binder strength and the exact temperature at which thermal cracking occurs.". Using ABCD, the presence of low temperature thermal cracking can be established easily and with confidence that the test mimics real-life road conditions.
“Measuring low temperature thermal cracking potential of asphalt binder has not been possible prior to ABCD,” Dr. Kim says.
Dr. Kim is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University and a member of the university’s Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and Environment. He is also an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists.
“After 5 years of research, ABCD is currently available commercially,” says Dr. Kim. The ABCD testing chamber can hold 16 binder samples at one time, making it ideal for use in road construction and repair projects.
According to Dr. Kim, once ABCD was ready for commercial production, using the Innovation Center as a launching point for the business was an easy decision. He cites affordable rent and an outstanding business support system, as well as grant assistance and the space flexibility among Center’s assets. “It was very clear that the Innovation Center was the best choice,” says Dr. Kim.
Most helpful to EZ Asphalt’s success, Dr. Kim says, is the Center’s Executive-In-Residence, Matt Strader. Strader acts as a coach for Innovation Center clients by providing business management assistance and advice. “It is great to have him,” Dr. Kim says. “I have had many good meetings with him in guiding the business direction and decisions.”
EZ Asphalt Technology has an exclusive license agreement with Ohio University to use the patented ABCD technology.