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Improving airport runway safety and service life

Highly flexible silicone pavement sealants are helping maintenance crews improve safety at Mid-Continental Airport in Wichita, Kansas, USA. The sealants are used to seal out moisture and incompressible debris from joints on airport runways and taxiways.

When dirt, stones, or ice are forced into concrete pavement joints by heavy weight, they can cause the concrete to break along the slab edge. John Oswald, director of Airport Engineering and Planning says, “A sealant with good adhesion helps prevent small chunks of concrete from breaking away and potentially becoming a safety hazard to the aircraft.”

Airport runways present a very tough service environment for paving and sealing materials. To deliver long service life, a sealant must possess all-temperature adhesion and flexibility, which allow the sealant to repel debris and absorb stress from thermal expansion and contraction.

The low-modulus silicone runway sealants at Mid-Continental Airport maintain their adhesion through numerous freeze-thaw cycles each year and withstand heavy equipment traffic from airplanes, maintenance vehicles, and trucks.

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