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.