Project Runway

Bitumen tape asphalt joint for new runway

Asphalt on runways is subject to substantial wear and has to be replaced every couple of years. What is the quickest way to construct a bitumen tape asphalt joint on a runway?

The challenge

The challenge is to construct a suitable joint between the runway. which is approximately 25 km long, and the new concrete channels which run along the entire length on both sides. It is impossible to apply the TOK® tape manually between concrete channels and the asphalt. The job also has to be done quickly, as the runways need to be used.

Chosen solution: bitumen tapes applied using a machine

The solution chosen by the contractor involves the bitumen tapes being applied using a TOKOMAT® machine in order to construct the asphalt joint. This solution has a fast processing time of 5 km per day. The machine applies the bitumen tapes at precisely the right height so that they do not extend across the concrete: the right result in one go! The difference between this method and other mechanical methods is that rather than just applying it by means of spraying, the TOKOMAT® sticks the bitumen tape down so that it does not move. With spray application, you get a mist and a black layer.

Another benefit is the thickness of bitumen tape, which makes all the difference as far as quality is concerned. The tape used is 10 mm thick so that any expansion or contraction between the concrete and asphalt can be absorbed properly. With thinner tapes, the concrete and asphalt are too close together. As a result, expansion and contraction due to the weather will not be absorbed properly and the asphalt or concrete will crack.


The contractor is able to replace the runways successfully in one go. Imbema is able to provide the TOKOMAT® machines needed ready to use. Directly after the concrete edges have been installed, the specialists from Imbema will get to work and then the contractor lays the asphalt.

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