NAVFAC Airfield Spraying

L. Javier Malvar (NFESC)
2008-07-17
Naval Facilities Engineering Command

AM-2 Matting for Expeditionary Airfields

  • Marine Wing Support Squadrons task organized to build EAFs with AM-2 matting. AM-2 matting includes:
    • 6’ and 12’ x 2’aluminum sheets
    • Accessory clamps, connectors, spacers and tool kit
  • Large footprint, manpower intensive

Proposed Replacement for AM-2 Matting

  • The U.S. Navy was notified on 16 October 2001 of the USMC need for a replacement to AM-2 matting and a solution to make coral runways jet-capable.
  • USMC 1 MAW proposed using a spray product to cover the whole runway for AM-2 replacement.
  • The product chosen to cover the asphalt runway was to be a concrete crack repair material, Penatron 4034, then was changed to an asphalt joint/crack filler, Penatron 4036, that was to be modified during the testing, then back to a modified Penatron 4034E
  • While these products have been accepted to fill cracks and complete minor repairs, they have not been used sprayed over whole runways.

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Tri-Service Position

  • The U.S. Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, after consulting with the Army ERDC, and the Air Force HQ AFCESA detailed the Tri-Service opposition to the use of such products to cover a runway due to the following concerns:
    1. Loss of skid resistance
    2. Unknown effect on foreign object debris
    3. Safety risk to aircraft and personnel,
    4. Extrapolation of test results to higher pressure tires
    5. Usage of untested products not developed for asphalt
    6. The apparent belief that the spraying would increase bearing capacity

Spray Application for Car Tests

  • Prep (clean) surface
  • Sand is broadcast by shaking it out of cans
  • Product is sprayed

Car Tests on Sprayed Area

The product seemed to:

    • Not cure for long periods of time
    • Significantly reduce skid resistance
    • Have no apparent effect on foreign object debris.
  • To compensate for skid resistance loss, sand was broadcast over the pavement, however,
    • required sand application rate was unknown
    • actual sand application rate was unknown
    • effect of sand on generating foreign object debris was unknown.
  • The car skidded on the sprayed area and stopped on the untreated area
  • The sprayed area had previously been thoroughly cleaned/scrubbed, whereas the unsprayed area had not – even then, only 1 (one) very small aggregate was found to dislodge from the untreated area – this was called SUCCESS ! (i.e. proof that sprayed polymer prevented FOD)

Aircraft Tests on Sprayed Area

  • Guam airfield
  • Sand broadcasted
  • Polymer sprayed
  • Since loss of skid resistance was a concern, no landings were completed, only touch-and-go
  • 72 touch-and-go on sprayed area, 2 on untreated area

Results of Aircraft Tests

“Proof” that spraying worked:

1 (one) aggregate came out of untreated surface

“Slight” problem: Significant amounts of sand delaminated from a heavily sanded sprayed area that received insufficient quantities of product (worse FOD potential)

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