SteelPhalt utilises steel slag – which is a co-product of the steelmaking process – in producing asphalt and roadmaking products
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SteelPhalt utilises steel slag – which is a co-product of the steelmaking process – in producing asphalt and roadmaking products

SteelPhalt has been developing and manufacturing high performance asphalt products for roadmaking in the UK industry since the 1960’s. Based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, SteelPhalt is ideally located to source slag cost-effectively from the surrounding steel industry – a sustainable way of making asphalt since at least 95 per cent of the product is recycled. With a reputation for first class products matched by a commitment to innovation and sustainability, SteelPhalt works in partnership with councils, local authorities and contractors nationwide to deliver durable roads for a sustainable world.

Steel slag has inherent properties that make it ideally suited for use as a surface course for roadmaking. Some examples of these are the exceptional strength and durability of steel slag, which extends the life of the road and lengthens road maintenance intervals. Steel slagalso achieves high skid resistance and maintains it throughout the whole life of the road as a result of its capacity to regenerate its surface roughness over time. As well as all of this it avoids use of quarried materials, and avoids landfill of residual slag product. Through detailed knowledge and experience of working with roadmaking materials, SteelPhalt is able to offer various products to suit different application types.
SteelPhalt products utilise steel slag, which is a by-product of the steelmaking process. The processed material possesses many advantages over natural aggregates when used in making asphalt surface course and has the added benefit of being a recycled product. Products utilising steel slag are the first choice for a number of applications owing to the technical properties and the minimisation of lifetime road maintenance and replacement costs. In addition to performance benefits there are significant environmental advantages in using aggregates made from steel slag. SteelPhalt offers a large number of products, all with specific benefits that its customers can choose from. The range extends from standard asphalt, to more specified options like SteelFlow, SteelStop, SteelSurf, SteelPave, UltraGrip, and ColdBit.

Commercial manager Dean Raynor shed some light on the benefits of the products SteelPhalt makes: “Over the years we have realised steel slag itself exhibits extremely good durability and skid resistance – and in particular skid resistance lasts throughout its life. An example of this is SteelPave SMA which was laid over 20 years ago still gives the same skid resistance, whereas a lot of natural aggregates tend to polish – which you do not get from steel slag products.”

The company has also had its products assessed by a worldwideresearch group, which Deanhighlighted: “We commissioned TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) to do an assessmentof our products two years ago. It looked at the durability and skid performance, and it found that both of these were very strong features of our products. One of the reasons for the durability is that the slag is alkaline in nature, and bitumen is acidic, therefore they attract each other unlike some natural aggregates that are acidic.

“The latest product that we have designed is SteelFlow, in conjunction with Local Authorities in the South Yorkshire Area. This is a 6mm Ultra Thin System, which can be laid 15mm to 25mm thick. Initial trials with the material were on low traffic roads but with the exceptional skid performance data from the sites, higher risks sites have now been surfaced.”

Dean provided some examples: “We talked with Local Authorities in this area – Rotherham and Doncaster, and we got the materials installed on high traffic sites. One site in Rotherham has got 3500 commercial vehicles a day travelling on it – which is the main road to the motorway. Another interesting project was the St George Bridge, which is one of the main routes into Doncaster and gets something like 44,000 vehicles a day travelling over that bridge. We are currently having the sites tested by TRL, and the initial test has once again proved that the materials we are using are very good.”

The high standard of product that SteelPhalt produces has even been recognised with an award. SteelStop road covering was named Global Slag Product of the Year at the recent 2016 Global Slag Conference and Exhibition in London. Designed in conjunction with the Ulster University and tested at trial sites across Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster, SteelStop high friction surfacing was developed to help put the brakes on traffic in busy or skid prone areas, providing extra grip for road users and safety benefits for pedestrians.

SteelPhalt has a set of core values, and in conclusion Dean laid these out: “Service and quality – to maintain that and to continue the levels of work that we do. It is important that we continue that and improve in areas where possible. A part of this is offering new and different materials for customers to use in various applications that they might come across.” By having such a proactive approach SteelPhalt manages to combine product quality, with long lasting strength, while also being an environmentally friendly choice. Bearing all of this in mind, SteelPhalt will no doubt supply many more roadways in the coming years.


Products: Asphalt and roadmaking products