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PradoWeb

PradoWeb (Program for Road Asphalt Design and Optimization – Web) is the new BRRC software for quick and efficient theoretical mix design, adapted to the present trend of practice in the asphalt sector.

PradoWeb

The previous software, PradoWin, which dates from 2002, was quickly recognised both in Belgium and internationally as a reference method for the theoretical design of mixes. Information technology is evolving at breakneck speed, and the asphalt sector is not lagging behind. New types of raw and secondary materials, greater reuse of asphalt aggregates, performance specifications, new test methods and better knowledge of the impact of mixture parameters on performance, represent new opportunities to design better and more sustainable asphalt mixtures.

It was therefore necessary to renew the software, building on BRRC's decades of experience and considering the current and future expectations of users and the asphalt sector in general. After thorough preparation, the development could start in 2019. This was done in collaboration with a specialised IT company.

The new PradoWeb software is now ready for use.

What does PradoWeb do?

PradoWeb calculates the volumetric composition of bituminous mixtures based on the characteristics of their components, the composition of the aggregate mix, the quantity of binder and possible additives. This results in different quantities that are indicative of workability and mechanical performance.

The composition of the mix and the calculated results can be tested against the Belgian standard tender specifications about grading, the percentage of voids after gyratory compaction and the chosen binder content.

Behind all PradoWeb results are numerous calculations, based on theoretical models and formulas that were validated to the maximum by experimental data over the years. Thanks to PradoWeb, any user can perform these calculations in a matter of seconds. The impact of certain choices or changes in components and composition quickly becomes evident, so that the mix design can easily be optimised by theoretical means before moving on to laboratory tests.

Main improvements

When defining the requirements for the new software, the wishes of the users were taken into account as much as possible. These were deduced, among other things, following a preliminary survey conducted by the Belgian Asphalt Producers Association among its members and consultations within the ad hoc working group. Some members of this working group were involved in the development process.

Ease of use was a priority requirement. First, the software must make work easier and this requires an attractive user interface in which the user can easily find their way around and obtain results quickly. PradoWeb offers clear windows for this purpose, with numerous search and filter options for retrieving the necessary data on materials and mixtures. A "mixing wizard" guides the user through the design process.

Being and staying abreast of developments and innovations in the asphalt sector was also a clear requirement.

An example of such a development is the sharp increase in the use of asphalt aggregates. PradoWeb correctly calculates very high percentages of bituminous aggregates and even foresees the possibility of using different types of aggregates from several stacks in the same mixture.

As with the previous PradoWin software, PradoWeb's calculations are largely based on theoretical models and formulas developed at BRRC, but several calculation parameters have been adjusted to improve the prediction power.

As the industry does not stand still, development strongly focused on the maintainability and extendibility of the software. The possibility of improving or further adapting existing functionality to new needs, or adding new features, is included. The appropriate needs will be examined in consultation with the sector. In this way, PradoWeb will be able to grow and improve over time.

What does PradoWeb mean for the asphalt sector?

The laboratory tests required for the experimental preliminary study of bituminous mixtures require a lot of time and effort. Adjusting the mix design at this stage, and then having to repeat the tests, is a high cost that producers prefer to avoid. It goes therefore without saying that maximum optimisation of the mixture by theoretical means leads to enormous savings.

However, PradoWeb's ambitions go even further. PradoWeb teaches the user how to improve the performance of the mixture. A higher level of knowledge and a better understanding of the importance and impact of all parameters will result in better, more innovative and more durable mixtures, which will not only benefit road producers and managers, but all road users.

As always, BRRC is ready to support and further train users in mix design.

PradoWeb figure

PradoWeb (Program for Road Asphalt Design and Optimization – Web) is the new BRRC software for quick and efficient theoretical mix design, adapted to the present trend of practice in the asphalt sector.

PradoWeb

The previous software, PradoWin, which dates from 2002, was quickly recognised both in Belgium and internationally as a reference method for the theoretical design of mixes. Information technology is evolving at breakneck speed, and the asphalt sector is not lagging behind. New types of raw and secondary materials, greater reuse of asphalt aggregates, performance specifications, new test methods and better knowledge of the impact of mixture parameters on performance, represent new opportunities to design better and more sustainable asphalt mixtures.

It was therefore necessary to renew the software, building on BRRC's decades of experience and considering the current and future expectations of users and the asphalt sector in general. After thorough preparation, the development could start in 2019. This was done in collaboration with a specialised IT company.

The new PradoWeb software is now ready for use.

What does PradoWeb do?

PradoWeb calculates the volumetric composition of bituminous mixtures based on the characteristics of their components, the composition of the aggregate mix, the quantity of binder and possible additives. This results in different quantities that are indicative of workability and mechanical performance.

The composition of the mix and the calculated results can be tested against the Belgian standard tender specifications about grading, the percentage of voids after gyratory compaction and the chosen binder content.

Behind all PradoWeb results are numerous calculations, based on theoretical models and formulas that were validated to the maximum by experimental data over the years. Thanks to PradoWeb, any user can perform these calculations in a matter of seconds. The impact of certain choices or changes in components and composition quickly becomes evident, so that the mix design can easily be optimised by theoretical means before moving on to laboratory tests.

Main improvements

When defining the requirements for the new software, the wishes of the users were taken into account as much as possible. These were deduced, among other things, following a preliminary survey conducted by the Belgian Asphalt Producers Association among its members and consultations within the ad hoc working group. Some members of this working group were involved in the development process.

Ease of use was a priority requirement. First, the software must make work easier and this requires an attractive user interface in which the user can easily find their way around and obtain results quickly. PradoWeb offers clear windows for this purpose, with numerous search and filter options for retrieving the necessary data on materials and mixtures. A "mixing wizard" guides the user through the design process.

Being and staying abreast of developments and innovations in the asphalt sector was also a clear requirement.

An example of such a development is the sharp increase in the use of asphalt aggregates. PradoWeb correctly calculates very high percentages of bituminous aggregates and even foresees the possibility of using different types of aggregates from several stacks in the same mixture.

As with the previous PradoWin software, PradoWeb's calculations are largely based on theoretical models and formulas developed at BRRC, but several calculation parameters have been adjusted to improve the prediction power.

As the industry does not stand still, development strongly focused on the maintainability and extendibility of the software. The possibility of improving or further adapting existing functionality to new needs, or adding new features, is included. The appropriate needs will be examined in consultation with the sector. In this way, PradoWeb will be able to grow and improve over time.

What does PradoWeb mean for the asphalt sector?

The laboratory tests required for the experimental preliminary study of bituminous mixtures require a lot of time and effort. Adjusting the mix design at this stage, and then having to repeat the tests, is a high cost that producers prefer to avoid. It goes therefore without saying that maximum optimisation of the mixture by theoretical means leads to enormous savings.

However, PradoWeb's ambitions go even further. PradoWeb teaches the user how to improve the performance of the mixture. A higher level of knowledge and a better understanding of the importance and impact of all parameters will result in better, more innovative and more durable mixtures, which will not only benefit road producers and managers, but all road users.

As always, BRRC is ready to support and further train users in mix design.

PradoWeb figure