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Old 05-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #1
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Default Best Sealant for Permanent Outdoor Asphalt Track ?

We have a 76' x 112' permanent outdoor asphalt track in a park in WV. I wanted to get some opinions and experience on the best way to re-seal our track next time we do it. Didn't find much here, at least not in my searches.

The last time, we used Gator Patch to fill and then had it asphalt sealed with the sealant having fine sand mixed in. It worked ok, and once we get a lot of the nitro guys out there, traction comes up. Track can be pretty green early in the year until we get some weekends on it.

I searched and read up on VHT, sodas and other race-day additives, but I don't think we're going in that direction, for a number of reasons.

But since we may reseal again soon, I wondered what's the best way to provide a reasonable grip level ... and if it's possible, without also causing high tire wear in the process.
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:21 PM   #2
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I suggest looking at this track and contacting the owners there.

http://www.ontariooneeighth.com/

Look at the pics before and after sealed.
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:41 PM   #3
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Henry drive way sealer is great. Kinda pricy, I think $20 for 5 gallons. Grape juice works well
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:43 PM   #4
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You have to lay the sealer thick so it's smooth as glass.
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:57 PM   #5
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MMR Track Grip. Call us for info. Call 301 for opinons of the product.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swopemike
We have a 76' x 112' permanent outdoor asphalt track in a park in WV. I wanted to get some opinions and experience on the best way to re-seal our track next time we do it. Didn't find much here, at least not in my searches.

The last time, we used Gator Patch to fill and then had it asphalt sealed with the sealant having fine sand mixed in. It worked ok, and once we get a lot of the nitro guys out there, traction comes up. Track can be pretty green early in the year until we get some weekends on it.

I searched and read up on VHT, sodas and other race-day additives, but I don't think we're going in that direction, for a number of reasons.

But since we may reseal again soon, I wondered what's the best way to provide a reasonable grip level ... and if it's possible, without also causing high tire wear in the process.
Dont seal it any more!

Putting sealer on asphalt will trap you in a vicsous cycle of having to reseal every year becuase the traction gets worse and worse.

Foam and rubber tires gain traction on a surface two ways.

1. Surface to surface adhesion

2. Mechanical gripping by conforming to surface imperfections

Every time you seal asphalt you increase surface to surface adhesion but you decrease surface imperfections. A freshly sealed track is high traction until the sealer natuarally oxidizes from exposure to oxygen and UV light from the sun. It will break down to a grey powdery dust. The sealer also fills in all the pores and gaps between the pebbles in the asphalt. The sand in the sealer only last 2-3 monts before you wear it out of the racing grove and it fill in the pores of the asphalt even faster. Sun, wind and rain will strip the rest of the sand off in 6 months.

Eventually you have a track as smooth as an ebony piano that has to be sealed frequently to keep the traction up. Ripon R/C Speedway in Nor Cal is a good example of this happening.

VHT works to get traction on a over sealed track but its expensive. Highly flamible when applied (you have to thin is with methanol) and the traction is only as consistant as the person that applies it.

The best solution is leaf blowing the track clean every race morning and sugar watering it. The Magic Mix is 5lb sugar to 5 Gal water spiked with one 2L of any cheap soda. The soda has stabilizers in it that prevent the sugar from crystalizing and leaving surgar crystals all over your track on a hot day.

Sealer is good to keep the parking lot in your apartment complex looking nice and black but its a great way to ruin a $15,000 slab of asphalt on an r/c track.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:26 PM   #7
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Thanks Adrian, appreciate the input. How thick do you apply the sugar water mix, e.g. how far will 5 gallons go?

Do people ever have trouble with insects going after the sugar? Our facility is on top of the hill in a park on old tennis courts, surrounded by grass and woods. People are concerned about bees in particular as we get yellow jackets going after soda cans already. After it dries do the bugs still go after it?

I think a lot of folks don't want to have to make a weekly application ... so is there anything else we can do that is a little more permanent? For instance any way to "scuff" the asphalt to make it pick up some traction ?
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:44 PM   #8
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Default best sealant

yes

Adrian is right no sealant is used now
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swopemike
Thanks Adrian, appreciate the input. How thick do you apply the sugar water mix, e.g. how far will 5 gallons go?
5 gallons can cover a 140x70 track. You want to mist it on. The purpose of the sugar water is to keep the dust down not make the track sticky. Sticky track make cars handle funny and are hard to get fast setups on.

Quote:
Do people ever have trouble with insects going after the sugar? Our facility is on top of the hill in a park on old tennis courts, surrounded by grass and woods. People are concerned about bees in particular as we get yellow jackets going after soda cans already. After it dries do the bugs still go after it?
The bugs dont like 150*F aspalt and you dont put that much down in any one place. All you want to do is make the track a little darker looking not wet.

Quote:
I think a lot of folks don't want to have to make a weekly application ... so is there anything else we can do that is a little more permanent? For instance any way to "scuff" the asphalt to make it pick up some traction ?
No, there is no other way. VHT and MMR can last longer but even they need to be reactivated with straight methanol or reapplied weekly for best results. The problem is if you go heavy with MMR or VHT you are creating a huge patch of flypaper that pollen dust and sand will stick to. I have raced at places like this and you end up with black sticky dirt all over your car and it only comes off with motor spray...thats really is no fun at all.

Sugar water breaks down in a day or two so it does not build up like VHT.

Track maintence is part of racing. It is a huge pain and usually only one or two guys do it with no help from anyone else but it is what it is. The guys that complaon about traction can slow up at 6am, grab a leaf blower and a graden sprayer and get to work
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:57 PM   #10
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Mike- Traction isn't really the problem on this track. It only has 1 or 2 races on it this season. If anything that needs to be fixed it's the surface. I ran 7mm of ride height last week. We have a rythmn section on the straightaway.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:26 PM   #11
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Ky,

Not sure I completely agree re: traction, but I agree it helps have more than 1 race on the track oh well that's outdoor weather

Although I agree, certainly the track can be a little smoother ... it would be interesting to have it smooth enough to run, say, mod 12th scales. Speedy put a great deal of effort into the Gator Patch last year and it's better... if not good enough, maybe you can volunteer to help this year ?

Besides, you're the bloke who said we needed soda on the track in the first place and got me drooling over more traction and going down this road! Now you tell me you don't think that's the issue? Way to make me look like a dork to the whole R/C nation !

At least now you know I listened

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Old 05-09-2007, 02:29 PM   #12
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How do you guys clean up your outdoor asphalt track? Sweeping is a lot of work out in the hot sun. Leaf blowers?
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:37 PM   #13
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Gas powered track blower, a glorified wheeled leaf blower. A bit old, but quite effective. Also used to blow off water from low spots. We also have a hand held gas leaf blower (less power but much better control). Either is really worth the investment. Recommend a high power unit with a throttle of some sort for those pesky corner boards (cover your eyes).

I can't imagine sweeping by hand you're right, that's hard work !

I can do the whole 76x112 track quite thoroughly in about 45 minutes if I hustle. It would go even faster if I wasn't so picky. I work one end to the other across all the lanes as it's quicker... when I have tried to follow the track line I blew stuff back into other lanes too much.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyLayfield
Mike- Traction isn't really the problem on this track. It only has 1 or 2 races on it this season. If anything that needs to be fixed it's the surface. I ran 7mm of ride height last week. We have a rythmn section on the straightaway.

QFT.

Quoted for truth. Hold that thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KyLayfield
We have a rythmn section on the straightaway and multiple tabletops in the infield.
Fixed. Mike you have a message.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:49 PM   #15
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bit expensive but saves alot of man hours...we bought a blower like you see on tennis courts, track is blown clean in 10 minutes! (our track outdoors is 150 x 50)
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