Feb 27, 2023
How to Figure Fluff Factor with a Smooth Screed
BY AsphaltPro Staff
We’ve discussed this before, but as paving season heats up, it’s good to remind the crew how to figure fluff factor. This critical paving number is covered in depth in the 8th lesson of the Asphalt Paving 101 online course we’ve put together for your crew, but let’s do the quick tip version right now.
KEEP IN MIND: This tip assumes you’re using a smooth-bottom screed plate. Visit here to read about figuring fluff factor with the OXCLAW patterned screed plate.
When you pave the asphalt mat with a smooth screed plate, you will place it one quarter of an inch thicker, per inch, than you want the final mat to be. This gives the roller operator room to compact to the final thickness.
Think of it this way: for a 1-inch lift, you’ll actually pave 1.25 inches; for a 2-inch lift, you’ll pave 2.5 inches. That extra height is the fluff factor. The “thicker” number is the actual thickness that the screed will place. The extra height is the amount of mix that will be compacted as the roller operator fills the air voids and achieves density.
There’s a cheat sheet available for free download in the Asphalt Paving 101 online training course that gives you a quick reference for different lift thicknesses and the fluff you need to factor in. Click the green “enroll” button at this link.
The AsphaltPro website now has additional resources for safety directors and managers seeking mental health wellness and suicide prevention materials. Visit this link for information, a library of past articles, and the all-important Suicide in Construction Awareness Proclamation you’ve been hearing about.
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