Taconite as a Lower Cost Alternative High Friction Surface Treatment to Calcined Bauxite for Low Volume Roads in Minnesota

Real field data are lacking for a direct comparative performance evaluation of Mesabi (taconite) friction aggregate and calcined bauxite in high friction surface treatments (HFST) applications. Calcined bauxite has been given a preferred status relative to HFST usage by FHWA, but is imported, expensive, and energy-intensive to produce. A recycled/byproduct alternative like Mesabi HFST aggregate may still provide adequate or comparable field skid resistance performance and is significantly less energy-intensive to produce. The envisioned project will install an HFST system using both aggregate types, and conduct a combination of field (locked-wheel skid) and other friction tests such as Dynamic Friction Tester (DFT) to monitor performance and wear over time, as well as bond strength tests, allowing comparative information to be generated and collected for the installed aggregates and binders; information that is currently lacking for "real-world" climatic and maintenance conditions, such as snow plowing.