Concrete paving with the SP 62i at Keflavik Air Base

Cost-efficient concrete paving with a Wirtgen slipform paver during the extension and upgrading project at Keflavik Air Base

At the Naval Air Station Keflavik, the military air base on the international airport at the port of Keflavik, about 50 km from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, contractor HIB Iceland Ehf constructed operational facilities covering an area of around 75,000 m² by concrete paving. As the overall project was commissioned by the U.S. government, all measurements used during the paving project were in imperial units. The contractor had to overcome a number of challenges to assure the success of the project for the extension of the parking aprons and an upgrade of the hazardous cargo pad at Keflavik Air Base.

Paving with the SP 62i: 900 m³ of concrete per day

Paving was carried out in a single layer over a width of 7.62 m (25 ft) with a thickness of between 41 cm (16 in) and 45 cm (18 in) by a Wirtgen SP 62i slipform paver. On average, the team from HIB Iceland was able to pave 900 m³ of concrete every day. In total, the SP 62i paved around 35,000 m³ of concrete.

Tolles Produkt

Facts and figures of the extension work at Keflavik Air Base with the SP 62i

Project dimensions
Parking apron length
280 m
Parking apron width
235 m
Hazardous cargo pad length
120 m
Hazardous cargo pad width
76 m
General
Construction contractor
HIB Iceland Ehf
Project timeframe
07–09/2021
Wirtgen machines deployed
SP 62i

Paving data
Specified cross-slope
≤ 1%
Paving width
7.62 m (25 ft)
Paving height
41 cm (16 in)–45 cm (18 in)
Daily paving performance
900 m³
Overall paved surface area
approx. 75,000 m²

Highest quality, despite the challenging deadline

Due to the climatic conditions on the Reykjanesskagi peninsula in the south west of Iceland, the time window for the project was set for the beginning of July to the end of September of the year. To squeeze the work into this timeframe, the decision was made to do without prior placement of fixed formwork for the individual strips.

Despite the tight deadline, the paving team was able to deliver highest quality results, not least due to state-of-the-art machine technology like the high-precision steering and levelling system and the automatic super smoother.

‘Teamwork is an essential factor when it comes to assuring our success. And that is exactly why we truly appreciate the value our long-established partnership with the Wirtgen Group. Product management, application engineers and service teams on the construction site work hand-in-hand with us, always with a single goal in mind: finding the right solutions to ensure the success of our project.’

Matthias Neumann, CEO, HIB Infra GmbH & Co. KG

The concrete was placed in front of the slipform paver by an excavator and then evenly distributed with the machine’s spreader plough.

The SP 62i produces precise edges to ensure perfect surfaces and optimal drainage

Operational areas on airfields and airports generally have only a very slight cross-slope. In the case of the airfield project in Keflavik, the maximum permissible cross-slope specified was only 1%. Surface water drains off across the full width of the parking apron, in this case, 235 m. The area was paved in 31 separate strips that were connected to one another by tie bars inserted along the sides to ensure the correct height of the individual sections. The outer edges of the strips posed a particular challenge for paving with the slipform method. They had to be precisely perpendicular from end to end and faultlessly paved with absolutely no fall. Only this can ensure that rainwater is drains away as it should during future operations, and that no water collects in the expansion joints.

The SP 62i: a precision tool

Perfectly perpendicular edges are essential for ensuring the quality of the butt joints between adjacent strips. The two-track SP 62i slipform paver once again proved to be the ideal choice for the job. The perfectly perpendicular edges speak for themselves.

Tolles Produkt

The assistance with the formulation of the concrete mix provided by the Wirtgen application engineers contributes to the success of the project

Essentially, concrete is always a mixture of cement, water and variously sized aggregates. However, in order to fulfil the future load-bearing and wear-resistance properties of the construction in question, a number of other additives and a more precise consideration of the above-mentioned main ingredients is needed. The required properties for the extension work at Keflavik Air Base included, for example, a concrete with the compressive strength class C35/45. In order to achieve the desired compressive strength of 45 N/mm² (cubic concrete specimen), the ideal formula for the concrete mix was determined with the assistance of Wirtgen application engineers and optimised for paving with the slipform paver. In situ paving of the first pilot strips was able to begin immediately without trial areas. From the word go, these showed outstanding quality in all quality parameters such as density, compressive strength, profile-compliant placement and surface roughness, i.e. grip characteristics.

Examination of the core samples taken show the homogeneous distribution of the aggregate in the hardened concrete.

Core sampling as a quality indicator

Examination of the core samples taken show the homogeneous distribution of the aggregate in the hardened concrete.

Maximum evenness over an area of 75,000 m²

When it come to the operational areas of airfields and airports, the demands for surface evenness are generally very high. At Keflavik Air Base, the specified maximum permissible unevenness was 4 mm on 4 m (length of the Planograph). In reality, the evenness measured according to TP Eben 2007* showed that deviations were significantly lower than the target value and that the evenness achieved was far better than the specified maximum permissible unevenness. *Technical testing regulations for evenness measurements on road surfaces in longitudinal and transverse directions. A clear sign of the quality that can be achieved only with a perfectly coordinated team and the right equipment.

‘On this project, we once again enjoyed the excellent experience of working together with the team from Wirtgen. The team provided excellent advice and valuable support in both the planning phase and as on-site consultants. Not least thanks to this, we were able to complete the project on time, and met with as good as no problems at all on the construction site.’

Hendrik Wendt, Site Manager & Concrete Technologist, HIB Infra GmbH & Co. KG

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