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Highways for LIFE

Arrow Asphalt Binder Cracking Device to Reduce Low-Temperature Asphalt Pavement Cracking: Final Report

Printable version of this report (.pdf, 1.4 mb)

Final Report May 2011

Cover 1. Photo. ABCD testing device. Three images show (above) the ABCD environmental cooling chamber, with closed door, laptop computer displaying results, and cable connections feeding data into the computer; (left, below) an asphalt sample prepared for testing in the mold with ABCD ring; and (right, below) four ABCD rings.
  1. Significance of the Asphalt Binder Cracking Device
  2. Project Overview
  3. Asphalt Binder Cracking Device Interlaboratory Study
  4. Bending Beam Rheometer Critical Temperature Interlaboratory Study
  5. No-Trim ABCD Experiment
  6. Summary
  7. Future Plans
  1. Appendix: Results of No-Trim ABCD Test Results
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. References

FOREWORD

This report summarizes research into use of the Asphalt Binder Cracking Device (ABCD), a new empirical test method for evaluating the low-temperature cracking potential of asphalt binder. The ABCD test method has been adopted as a Provisional Standard by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. This report presents the results of two interlaboratory studies that examined the ABCD’s precision and documents the modification of the ABCD procedure to achieve greater precision.

The refinement of the late-stage prototype and inter-laboratory study of the ABCD was supported by a grant from the Highways for LIFE Technology Partnerships Program. The Technology Partnerships Program provided grants to assist general industry make the leap from promising late-stage prototypes to market-ready products and promoted partnerships with State and local highway agencies to demonstrate the technologies under real-world conditions.

This report will be of interest to State and local departments of transportation, Federal Highway Administration division offices, highway research institutions, asphalt manufacturers, and highway construction contractors.

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document. Trade names mentioned in this report are not intended as an endorsement of any machine, contractor, process, or product.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. The FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page
1. Report No. FHWA-HIF-11-029 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle Asphalt Binder Cracking Device to Reduce Low-Temperature Asphalt Pavement Cracking: Final Report 5. Report Date May 2011
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Sang-Soo Kim, Ph.D., P.E.
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
EZ Asphalt Technology, LLC
340 W. State Street Unit #2, 142 Innovation Center
Athens, OH 45701
10. Work Unit No.
11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH61-08-G-00005
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Highways for LIFE Program Office, Office of Infrastructure,
Federal Highway Administration,
U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report; 2008–2010
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
HIHL
15. Supplementary Notes
Agreement Officer: Freida Byrd, Office of Acquisition Management, Federal Highway Administration (HAAM-40)
Agreement Officer Technical Representative: Julie Zirlin, Highways for LIFE, Office of Infrastructure, Federal Highway Administration (HIHL)

16. Abstract:
As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE program, EZ Asphalt Technology was awarded a grant to refine the Asphalt Binder Cracking Device (ABCD) test method and conduct an interlaboratory study. This report documents the results of two interlaboratory studies that examined the ABCD’s precision and documents the modification of the ABCD procedure to achieve greater precision.

The ABCD is an easy-to-use device for determining the overall low-temperature cracking potential of an asphalt binder. The report presents results of the ABCD interlaboratory study (ILS), a second ILS comparing use of the ABCD with Bending Beam Reflectometer (BBR) testing, and a third study that modified the ABCD testing procedure to improve precision of ABCD testing. Data from 23 laboratories participating in the ABCD testing are presented.

Results of the ABCD and BBR testing indicated that the precision estimates of ABCD cracking temperature and those of the BBR critical temperature were comparable. The No-Trim ABCD test procedure developed during the project is expected to improve the precision of ABCD test results.

17. Key Words
asphalt pavement cracking, Asphalt Binder Cracking Device, asphalt binder testing, Bending Beam Rheometer, low temperature cracking
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hfl/.
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
Unclassified
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
Unclassified
21. No. of Pages
44
22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)   Reproduction of completed page authorized
SI* (MODERN METRIC) CONVERSION FACTORS
APPROXIMATE CONVERSIONS TO SI UNITS
Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
LENGTH
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm
ft feet 0.305 meters m
yd yards 0.914 meters m
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km
AREA
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2
yd2 square yard 0.836 square meters m2
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2
VOLUME
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters mL
gal gallons 3.785 liters L
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3
NOTE: volumes greater than 1000 L shall be shown in m3
MASS
oz ounces 28.35 grams g
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg
T short tons (2000 lb) 0.907 megagrams (or "metric ton") Mg (or "t")
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°F Fahrenheit 5 (F-32)/9 Celsius °C
    or (F-32)/1.8    
ILLUMINATION
fc foot-candles 10.76 lux lx
fl foot-Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2
FORCE and PRESSURE or STRESS
lbf poundforce  4.45 newtons N
lbf/in2 poundforce per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa
APPROXIMATE CONVERSIONS FROM SI UNITS
Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
LENGTH
mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
m meters 3.28 feet ft
m meters 1.09 yards yd
km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
AREA
mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
m2 square meters 1.195 square yards yd2
ha hectares 2.47 acres ac
km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles mi2
VOLUME
mL milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
L liters 0.264 gallons gal
m3 cubic meters 35.314 cubic feet ft3
m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yards yd3
MASS
g grams 0.035 ounces oz
kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
Mg (or "t") megagrams (or "metric ton") 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°C Celsius 1.8C+32 Fahrenheit °F
ILLUMINATION
lx lux 0.0929 foot-candles fc
cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot-Lamberts fl
FORCE and PRESSURE or STRESS
N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch lbf/in2

*SI is the symbol for the International System of Units. Appropriate rounding should be made to comply with Section 4 of ASTM E380.
(Revised March 2003)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The overall scope of the Highways for LIFE grant to EZ Asphalt Technology was to refine the Asphalt Binder Cracking Device (ABCD) test method and to conduct an ABCD interlaboratory study (ILS). During Phase 1, ABCD test equipment and test procedures were re-fined. During Phase 2, five units of ABCD were manufactured and tested in an ABCD ILS. Thirty-one laboratories volunteered for the ABCD ILS. Following manufacturing and testing, ABCD units were delivered to the first five participating laboratories. As a laboratory finished the ILS testing, the unit was repacked and shipped to the next waiting laboratory.

Due to the larger than expected number of volunteering laboratories, the original binder samples prepared for this ABCD ILS ran out in the middle of ILS testing. Replacement binder samples were used for the later part of ABCD ILS testing. However, the analyses of ABCD ILS were based on the data from the 23 laboratories that used the original binder samples. With very limited experience with the ABCD equipment and test procedure, almost all participating laboratories were able to complete the ABCD ILS successfully without major difficulty. Ten laboratories also volunteered to participate in the Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR) Critical Temperature ILS. The results of the ABCD and BBR studies indicated that the precision estimates of ABCD cracking temperature and those of the BBR critical temperature were comparable.

The standard deviation of the ABCD cracking temperature, strain jump, and fracture strength for single-operator ABCD tests were 0.95 ºC (1.71 ºF), 5.48 με, and 0.86 MPa (125 psi), respectively. The standard deviation of the ABCD cracking temperature, strain jump, and fracture strength for multilaboratory ABCD tests were 1.36 ºC (2.45 ºF), 7.21 με, and 1.13 MPa (163.9 psi), respectively. The standard deviations of the BBR critical temperature for single-operator and multilaboratory tests were 0.44 ºC (0.79 ºF) and 0.75 ºC (1.35 ºF), respectively, when the critical temperatures were determined from an interpolation process where the BBR test results from two adjacent grading temperatures bracket the critical values of creep stiffness and m-value. The precision estimates of the BBR critical temperature are better than those of the ABCD cracking temperature. However, the BBR critical temperature alone cannot estimate the proper cracking temperature of asphalt binder. Strength testing must be performed and combined with the BBR test results. Then, the precision of the resulting cracking temperature by BBR would be similar to that of ABCD cracking temperature.

To further improve the precision of ABCD test results, the No-Trim ABCD test procedure was developed. An experiment performed with a limited number of binders showed that the steps for trimming and lubrication of the silicone mold in the current ABCD procedure could be eliminated. Based on these findings, a revised ABCD test procedure was developed and is presented in this report. The No-Trim ABCD test procedure is expected to improve the precision of ABCD test results, especially the multilaboratory precision estimates.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Committee has voted to adopt the ABCD test method as a provisional test method. The ABCD test procedure will be included in a 2011 edition of AASHTO specifications.

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Julie Zirlin
Highways for LIFE
202-366-9105
julie.zirlin@dot.gov

Updated: 09/02/2011

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