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Asphalt Binder Cracking Device (ABCD)
Highways for LIFE Partnerships 2008 Award $225,061
PDF Version (1.2 mb)
Need for Innovation
The way asphalt responds to low temperatures is critical to its performance. Low temperature thermal cracking (contraction of the pavement) is a major type of asphalt pavement failure. Millions of dollars is spent annually for pavement repair. To minimize premature failure due to thermal cracking, it is essential to properly grade asphalt binders for the expected climatic environment.
EZ Asphalt Technology conducted a field validation of the Asphalt Binder Cracking Device (ABCD), refined the equipment and analysis software, and conducted a ruggedness test and interlaboratory study with 28 labs. The interlaboratory study evaluated the binder cracking temperature and strength, ease of sample preparation and test procedures, and repeatability at other laboratories.
Correlation with Field Test Roads
AASHTO M320 results show an increase in cracking temperature as SBS concentration increases. The ABCD test shows the expected decrease in cracking temperature and increased strength (strain jump).
After the test, the data are analyzed and presented as a graph of strain vs. temperature (each data point recorded at the same time) and a summary table in Excel. The summary table shows cracking temperatures, strain jumps, averages, and standard deviations.
ABCD Cracking Temperature
BBR Critical Temperature
Precision: Inter-Laboratory Study Results
Precision of ABCD test is comparable to that of BBR test when it is considered that the variability of fracture strength of asphalt binders is included in ABCD test. An AASHTO provisional specification has been adopted as a result of this work: TP92-Determining the Cracking Temperatures of Asphalt Binder Using the Asphalt Binder Cracking Device. The final report and a video is available at
EZ Asphalt Technology, LLC
Highways for Life
EZ Asphalt Technology
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