|FHWA > Engineering > Pavements > Asphalt > Mobile Asphalt Lab|
FHWA Mobile Asphalt Pavement Mixture Laboratory
Purpose and Goals
The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Mobile Asphalt Pavement Mixture Laboratory (Mobile Asphalt Lab) is making it simpler for pavement engineers to gather data, test, and evaluate new technology development. To implement new technology, experienced technicians and engineers travel with the Mobile Asphalt Lab to project sites across the country, at the invitation of State highway agencies. Through the Mobile Asphalt Lab,FHWA aims to:
The Mobile Asphalt Lab helps refine performance-related specifications (PRS), such as through fine-tuning test protocols and quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) procedures.
New equipment is available to perform "shadow testing" validation of mix and aggregates at plants, laboratories, and construction sites, and the test data collected can helps to evaluate test repeatability and to refine test procedures.
The mobility of the laboratory facilitates data collection, testing, and evaluation at project sites.
Advanced Performance Testing
To predict performance, the Mobile Asphalt Lab evaluates new products. For example, field validation is conducted to identify and assess inputs to Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide.
The lab is equipped with cutting-edge performance-testing equipment, such as the Superpave performance (SPT) tester that measures the dynamic modulus of an asphalt mix, and the aggregate video imaging system (AIMS) that determines fine and coarse aggregate shape, texture, and angularity. The Mobile Asphalt Lab also contains specimen fabrication equipment for the Superpave performance test. Specimens are compacted using a gyratory compactor which allows for compacting tall SPT specimens and is capable of measuring real-time shear resistance.
In the Mobile Asphalt Lab, technicians can conduct various conventional tests for asphalt pavement mix design including:
The technical interaction among transportation personnel and on-site field testing encouraged by the Mobile Asphalt Lab benefits both FHWA and State and local agencies. One of the Mobile Asphalt Lab's greatest assets is that it helps introduce new technology and test procedures into real-world construction. On-site activities can include:
If you are interested in the Mobile Asphalt Lab's services, contact the FHWA Resource Center or your State's FHWA Division Office. To reach the mobile asphalt laboratory staff directly, contact:
Who to look for?
U.S. Department of Transportation