Purpose: The purpose of the Chemistry Laboratories is to conduct fundamental studies of highway materials aimed at understanding failure mechanisms and superior performance, advancing state-of-the-art characterization tools, and testing and developing new materials.
Laboratory Description: The Chemistry Laboratory conducts the synthesis and characterization of highway materials using chemical methods. The laboratory is also capable of evaluating the susceptibility of materials to moisture damage and the beneficial and deleterious effects of deicing chemicals. The Analytical/Spectroscopy Laboratory provides short-term analyses of materials via identification and semi-quantitative analysis of chemical functional groups, inorganic elemental analyses, separation and quantification, and thermal characterization. The Chemistry-Analytical/Spectroscopy Laboratory consists of equipment for characterizing coatings and paving materials, preparing modified asphalt binders, and researching damage induced by moisture and deicing chemicals. Included is thermal analysis equipment, Nicolet Infrared Spectrometers, a Waters High-Pressure Liquid Chromatograph, a Perkin Elmer Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, high- and low-shear Silverson blenders, and specialized equipment for evaluating moisture susceptibility of asphalt binders. The Materials Characterization Laboratory enables researchers to see morphological differences, as well as identify mineralogical and chemical compositions of minerals, cementitious materials, metals, coatings, and other highway materials. The Materials Characterization Laboratory contains equipment for imaging and analyzing (composition mapping) materials. This laboratory is equipped with an Amary 1810 Scanning Electron Microscope fitted with an energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer and a Nicolet Optical Microscope.
Laboratory Capabilities: Investigating the effects of acid modification on asphalt binder chemistry and performance. Investigating the material science of cementitious systems. Developing tools to identify deleterious materials in aggregate and asphalt supplies with particular emphasis on the components responsible for pavement moisture susceptibility. Investigating the phase behavior of conventional and polymer modified asphalt binders. Evaluating the resistance of alternative paving materials to environmental factors. Evaluating highway materials to determine the materials’ susceptibility to moisture damage and understand the harmful effects of deicing chemicals. Investigating asphalt embrittlement.
Laboratory Equipment: The Spectroscopy Lab consists of equipment for characterizing coatings and paving materials (concrete and asphalt). The equipment includes: thermal analysis equipment (TA), Laser Raman Spectrophotometer (Jasco), FTIR Spectrometer (Digilab), Ion Exchange Chromatograph (Dionex), Elemental Analyzer (Thermo Electron), Iatroscan MK6, XRay Fluorescence Spectrometer (Panalytical) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (Perkin Elmer). The Materials Characterization Laboratory contains equipment for imaging and analyzing (composition mapping) materials and is equipped with Optical Microscopes (Nicolet and Leica) and a Scanning Electron Microscope (Amray) fitted with an energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer. Other equipment include: Silverson blenders for preparing modified asphalt binders, specialized equipment for evaluating moisture susceptibility of asphalt binders, and an environmental conditioner (Q-Sun) for researching damage to asphalt binders and mixes induced by moisture and actinic light.
Laboratory Services: The technology and data generated in these laboratories, as well as the expertise of the staff, are being used by State transportation agencies and industry to enhance the durability of highway materials and to reduce operating costs.
|»||Office of Infrastructure R&D|
|»||Infrastructure R&D Program|
|»||Infrastructure R&D Experts|
|»||Infrastructure R&D Laboratories|
|»||Infrastructure R&D Projects|
|»||Infrastructure R&D Publications|
|»||Infrastructure R&D Topics|
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296
|»||2011 FHWA Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives|
|»||Federal Highway Administration Office of Infrastructure|
|»||Pavement and Materials Discipline|
|»||Bridges and Structures Discipline|