U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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Washington, DC 20590

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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-10-0005
Project Name:   Asphalt with Improved Physical Properties
Project Status:   Terminated
Start Date:  February 1, 2010
End Date:  December 31, 2011
Contact Information
Last Name:  Arnold
First Name:  Terry
Telephone:  202-493-3305
E-mail:  terry.arnold@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Pavement Materials Team [HRDI-10]
Program:   Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Laboratory:   Binder Laboratory
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   A tremendous amount of work is done by rheologists and engineers to measure the physical properties of asphalt. No attention is paid to improving the physical properties. The major method of improving asphalt binder properties is modification with polymers, typically styrene-butadiene-styrene polymers, a technique developed in the United Kingdom nearly 40 years ago. Some chemical modification is done on asphalt for specialized high-cost applications, such as joint sealants and bridge deck pavements. We want to investigate modifying asphalts with different monomers, such as butadiene (or replacements for butadiene containing polymers), epoxy, urethane, acrylic, silane, etc., with a view to developing asphalt with enhanced physical properties in terms of tensile strength, elasticity, fatigue aging, and water resistance.
Goals:   The key project objective is material design.
Product Type:   Research report
Test Methodology:   The test approach is to react/blend various monomers and polymers with asphalts and evaluate rheology of the modified asphalt.
Expected Benefits:   The expected benefit is longer-lasting highways.
Deliverables: Name: Report
Product Type(s): Research report
Description: The deliverable is a report detailing the monomers tested and their effect on the performance grade (PG) of asphalt binders.
Project Findings:   A number of polymer materials were evaluated; however, only the isocyanates improved the performance of the asphalt binders. Epoxy and acrylic monomers did not show any binder performance grade (PG) increase.
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Pavement and Materials
TRT Terms:   Polymers
FHWA Disciplines:   Pavement and Materials
Subject Areas:   Materials


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Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101