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FHWA Mobile Asphalt Pavement Mixture Laboratory

Photo of Mobile Asphalt Pavement Mixture Laboratory

 

Bringing Asphalt Pavement
Technology Development
To Your Doorstep


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:

  • Develop, test, evaluate, and implement Superpave® performance prediction tests on a national scale
  • Work with transportation partners to resolve national issues related to implementation of new pavement technology
  • Develop and support validation of performance-related construction specifications
  • Provide input data to mechanistic-empirical pavement design procedure and evaluate asphalt distress models
State Dates Location Project
Massachusetts October 6 - 29, 2004 Tauton   Rt. 140
Rhode Island in conjunction with Mass.   N. Smithfield Rt. 146
New York September 7 - 30, 2004 Albany NY Thruway
Minnesota August 5 - 31, 2004 Newport I-394 (I-35 & 5th St)
Kansas June-July 2004 Burns US-77
Washington May 2004 Moses Lake I-90
Louisiana April 2004 Baton Rouge US-120
California December-January 2004 Downey N/A
North Carolina   October-November 2003   Sanford Highway 87
Maine September 2003 Bangor I-95
Utah August 2003 Salt Lake City I-215, Legacy Parkway
Iowa July 2003 Charles City US-218
Wisconsin June 2003 Waukesha I-894
Arizona April 2003 Topock I-40 Rehabilitation
Special Projects
Wisconsin 2004 Madison Perpetual Pavement
Pennsylvania 2004 Blair County Site 7 - SISSI Project
Arizona 2003 Flagstaff Forensic study
Florida 2003 Gainesville HVS Test Track

Development Activities

Improved Specifications

"Successfully resolve national issues related to implementation of new pavement technology"

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.

Asphalt Samples

Study of effects of lime in asphalt mixtures on performance

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.

View of simple performance test loading apparatus Photo of testing equipment
Superpave performance test
Aggregate Imaging System Servopac gyratory compactor
Aggregate Imaging System Servopac gyratory compactor

Conventional Testing

In the Mobile Asphalt Lab, technicians can conduct various conventional tests for asphalt pavement mix design including:

  • Asphalt content by both methods
  • Short- and long-term aging of hot-mix asphalt (HMA)
  • HMA density by gyratory compactor
  • Aggregate consensus properties
  • Percentage of air voids in a compacted mix
  • Apparent specific gravity, percent absorption (SSDetect, Corelok, T84)
  • In-place HMA density by nuclear method
  • Aggregate standard tests
  • CoreDry
  • Load Simulator, Hot Mix Simulator, RAM (no mix needed)
CoreDry
CoreDry
RAM
RAM
Load Simulator
Load Simulator
Hot Mix Simulator
Hot Mix Simulator

Working Together

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:

  • Validating equipment
  • Evaluating asphalt mixes in field
  • Introducing and implementing new performance-related specification standards
  • Presenting materials at industry conferences, universities, and State and local highway agencies
  • Evaluating new materials and pavement testing methodologies
  • Publicizing materials in journals and conference proceedings
QC/QA testing at FHWA Accelerated Load Facility QC/QA testing at FHWA Accelerated Load Facility
Mix preparation conducted inside mobile trailer Mix preparation conducted inside mobile trailer

Contacts

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:

Matt Corrigan
FHWA Program Manager
(202)-366-1549

or

Chuck Paugh
Mobile Asphalt Pavement Project Manager
(202)-366-6640

Who to look for?

(from left): Brendan Morris, Josh Thompson, Jagan Gudimettla, Chuck Paugh, Fazlitdin Shamsiev
(from left): Brendan Morris, Josh Thompson, Jagan Gudimettla,
Chuck Paugh, Fazlitdin Shamsiev

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Pavement Technology
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590

 
Updated: 04/07/2011
 

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration