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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

 
REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-11-045    Date:  November 2012
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-045
Date: November 2012

 

Performance Testing for Superpave and Structural Validation

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FOREWORD

This final report provides the comprehensive findings from two Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) research projects, TPF-5(019): Full-Scale Accelerated Performance Testing for Superpave and Structural Validation and SPR-2(174): Accelerated Pavement Testing of Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt Pavements. The research identified candidate purchase specification tests for asphalt binder that better discriminate expected fatigue cracking and rutting performance than current SUperior PERforming Asphalt PAVEment (Superpave®) tests. Full-scale accelerated pavement testing and laboratory characterization tests on mixtures and binders provided the basis for the recommendations.

This report documents a historical review of the development of asphalt binder performance specifications, experimental design, test pavement construction and performance, statistical methodology to rank and identify the strongest candidates, and all pertinent laboratory characterization of binders and mixtures that supplemented the recommendations. The research also provided a detailed case study of pavement evaluation using falling weight deflectometer and objective means to evaluate two emerging technologies; the asphalt mixture performance tester and the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide.(1)

This document will be of interest to highway personnel involved with Superpave®, materials selection, performance specifications, and pavement design and evaluation.

Jorge E. Pagán-Ortiz
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

 

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-11-045

2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Performance Testing for Superpave and Structural Validation

5. Report Date

November 2012

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Nelson Gibson, Xicheng Qi, Aroon Shenoy, Ghazi Al-Khateeb,
M. Emin Kutay, Adrian Andriescu, Kevin Stuart, Jack Youtcheff, and Thomas Harman

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike

McLean, VA 22101-2296

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

TPF-5(019): Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas

SPR-2(174): Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Texas
13. Type of Report and Period Covered

January 2002–January 2008

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes

A project database is available upon request from FHWA Office of Infrastructure Research & Development. The Task Manager was Nelson Gibson, HRDI-10.

16. Abstract

The primary objective of this full-scale accelerated pavement testing was to evaluate the performance of unmodified and polymer modified asphalt binders and to recommend improved specification tests over existing SUperior PERforming Asphalt PAVEment (Superpave®) binder performance grading methodologies. Candidate replacement tests were evaluated via their ability to discern fatigue cracking resistance and rutting. Two fatigue cracking specification tests were identified as more capable in capturing performance than others: binder yield energy and critical tip opening displacement. Two rutting specification tests that quantify irrecoverable deformations exhibited the best strength to capture rutting: multiple stress creep and recovery and oscillatory-based nonrecoverable stiffness.

Based on the full-scale performance and laboratory tests, crumb rubber (recycled tires) modified asphalt (Arizona wet process) was shown to significantly slow or stop the growth of fatigue cracks in a composite asphalt pavement structure. A hybrid technique to modify asphalt with a combination of crumb rubber and conventional polymers (terminally blended) exhibited good fatigue cracking resistance relative to the control binder. Also, a simple addition of polyester fibers to asphalt mix was shown to have high resistance to fatigue cracking without the use of polymer modification.

The research study also quantified the capabilities of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s mechanistic-empirical pavement design and analysis methodologies to predict rutting and fatigue cracking of modified asphalts that were not captured in the calibration data from the Long-Term Pavement Performance program. Falling weight deflectometer, multidepth deflectometer, and strain gauge instrumentation were used to measure pavement response. The results illustrated that the nationally calibrated mechanistic-empirical performance models could differentiate between structural asphalt thickness but had difficulty differentiating modified from unmodified asphalt binder performance. Nonetheless, the mechanistic-empirical performance ranking and predictions were enhanced and improved using mixture-specific performance tests currently being implemented using the asphalt mixture performance tester.

17. Key Words

APT, ALF, Fatigue cracking, Rutting, Superpave, Asphalt binder specification, FWD, Mechanistic-empirical pavement design, Asphalt mixture performance tests

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

271

22. Price
Form DOT F 1700 Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

List of ACRONYMS and ABBREVIATIONS

AASHTO
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
AC
Asphalt concrete
ALF
Accelerated load facility
AMPT
Asphalt mixture performance tester
ANOVA
Analysis of variance
APT
Accelerated pavement testing
BBR
Bending beam rheometer
CAB
Crushed aggregate base
COV
Coefficient of variation
CR-AZ
Arizona wet process crumb rubber modified
CR-TB
Terminally blended crumb rubber modified
CTOD
Critical tip opening displacement
DENT
Double edged notched tension
DER
Dissipated energy ratio
DSR
Dynamic shear rheometer
DT
Direct tension
EICM
Enhanced Integrated Climatic model
ETG
Expert task group
EWF
Essential work of fracture
FHWA
Federal Highway Administration
FMD
Flow measurement device
FWD
Falling weight deflectometer
GPS
General Pavement Study
HMA
Hot mix asphalt
HWT
Hamburg wheel tracking
IDT
Indirect tension
LDMA
Layer deformation measurement assembly
LSV
Low shear viscosity
LTPP
Long-Term Pavement Performance
LVDT
Linear variable differential transformer
MAMTL
Mobile Asphalt Materials Testing Laboratory
MDD
Multiple depth deflectometer
MEPDG
Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide
MTD
Material transfer device
MSCR
Multiple stress creep and recovery
MVR
Material volumetric rate
NCHRP
National Cooperative Highway Research Program
OT
Overlay tester
PAV
Pressure-aging vessel
PG
Performance grade
PRT
Pavement rut tester
PSPA
Portable seismic pavement analyzer
PTF
Pavement test facility
RMSE
Root mean square error
RSCH
Repeated shear at constant height
RTFO
Rolling thin film oven
SBS
Styrene-butadiene-styrene
SBS-LG
Linear grafted SBS
SHRP
Strategic Highway Research Program
SPS
Specific Pavement Study
SPT
Simple performance test
SSD
Saturated surface dry
SST
Simple shear tester
Superpave®
SUperior PERforming Asphalt PAVEment
TCE
Trichloroethylene
TFHRC
Tuner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
TPF
Transportation Pooled Fund
TTI
Texas Transportation Institute
VECD
Viscoelastic continuum damage
VFA
Voids filled with asphalt
VMA
Voids in mineral aggregate
ZSV
Zero shear viscosity

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101