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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-99-204
Date: November 2000

Validation of Asphalt Binder and Mixture Tests That Measure Rutting


This report documents a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research study that was performed to assist the highway community in validating Superpave tests and specifications being used to grade asphalt binders according to their relative rutting resistances. Superpave and other asphalt mixture tests for rutting were also evaluated.

To accomplish the objective, twelve full-scale pavements were constructed at the FHWA Pavement Testing Facility in 1993. This facility is located at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA. The pavements were tested for rutting resistance by an Accelerated Loading Facility, which applies one-half,of a rear truck axle load. The asphalt binder and mixture tests were validated using the results from these pavement tests.

This document will be of interest to people involved with Superpave and the evaluation of hot-mix asphalts for rutting performance. Recommendations are given concerning a wide range of tests. Asphalt binder and mixture tests used to measure fatigue cracking resistance were also evaluated in this project. The results will be presented in a future report.

This report is being distributed on a limited basis. Copies of this report are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161.

T. Paul Teng, P.E.
Director, Office of lnfrastructure
Research and Development


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.

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.


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


5. Report Date


6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Kevin D. Stuart, Walaa S. Mogawer, and Pedro Romero

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure R&D
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

In-House Report

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure R&D
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Interim Report
October 1993 - October 1999

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

For additional information on this study, contact Kevin D. Stuart, HRDI-I 1, Federal Highway Administration,
6300 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101-2296

16. Abstract

The Accelerated Loading Facility (ALF) was used to validate the Superpave asphalt binder parameter for rutting, namely, G*/sin(delta), and several laboratory mixture tests that have been developed to predict or compare rutting performance. The ALF is a full-scale, pavement testing machine that applies one half of a single rear truck axle load.

The asphalt binders used in this study were AC-5 AC-IO, AC-20, Novophalt, and Styrelf I-D, having Superpave hightemperature continuous Performance Grades (PG’s) of 59,65, 70, 77, and 88, respectively. This is the temperature at 2.20 kPa after rolling thin-film oven aging. A dynamic shear rheometer was used to obtain these data. All five binders were used with an aggregate gradation having a nominal maximum aggregate size of 19.0 mm. The PG 59 and 70 binders were also used with a gradation having a nominal maximum aggregate size of 37.5 mm. Pavements with these materials were tested by the ALF. The relationship between G*/sin(delta) and ALF pavement rutting performance at temperatures ranging from 46 to 76 C was poor. However, the trend was correct for the unmodified binders, and the 2.20-kPa criterion used by the Superpave binder specification appeared to be valid. The main discrepancy was provided by the two modified binders, which were both highly resistant to rutting. The G*/sin(delta) for Styrelf was higher than for Novophalt, but the pavement with Novophalt was more resistant to rutting. This discrepancy was not resolved, although tests performed on mastics indicated that the relative rutting performances of the modified binders may have to be based on mastic properties.

The ALF, French Pavement Rutting Tester, Hamburg Wheel-Tracking Device, Georgia Loaded-Wheel Tester, an unconfined repeated load compression test, and six Superpave Shear Tester measurements ranked the five 19.0-mm mixtures the same as ALF based on the average test data. The rankings based on statistics were generally different, but they were similar to ALF. Therefore, any of these tests can be used to estimate the effects of various asphalt binders on rutting.

Four mixtures, consisting of the two gradations with the PG 59 and PG 70 binders, were used to determine the effect of increased nominal maximum aggregate size and the associated 0.85-percent decrease in optimum binder content on rutting performance. None of the laboratory mixture tests matched the ALF pavement rutting performances of the four mixtures. The tests listed above were sensitive to binder grade but not to aggregate gradation. The PURWheel was sensitive to gradation but did not distinguish the PG 59 binder from the PG 70 binder. The sensitivities of these tests to other key mixture variables need to be determined in future studies.

17. Key Words

APT, ALF, rutting susceptibility, Superpave, wheel-tracking devices, GTM, AAMAS, repeated load tests, SST, simple shear test, STOA, short-term oven aging, wheel track testers, DSR, large stone mixtures

18. Distribution Statement

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

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 Reproduction of completed page authorized

Please Note:
Due to the document's large file size, it can be accessed two ways.  Either download the ZIP file (19, 497BK) - which contains the entire document divided into 11 PDF files - to your computer.
View each chapter - in PDF format - listed below:

Chapter 1 (3,654 KB) References (273 KB)
Chapter 2 (2,768 KB) Appendix A (4,201KB)
Chapter 3 (2,454KB) Appendix B (502KB)
Chapter 4 (5,362KB) Appendix C (1,561KB)
Chapter 5 (1,684KB) Appendix D-E (670KB)
Chapters 6-8 (1,871KB)

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