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Do we need to add mineral filler in bituminous mixtures?

Do we need to add mineral filler in bituminous mixtures?

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Do we need to add mineral filler in bituminous mixtures?
(February 2009)


I am Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal, Associate Director Emeritus, National Center for Asphalt Technology, Auburn University, USA currently living in Jaipur. Mr. Rajib Chattaraj, Executive Engineer P.W.D. West Bengal has asked me some interesting and good questions about the use of mineral fillers in bituminous mixes in India. I believe the following Questions and Answers (Q and A) should be of interest to the highway community in India and therefore it is being shared with them.

I had the privilege of leading research on mineral aggregates and fillers (including baghouse fines) at the national level in the US [Kandhal and Parker 1998; Kandhal 1981]. The latest Information Manual on Baghouse Fines currently in use in the US has been authored by me [Kandhal 1999]. Therefore, the responses to Mr. Chattaraj’s questions are based on my opinions considering the latest research on this subject.

Before I respond to his questions, I would like to give some background on mineral fillers.

Read more in the paper.....
Do we need to add mineral filler in bituminous mixtures?
(February 2009)


I am Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal, Associate Director Emeritus, National Center for Asphalt Technology, Auburn University, USA currently living in Jaipur. Mr. Rajib Chattaraj, Executive Engineer P.W.D. West Bengal has asked me some interesting and good questions about the use of mineral fillers in bituminous mixes in India. I believe the following Questions and Answers (Q and A) should be of interest to the highway community in India and therefore it is being shared with them.

I had the privilege of leading research on mineral aggregates and fillers (including baghouse fines) at the national level in the US [Kandhal and Parker 1998; Kandhal 1981]. The latest Information Manual on Baghouse Fines currently in use in the US has been authored by me [Kandhal 1999]. Therefore, the responses to Mr. Chattaraj’s questions are based on my opinions considering the latest research on this subject.

Before I respond to his questions, I would like to give some background on mineral fillers.

Read more in the paper.....

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Published by: Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal on Sep 04, 2009
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Do we need to add mineral filler in bituminous mixtures?
Mr. Rajib Chattaraj, Executive Engineer P.W.D. West Bengal asked Prof. Prithvi ingh !andhal so"e interesting and good #uestions about the use of "ineral fillers in bitu"inous "ixes in $ndia. %he follo&ing 'uestions and (ns&ers )' and (* should be of interest to the high&a+ co""unit+ in $ndia and therefore are being shared &ith the".Prof. !andhal had the rivilege of leading research on "ineral aggregates and fillers )including baghouse fines* at the national level in the - !andhal and Parker /0012 !andhal /01/3. %he latest $nfor"ation Manual on Baghouse 4ines currentl+ in use in the - has been authored b+ hi" !andhal /0003. %herefore, the resonses to Mr. Chattaraj5s #uestions are  based on his oinions considering the latest research on this subject.Before resonding to Mr. Chattaraj5s #uestions, Prof. !andhal gave so"e background on "ineral fillers.
Background
During the earl+ /067s, the use of baghouses in hot "ix ashalt )8M(* lants &as "ade "andator+ in the - due to stringent air ollution regulations. Prior to the /067s, the 8M(  lants used to blo& the dust fro" the aggregate dr+ers into the at"oshere. %his generall+ used to result in deficienc+ of fines in the bitu"inous "ixes, &hich re#uired addition of so"e kind of "ineral filler. 9nce the aggregate fines &ere started to be collected in the 8M( lant  baghouses, there generall+ &as no deficienc+ of fines in the bitu"inous "ixes because these :baghouse fines; &ere incororated back into the "ix in a controlled "anner through a scre& conve+er. %herefore, there &as no need for an+ additional "ineral filler. $nitiall+, so"e ashalt technologists had doubts about the #ualit+ of baghouse fines. 8o&ever, "an+ studies in the - have since confir"ed that the baghouse fines )&hich are sa"e as stone dust or "ineral dust resulting fro" the aggregate crushing oerations* are good "ineral fillers. %herefore, "ost 8M( lants in the - hardl+ use an+ additional "ineral filler no& excet /<= > of h+drated li"e, &hich is used onl+ &hen the designed "ix does not "eet the re#uire"ents of "oisture suscetibilit+ test such as ((8%9 % =1?. @o& that the baghouses are also re#uired and used in $ndia, it is not understood as to &h+ so"e engineers are so keen to add so"e sort of filler )such as ortland ce"ent* &hen the  baghouse fines are abundantl+ available and are as good as those fillers. $t is si"l+ a &aste of "one+. %he - has one of the best roads in the &orld, if a technolog+ &orks there, &h+ not in $ndiaA
Questions & Answers1.Chattaraj
 $n the M9R%8 9range book, h+drated li"e, ce"ent, "ineral dust etc. have been reco""ended as filler. 8o&ever, li"estone o&der )P* has not been "entioned as so, &hereas P has been rescribed as filler in Mastic (shalt. Wh+, is there an+ secific reason for thisA What is the har" if &e use P as filler in case of "ixes like BC or DBMA
 
1.andhal!
i"estone o&der can be used as "ineral filler in "ixes like DBM or BC. 8o&ever, as "entioned in the background it does not have to be used if baghouse fines )&hich are also "ineral dust* are abundantl+ available.i"estone o&der "ust be used in "astic ashalt. %his is based on successful exerience in er"an+ &here :ussashalt; )also "astic ashalt* is used. $ had the  rivilege of suervising and docu"enting the first<ever usage of ussashalt on a "ajor  roject in the - !andhal and Mellott /0663. We follo&ed the er"an secification for selecting the "ineral filler, &hich is a "ajor co"onent of the ussashalt "astic. %he filler "ust "eet the co"atibilit+ )"iscibilit+* re#uire"ent, &hich is reorted to be essential for obtaining satisfactor+ "astic ashalt. (t least 6 g of filler &hen "ixed &ith / g of bitu"en at /F? C should result in a ho"ogeneous "ixture to ass this test. %he heated filler is added in incre"ents to the hot bitu"en &hile "ixing &ith a satula. $t &as ossible to "ix 0? g of the filler used on that roject &ith / g of bitu"en. $t &as a li"estone dust, &hich assed that test for the ussashalt. %his t+e of test can also  be conducted on the "astic ashalt used in $ndia to deter"ine the suitabilit+ of the li"estone o&der actuall+ being used.$ "ust "ention here that unlike BM and DBC, &hich are funda"entall+ fla&ed and undesirable "ixes and should be deleted fro" the orange book !andhal, inha and Geeraragavan =7713, "astic ashalt is a :success; stor+ in $ndia. Mastic ashalt has served us ver+ &ell in resisting rutting on roundabouts and intersections. 8o&ever, it cannot be used on high&a+s &here seed li"its are over 7 k" er hour because of its relativel+ lo&er skid resistance.
". Chattaraj!
 What should be the exact dose of fillerA (s er orange book it is => b+ &eight of the aggregates but as er international standard )uerave* it should be 7.F to /.=> of the effective ashalt content. %hese t&o actuall+ differ &hich $ had calculated and sho&n in the co""ent on aer no. ?7 )ublished in $RC Hournal (ril<Hune, =771*.
". andhal!
 (s "entioned in the background, there is no need to add an+ :filler; )&hen baghouse fines are available* so the #uestion of adding = > filler does not arise at all. %his state"ent should be deleted fro" the orange book. 9nl+ the dosage of h+drated li"e is established bet&een / to = ercent based on the results of ((8%9 % =1?. $n the -, generall+ there is no
 #
filler;. $t is called :fines;, &hich are defined as all "aterial assing the 7.76 "" sieve siIe )sieve @o. =77* #uite "uch of it usuall+ co"ing fro" the baghouse again. $t is also called P=77 "aterial )assing =77 sieve*. $n uerave or Marshall for that "atter, &e should ensure that the ratio b+ &eight of P=77 and effective bitu"en content )finesJbitu"en* in the bitu"inous "ix is bet&een 7.F to /.= so that &e do have so"e "ini"u" fines to stiffen the bitu"en and not too "uch fines &hich &ill "ake the "ortar too brittle )dull* and less cohesive and &ill also reduce the GM( "ore than &e desire. @o& +ou see the difference bet&een the :filler; and :P=77 "aterial;. (gain, just to e"hasiIe there is no need to add an+ filler )unless the aggregate is clean and therefore deficient in fines*.
$. Chattaraj
 What is +our oinion about rec+cling of "ineral dust to be used as fillerA Can it serve the urose of increasing the viscosit+ of the binderA
 
$. andha
l (lthough technicall+ correct, $ &ould not call it :rec+cling; "ineral dust2 dust is being added back to the "ix as baghouse fines in the sa"e 8M( lant. $ &ould not call it rec+cling but just a routine rocess in "ix roduction. @o& that &e do have  baghouses in $ndia, &e "ust use these fines. Kes, baghouse fines do stiffen the bitu"en, &hich &e do desire to certain extent.
%. Chattaraj
8o& and in &hat se#uence filler should be added in 8M( during  roduction in 8M( lant )eseciall+ in continuous dru" "ix lant* keeing in vie& that :filler is "ainl+ used to increase the viscosit+ of the binder;A
%. andhal!
(gain, kee in "+ "ind &e are not al&a+s adding an+ filler unless it is h+drated li"e to resist striing. $n a batch lant, baghouse fines or h+drated li"e are  best added to the &eigh hoer and dr+ "ixed &ith all other aggregates before adding the bitu"en. $f the fines are added to the aggregates going u the hot elevator these can for" slugs in 8ot Bin @o. / and their content in the "ix can var+ fro" one batch to another. Do not be concerned, fines are grabbed b+ the bitu"en first before coating the larger aggregate articles. $n a dru" lant, these are added near the inlet of bitu"en so that these are not blo&n back to the baghouse and are caught b+ the bitu"en instead. $ suggest +ou visit a hot "ix lant and see the oerations.4iller has also other i"ortant functions besides increasing the stiffness of the bitu"en as "entioned later.
. Chattaraj!
What is +our oinion about other "aterials to be used as filler like "arble dust, fl+ ash, granulated slag, etcA
. andhal!
Waste "aterials like the ones +ou have "entioned, &hich are hard to disose off should al&a+s be considered. 8o&ever, &e "ust ensure that their use is cost effective and not detri"ental to the hot "ix. $n "+ oinion, "arble dust has a otential for causing striing so an antistriing agent &ill robabl+ have to be used in the hot "ix. o"e research is alread+ under &a+ in $ndia to deter"ine the suitabilit+ of the "arble dust as filler. o"e states in the - do not er"it the use of fl+ ash because its  articles are generall+ rounded and, therefore, increase the rutting otential of the ashalt "ix &hen used on heav+<traffic roads. Marble dust or an+ other &aste "aterial should not be used in lieu of baghouse fines because then the disosal of &aste  baghouse fines &ill also be roble".
'. Chattaraj!
 4ro" the @ational Center for (shalt %echnolog+ )@C(%* textbook on :8ot Mix (shalt Materials, Mix Design and Construction; b+ Prof. P.. !andhal and others, it is read that the article siIe of /7 "icron and belo&, filler "aterials are used in increasing the binder viscosit+ and co"e into la+ as fil" around the "ineral aggregates, because the ashalt fil" thickness is generall+ F "icron to 1 "icron. %hen &hat function does /7 "icron to 6 "icron siIed filler "aterial la+ L is it onl+ to fulfill the gradation re#uire"ent of the "ix )belo& sieve siIe 6 "icron*A $f so, then there should be article siIe<&ise sub<diversion in filler "aterial, are ranging /7 "icron to 6 "icron and another belo& /7 "icron.
'. andhal!
%here is no such actual thing as F<1 "icron bitu"en fil" thickness around the aggregate articles !andhal and Chakrabort+, /00F3. $t is just a :calculated; average value obtained b+ dividing the volu"e of bitu"en &ith the surface area of the

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