3 Asphalt
Asphalt is one of the two principal constituents of HMA. Asphalt functions as an inexpensive (typically, $0.05/lb.), waterproof, thermoplastic, viscoelastic adhesive. In other words, it acts as the glue that holds the road together (Anderson, Youtcheff and Zupanick, 2000). But just what is asphalt and how is it characterized? Like many engineering substances, a vernacular definition of "asphalt" is rather imprecise. For engineering purposes, the definition needs to be more unequivocal. ASTM D 8 provides the following definitions: asphalt A dark brown to black cementitious material in which the predominating constituents are bitumens, which occur in nature or are obtained in petroleum processing. asphalt cement A fluxed or unfluxed asphalt specially prepared as to quality and consistency for direct use in the manufacture of bituminous pavements, and having a penetration at 25° C (77° F) of between 5 and 300, under a load of 100 grams applied for 5 seconds. bitumen A class of black or dark-colored (solid, semi-solid or viscous) cementitious substances, natural or manufactured, composed principally of high molecular weight hydrocarbons, of which asphalts, tars, pitches, and asphaltenes are typical. flux A bituminous material, generally liquid, used for softening other bituminous materials. Major Topics on this Page 3.1 Background 3.2 Refining 3.3 Chemical Properties 3.4 Physical Properties 3.5 Grading Systems 3.6 Asphalt Binder Modifiers 3.7 Other Forms of Asphalt Used in Paving 3.8 Summary

This section uses the generic term, "asphalt binder", to represent the principal binding agent in HMA. "Asphalt binder" includes asphalt cement as well as any material added to modify the original asphalt cement properties. The term "asphalt cement" is used to represent unmodified asphalt cement only.

3.1 Background
The first recorded use of asphalt by humans was by the Sumerians around 3,000 B.C. Statues from that time period used asphalt as a binding substance for inlaying various shells, precious stones or pearls. Other common ancient asphalt uses were preservation (for mummies), waterproofing (pitch on ship hulls), and cementing (used to join together bricks in Babylonia). Around 1500 A.D., the Incas of Peru were using a composition similar to modern bituminous macadam to pave parts of their highway system. In more modern times, asphalt paving use first began with foot paths in the 1830s and then progressed to actual asphalt roadways in the 1850s. The first asphalt roadways in the U.S. appeared in the early 1870s (Abraham, 1929). In the U.S., Trinidad (near the coast of Venezuela) was the earliest source of asphalt binder. Trinidad supplied about 90 percent of all asphalt (worldwide) from 1875 to 1900 (Baker, 1903). The asphalt was produced from a "lake" (see Figure 3.18) with a surface area of 465,000 m2 (46.5 hectares or 115 acres) and a depth of about 24 meters (75 feet). In 1900, Tillson estimated that this "lake" contained about 8,000,000 tonnes of "asphalt" (compare this against 1990 consumption in Europe and the U.S. of approximately 40,000,000 tonnes (tons)). This asphalt, once free of water, was too "hard" to use in paving (Krchma and
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Gagle, 1974). In fact, Trinidad Lake asphalt, when loaded into a ship’s holds for transport, would fuse to the point that removal required chopping.

Figure 3.18: Trinidad Lake Asphalt Typically, producers added flux, created from petroleum distillation, to Trinidad Lake asphalt to soften it for use in early pavements. It appears that the earliest use of asphalt binder in the U.S. was about 1874 for a project built in Washington, D.C. This binder was a combination of Trinidad Lake asphalt and a flux distilled from crude oil. Without question, these early asphalt binders were quite variable, making pavement mix and structural design somewhat challenging. By the 1880s, asphalt binders were regularly produced from crude oil in California and by 1902 in Texas as well. In 1907, crude oil-based asphalt production surpassed "natural" asphalt production (Krchma and Gagle, 1974). Today, asphalt binder for HMA pavements is produced almost entirely from petroleum refining. This section covers the following topics:

Asphalt cement refining The chemical properties of asphalt binder The physical properties of asphalt binder Asphalt binder grading systems Asphalt binder modifiers Other types of asphalt used in paving






3.2 Refining
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In the simplest terms, asphalt binder is simply the residue left over from petroleum refining. Thus, asphalt binders are produced mainly by petroleum refiners and, to a lesser extent, by formulators who purchase blending stock from refiners. The composition of base crude oil from which asphalt is refined can vary widely and thus the asphalt yield from different crude oil sources can also vary widely. The American Petroleum Institute (API) classifies crude oils by their API gravity. API gravity is an arbitrary expression of a material’s density at 15.5° C (60° F) and is obtained in the following equation: API gravity can be used as a rough estimate of asphalt yield with lower API gravity crude oils producing more asphalt (see Table 3.5). Figure 3.19 shows the composition of three very different crude oils and their associated API gravities. Table 3.5: API Gravities of Some Typical Substances Substance Water Asphalts Gasoline Low API gravity crude oil High API gravity crude oil Typical API Gravity 10 5 – 10 55 < 25 (yields high percentages of asphalt) > 25 (yields low percentages of asphalt)

Figure 3.19: Make-up of Crude Oil
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Partially as a result of Superpave specifications. Asphalt cement grade is controlled by the amount of heavy gas oil remaining. The DPF model explains asphalt microstructure as a continuous three-dimensional association of polar molecules (generally referred to as "asphaltenes") dispersed in a fluid of non-polar or relatively low-polarity molecules (generally referred to as "maltenes") (Little et al. Therefore. Although these molecules exhibit certain behavioral characteristics. 1991). 3. Therefore. Therefore. refiners tended to view asphalt as a simple. http://training. All these molecules are capable of forming dipolar intermolecular bonds of varying strength. Depending upon the exact process and the crude oil source.#penetration_test (after Corbett. Additional desirable properties can be obtained by blending crude oils before distillation or asphalt cements after distillation.htm (4 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . asphalt binder specifications are now more stringent and asphalt refiners increasingly perceive asphalt as a value-added product. 1994). This subsection briefly describes the basic chemical composition of asphalts and why they behave as they do.3. It is then fed into a distillation tower where the lighter components vaporize and are drawn off for further processing. Youtcheff and Zupanick.. Since these intermolecular bonds are weaker than the bonds that hold the basic organic hydrocarbon constituents of asphalt together. On the molecular level. they will break first and control the behavioral characteristics of asphalt. The residue from this process (the asphalt) is usually fed into a vacuum distillation unit where heavier gas oils are drawn off.1 Basic Composition Asphalt chemistry can be described on the molecular level as well as on the intermolecular (microstructure) level. though others have renewed their efforts to produce high-quality binders (Anderson. 1984) 3.ce. it is an asphalt binder’s chemical properties that determine its physical properties. 1994). Superpave specifications have also caused many refiners to reevaluate their commitment to asphalt production.washington. some have made a strategic decision to de-emphasize or cease asphalt production. 3.. convenient way to use the residual material from the refinery operation. the behavior of asphalt is generally ruled by behavioral characteristics at the intermolecular level – the asphalt’s microstructure (Robertson et al. breaking and reforming of these intermolecular bonds or other properties associated with molecular superstructures (Little et al. The SHRP findings describe asphalt microstructure as a dispersed polar fluid (DPF). The asphalt chemical microstructure model described here is based on SHRP findings on the microstructure of asphalt using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and chromatography techniques. Other techniques can then extract additional oils from the asphalt. asphalt is a mixture of complex organic molecules that range in molecular weight from several hundred to several thousand. However. 2000).3 Chemical Properties Asphalt binders can be characterized by their chemical composition although they rarely are for HMA pavements.1 Basic Refining Process Crude oil is heated in a large furnace to about 340° C (650° F) and partially vaporized.. asphalt’s physical characteristics are a direct result of the forming. different asphalt cements of different properties can be produced. Asphalt binder specifications used to be relatively lenient. a basic understanding of asphalt chemistry can help one understand how and why asphalt behaves the way it does.2.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. and gave refiners a high level of production flexibility.

In summary. it is an asphalt’s chemical microstructure that is most influential in its physical behavior.htm (5 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . q Stripping. physical properties and tests are used. asphalt will fracture rather than deform elastically under stress. If the molecular network is relatively simple and not interconnected. Certain polar attractions are known to be disrupted by water (itself a polar molecule).edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. This section is a summary of Robertson et al. Additionally. q Fatigue cracking. Interestingly. currently there is not enough asphalt chemical knowledge to adequately predict performance.. asphalt is a complex chemical substance. q Rutting and permanent deformation. If the molecular network becomes too organized and rigid. Water can cause stripping and/or can decrease asphalt viscosity. more bound system. This oxidation increases an asphalt’s viscosity with age up until a point when the asphalt is able to quench (or halt) oxidation through immobilization of the most chemically reactive elements.washington. Therefore. (1991). from a chemical point-of-view water should have a greater effect on older asphalt.3. At lower temperatures even the normally fluid non-polar molecules begin to organize into a structured form.g. The more polar molecules an asphalt contains. asphalts with higher percentages of non-polar dispersing molecules are better able to flow and plastically deform because the various polar molecule network pieces can more easily move relative to one another due to the greater percentage of fluid non-polar molecules. Irreversible aging is generally associated with oxidation at the molecular level. more rigid material. not all the deformation is recoverable).ce. this makes asphalt more rigid and likely to fracture rather than deform elastically under stress. It typically acts like a solvent in asphalt and results in reduced strength and increased rutting. Over time. some is not. q Moisture damage. the oxidation aging effects probably counteract any moisture-related aging effects. Oxidation causes aged (or older) asphalts to contain more polar molecules.#penetration_test The result of the above chemistry is a material that behaves (1) elastically through the effects of the polar molecule networks. the molecules within asphalt will slowly reorient themselves into a better packed. Combined with the already-structured polar molecules. Therefore. However. q Thermal cracking. asphalts with higher percentages of polar. Reversible aging is generally associated with the effects of molecular organization. Some aging is reversible. the polar molecules within asphalt will vary in their ability to adhere to any one particular type of aggregate. Although most basic asphalt binder failure mechanisms can be described chemically. the more readily it will accept water. 3. When taken to the extreme. Since it is a polar molecule. This results in a stiffer. Although basic chemical composition is important. q Aging. this same property can be used to produce asphalt emulsions. Additionally. water is readily accepted by the polar asphalt molecules. (1991) describe asphalt behavior in terms of its failure mechanisms. Asphalt adheres to aggregate because the polar molecules within the asphalt are attracted to the polar molecules on the aggregate surface. They describe each particular failure mechanism as a function of an asphalt’s basic molecular or intermolecular chemistry. and (2) viscously because the various parts of the polar molecule network can move relative to one another due to their dispersion in the fluid non-polar molecules. network-forming molecules may be more susceptible to fatigue cracking.2 Asphalt Behavior as a Function of its Chemical Constituents Robertson et al. This thixotropic aging can be reversed by heating and agitation. asphalt will tend to deform inelastically under load (e. http://training.

The challenge in physical property characterization is to develop physical tests that can satisfactorily characterize key asphalt binder parameters and how these parameters change throughout the life of an HMA pavement. q q Syneresis. 3. These tests are generally a bit more complex but seem to accomplish a more thorough characterization of the tested asphalt binder. This causes an increase in viscosity and thus. Monismith and Grahthem.htm (6 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . Thixotropic effects can be somewhat reversed by heat and agitation. asphalt binder physical tests. Ties between tested parameters and field performance were still quite tenuous. the principal ones being (Vallerga.4. The separation of less viscous liquids from the more viscous asphalt binder molecular network. Thixotropy. 1957 and Finn. Later tests (such as the viscosity tests) were first attempts at using fundamental engineering parameters to describe asphalt binder physical properties. its viscosity increases and it becomes more stiff and brittle. taken largely from Roberts et al. Asphalt binder tests specifically developed or adopted by the Superpave research effort are noted by a " – Superpave" in their title. 1997). as an asphalt binder ages. Thixotropy is thought to result from hydrophilic suspended particles that form a lattice structure throughout the asphalt binder. Age hardening is a result of a number of factors. developed in the 1980s and 1990s. The evaporation of the lighter constituents of asphalt binder. were developed with the goal of measuring specific asphalt binder physical properties that are directly related to field performance by engineering principles. It is primarily a function of temperature and occurs principally during HMA production. The property of asphalt binder whereby it "sets" when unagitated.4 Physical Properties Asphalt binders are most commonly characterized by their physical properties. hardening (Exxon. These larger molecules are thought to cause a progressive hardening. In general.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. 1997). 1967 as referenced by Roberts et al. The earliest physical tests were empirically derived tests.ce. Some of these tests (such as the penetration test) have been used for the better part of the 20th century with good results. q q Polymerization. http://training. (1996). The reaction of oxygen with the asphalt binder.washington. HMA pavements with little or no traffic are generally associated with thixotropic hardening. Syneresis is a form of bleeding (Exxon.#penetration_test 3. This subsection. Volatilization. The liquid loss hardens the asphalt and is caused by shrinkage or rearrangement of the asphalt binder structure due to either physical or chemical changes. An asphalt binder’s physical properties directly describe how it will perform as a constituent in HMA pavement. Superpave binder tests. 1996): q Oxidation.1 Durability Durability is a measure of how asphalt binder physical properties change with age (sometimes called age hardening). The combining of like molecules to form larger molecules. Sections that discuss Superpave tests also discuss relevant field performance information as well as the engineering principles used to develop the relationship between test and field performance..S. describes the more common U.

Long-term aging.20) simulates short-term aging by heating a moving film of asphalt binder in an oven for 85 minutes at 163° C (325° F). bending beam rheometer (BBR) and the direct tension test (DTT)).1 Thin-Film Oven (TFO) Test The thin-film oven (TFO) test simulates short-term aging by heating a film of asphalt binder in an oven for 5 hours at 163° C (325° F). Asphalt binder aging is usually split up into two categories: q Short-term aging. Rather.1. This occurs after HMA pavement construction and is generally due to environmental exposure and loading. resins or asphaltenes from the asphalt binder by selective absorption of some porous aggregates.4. This occurs when asphalt binder is mixed with hot aggregates in an HMA mixing facility. q Typical aging simulation tests are: q Thin-film oven (TFO) test Rolling thin-film oven (RTFO) test Pressure aging vessel (PAV) q q 3. aging effects are accounted for by subjecting asphalt binder samples to simulated aging then conducting other standard physical tests (such as viscosity. There is no direct measure for asphalt binder aging.Superpave The rolling thin-film oven (RTFO) test (see Figure 3. The standard TFO test is: q AASHTO T 179 and ASTM D 1754: Effects of Heat and Air on Asphalt Materials (Thin-Film Oven Test) 3.ce.#penetration_test q Separation.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. dynamic shear rheometer (DSR).1. The removal of the oily constituents.21) then placing the jar in a circular metal carriage that rotates within the oven. The moving film is created by placing the asphalt binder sample in a small jar (see Figure 3. 5 hours) It uses a rolling action that: q http://training.washington. The effects of heat and air are determined from changes incurred in physical properties measured before and after the oven treatment by other test procedures. may possess a different set of properties after aging. The effects of heat and air are determined from changes incurred in physical properties measured before and after the oven treatment by other test procedures. Simulating the effects of aging is important because an asphalt binder that possesses a certain set of properties in its as-supplied state. The RTFO test is generally considered superior to the TFO because: q It achieves the same degree of hardening (aging) in less time (85 minutes vs.htm (7 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .2 Rolling Thin-Film Oven (RTFO) Test .4.

100° C (212° F)° or 110° C (230° F) depending upon expected climatic conditions) for 20 hours.after aging in the RTFO.htm (8 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . Superpave adopted the RTFO test to simulate short-term asphalt binder aging.4. The PAV is an oven-pressure vessel combination that takes RTFO aged samples (see Figure 3. http://training.before aging in the RTFO. to remain dispersed in the sample Prevents the formation of a surface skin on the sample.ce.3 Pressure Aging Vessel (PAV) – Superpave The pressure aging vessel (PAV) (see Figure 3.21: RTFO Samples Figure 3.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. 1994). Prior to Superpave.20: Rolling Thin-Film Oven Test (left . right .empty sample jar) The standard RTFO test is: q AASHTO T 240 and ASTM D 2872: Effects of Heat and Air on a Moving Film of Asphalt ( Rolling Thin-Film Oven Test) 3. which may inhibit aging r r Although it has been in common use by some western states for some time.#penetration_test r Allows continuous exposure of fresh asphalt binder to heat and air flow Allows asphalt binder modifiers.22) was adopted by Superpave to simulate the effects of long-term asphalt binder aging that occurs as a result of 5 to 10 years HMA pavement service (Bahia and Anderson.washington. if used. Figure 3. center .1. the general concept of the pressure aging vessel had been used for many years in rubber product aging.23) and exposes them to high air pressure (2070 kPa (300 psi)) and temperature (90° C (195° F).

HMA pavement deformation is closely related to asphalt binder rheology. rheological characterization involves two key considerations: q To compare different asphalt binders. Deformation and flow of the asphalt binder in HMA is important in determining HMA pavement performance.#penetration_test Aging the asphalt binder samples under pressure is advantageous because: q There is a limited loss of volatiles The oxidation process can be accelerated without resorting to extremely high temperatures q The standard PAV test is: q AASHTO PP1: Practice for Accelerated Aging of Asphalt Binder Using a Pressurized Aging Vessel Figure 3.4.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.washington.23 (above): PAV Sample 3. while those that are too stiff may be susceptible to fatigue or thermal cracking.22 (left): Pressure Aging Vessel Figure 3.htm (9 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . http://training. Since the rheological properties of asphalt binder vary with temperature.ce.2 Rheology Rheology is the study of deformation and flow of matter. their rheological properties must be measured at some common reference temperature. HMA pavements that deform and flow too much may be susceptible to rutting and bleeding.

In 1888. 1974). 2) (Halstead and Welborn.C. 2 sewing needle penetrated an asphalt sample under specified conditions of load. time and temperature.1 Chewing Originally.24: Penetration Test 3. It’s basic principle. 3. the degree of asphalt binder softening was determined by chewing (Halstead and Welborn.htm (10 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .2. first published in 1959.#penetration_test q To fully characterize an asphalt binder. Roberts Parabola Sharps No. In 1915.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.2. Figure 3.4. its rheological properties must be examined over the range of temperatures that it may encounter during its life. 1974). describes the following basic procedure: q Melt and cool the asphalt binder sample under controlled conditions. 1974). http://training.4.24). H. This method is no longer in use today for obvious reasons. ASTM even went as far as specifying the brand of needle (R.J.2 Penetration Test Aside from chewing. Bowen of the Barber Asphalt Paving Company invented the forerunner to the penetration test. and the basic principle of the penetration test. the penetration test is the oldest asphalt test.washington. The current penetration test (see Figure 3.ce. the Bowen Penetration Machine (Halstead and Welborn. was to determine the depth to which a truncated No. A sample of asphalt binder was literally chewed to subjectively determine its softness.

5-g steel ball. The standard penetration test is: q AASHTO T 49 and ASTM D 5: Penetration of Bituminous Materials 3. enveloped in bitumen. two horizontal disks of bitumen.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. it is mostly used for roofing asphalts in the U. the asphalt penetration number is 80). The softening point is reported as the mean of the temperatures at which the two disks soften enough to allow each ball.ce. poise = dyne-sec/cm2 = g/cm-sec (the SI unit of viscosity is the Pa-sec = N-sec/m2 = 10 poise) τ γ = = shear stress shear rate Figure 3.. cast in shouldered brass rings (see Figure 3.2. Penetration grading is based on the penetration test. to fall a distance of 25 mm (1. Although it is commonly used in Europe.1 mm and reported in penetration units (e.#penetration_test q Measure the penetration of a standard needle into the asphalt binder sample under the following conditions: r Load = 100 grams Temperature = 25° C (77° F) Time = 5 seconds r r The depth of penetration is measured in units of 0.2.25). 2000).4. Basically. if the needle penetrates 8 mm.htm (11 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .S.4 Absolute (Dynamic) Viscosity at 60° C (140° F) Viscosity is simply a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow and is described by the following equation: where: ¼= viscosity (in cgs units of poise). The standard softening point test is: q AASHTO T 53 and ASTM D 36: Softening Point of Bitumen (Ring-and-Ball Apparatus) 3.g.4.3 Softening Point The softening point is defined as the temperature at which a bitumen sample can no longer support the weight of a 3.0 inch) (AASHTO. are heated at a controlled rate in a liquid bath while each supports a steel ball.washington.25: Softening Point Sample http://training.

#penetration_test Asphalt binder viscosity is typically measured at 60° C (140° F) because it approximates the maximum HMA pavement surface temperature during summer in the U.2. this test has limited use since it is empirical and conducted at only one temperature (25° C (77° F)). http://training. The standard absolute viscosity test is: q AASHTO T 202 and ASTM D 2171: Viscosity of Asphalts by Vacuum Capillary Viscometer 3. The basic absolute viscosity test measures the time it takes for a fixed volume of asphalt binder to be drawn up through a capillary tube by means of vacuum. The basic kinematic viscosity test measures the time it takes for a fixed volume of asphalt binder to flow through a capillary viscometer under closely controlled conditions of head and temperature (ASTM.5 Kinematic Viscosity at 135° C (275° F) The kinematic viscosity of a liquid is the absolute (or dynamic) viscosity divided by the density of the liquid at the temperature of measurement. 2001).27) to its breaking point.2. The standard kinematic viscosity test is: q AASHTO T 201 and ASTM D 2170: Kinematic Viscosity of Asphalts (Bitumens) 3.4.6 Ductility Test The ductility test (see Figure 3. The 135° C (275° F) measurement temperature was chosen to simulate the mixing and laydown temperatures typically encountered in HMA pavement construction. 2001).S. Like the penetration test.htm (12 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . under closely controlled conditions of vacuum and temperature (ASTM.ce. it still only measures viscosity at one temperature and thus does not fully characterize an asphalt binder’s consistency over the expected range of construction and service conditions.4.washington.26) measures asphalt binder ductility by stretching a standard-sized briquette of asphalt binder (see Figure 3. The stretched distance in centimeters at breaking is then reported as ductility. Although absolute viscosity is an improvement over the penetration test.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.

#penetration_test Figure 3.2.7 Rotational (or Brookfield) Viscometer (RV) – Superpave The rotational viscometer (RV) (see Figures 3.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.30).29) is used in the Superpave system to test high temperature viscosities (the test is conducted at 135° C (275° F)). The basic RV test measures the torque required to maintain a constant rotational speed (20 RPM) of a cylindrical spindle while submerged in an asphalt binder at a constant temperature (see Figure 3.ce.washington.27: Ductility Samples AASHTO T 51 and ASTM D 113: Ductility of Bituminous Materials 3. http://training.28 and 3. This torque is then converted to a viscosity and displayed automatically by the RV.htm (13 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .26: Ductility Test The standard ductility test is: q Figure 3.4.

28: Rotational Viscometer (1) Figure 3.ce. The actual temperatures anticipated in the area where the asphalt binder will be placed determine the test temperatures used.2.htm (14 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .washington.#penetration_test Figure 3. Since the goal is to ensure the asphalt binder is sufficiently fluid for pumping and mixing.8 Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) – Superpave The dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) (see Figure 3.30: Rotational Viscometer Schematic The RV high-temperature viscosity measurements are meant to simulate binder workability at mixing and laydown temperatures. Superpave specifies a maximum RV viscosity.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.31) is used in the Superpave system for testing medium to high temperature viscosities (the test is conducted between 46° C (115° F) and 82° C (180° F)).4. http://training. The RV is more suitable than the capillary viscometer (used for kinematic viscosity) for testing modified asphalt binders because some modified asphalt binders (such as those containing crumb rubber particles) can clog the capillary viscometer and cause faulty readings. The standard rotational (or Brookfield) viscometer test is: q AASHTO TP 48 and ASTM D 4402: Viscosity Determination of Asphalt Binder Using Rotational Viscometer 3.29: Rotational Viscometer (2) Figure 3.

32: Dynamic Shear Rheometer Samples Figure 3.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.#penetration_test Figure 3.washington. The following equations are then used to determine a http://training. The lower plate is fixed while the upper plate oscillates back and forth across the sample at 1.33).33: Dynamic Shear Rheometer Schematic The basic DSR test uses a thin asphalt binder sample (see Figure 3.59 Hz (10 radians/sec) are meant to simulate the shearing action corresponding to a traffic speed of about 90 km/hr (55 mph) (Roberts et al.32) sandwiched between two plates.. 1996).31: Dynamic Shear Rheometer Figure 3.59 Hz to create a shearing action (see Figure 3.htm (15 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . These oscillations at 1.ce.

the DSR is able to determine the total complex shear modulus as well as its elastic and viscous components (see Figure 3.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. while some modified binders can have phase angles as low as 60°.htm (16 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . δ: where: τ max = = = = = = = = maximum applied shear stress maximum applied torque radius of binder specimen (either 12.89°.34). G* and a phase angle.washington. By measuring G* and δ .#penetration_test complex shearing modulus.ce. For a typical neat asphalt (no modifiers) the phase angle is about 88 . T r γ max θ h G* δ Asphalt binders in the medium to high temperature range behave partly like an elastic solid (deformation due to loading is recoverable – it is able to return to its original shape after a load is removed) and a viscous liquid (deformation due to loading is non-recoverable – it cannot return to its original shape after a load is removed).5 or 4 mm) maximum resulting shear strain deflection (rotation) angle specimen height (either 1 or 2 mm) complex shear modulus phase angle. http://training. This is the time lag (expressed in radians) between the maximum applied shear stress and the maximum resulting shear strain.

the higher the G* value. an asphalt binder should be elastic (able to dissipate energy by rebounding and not cracking) but not too stiff (excessively stiff substances will crack rather than deform-then-rebound). This relationship between G*sinδ and fatigue cracking is more tenuous than the rutting relationship discussed in #1.35) is used in the Superpave system to test asphalt binders at low temperatures where the chief failure mechanism is thermal cracking. 2.34). specifying a large G*cosδ and a small G*sinδ are not the same. should be large.34: Complex Shear Modulus Components G* and δ are used as predictors of the following two HMA parameters: 1. Therefore. In order to resist fatigue cracking.34). Rutting. Note that although they appear similar. should be small. the stiffer the asphalt binder is (able to resist deformation). Superpave specifies a maximum value for the viscous component of the complex shear modulus.washington.htm (17 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.2.4. They both involve small phase angles (δ ) but the key is getting an asphalt binder whose complex shear modulus (G*) is neither too large nor too small. the greater the elastic portion of G* is (able to recover its original shape after being deformed by a load). G*cosδ (see Figure 3.36). the complex shear modulus viscous portion. see Figure 3. when rutting is of greatest concern (during an HMA pavement’s early and mid life). In order to resist rutting. Therefore. The standard dynamic shear rheometer test is: q AASHTO TP 5: Determining the Rheological Properties of Asphalt Binder Using a Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) 3. The BBR basically subjects a simple asphalt beam to a small (100-g) load over 240 seconds (see Figure 3. the complex shear modulus elastic portion. Therefore. an asphalt binder should be stiff (not deform too much) and it should be elastic (it should be able to return to its original shape after load deformation). Intuitively. Superpave specifies a minimum value for the elastic component of the complex shear modulus. Therefore. and the lower the δ value. when fatigue cracking is of greatest concern (late in an HMA pavement’s life).#penetration_test Figure 3. using basic http://training.ce. G*sinδ (see Figure 3.9 Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR) – Superpave The bending beam rheometer (BBR. Then. Fatigue.

25 mm deflection at time.#penetration_test beam theory.washington.5 mm beam thickness.8 m/s2) = 0. t = 60 seconds and is used to describe how the asphalt binder relaxes under load. The standard bending beam rheometer test is: http://training. 6. 102 mm beam width.ce. Figure 3.98 N.36: Bending Beam Rheometer Schematic The BBR test is meant to simulate asphalt binder stiffness after two hours of loading at the minimum HMA pavement design temperature. Creep stiffness (S(t)) is related to thermal stresses in an HMA pavement due to shrinking while the m-value is related to the ability of an HMA pavement to relieve these stresses.35: Bending Beam Rheometer Figure 3. t = 60 seconds applied constant load (980 ± 20 mN). obtained using a 100 g load. or 980 mN L b h δ (t) = = = = distance between beam supports. Thus. Superpave binder specifications require a maximum limit on creep stiffness (thermal stress not too great) and a minimum limit on m-value (must have some minimum ability to relieve thermal stresses without cracking). where: S(t) P = = creep stiffness at time. 12.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. Note that 100 g multiplied by the force of gravity (9. the BBR calculates beam stiffness (S(t)) and the rate of change of that stiffness (m-value) as the load was applied. t = 60 seconds The m-value is simply the rate of change of the stiffness at time.htm (18 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .

The DTT identifies these asphalt binders.37: Direct Tension Tester Apparatus where: ε f = = = failure strain change in length corresponding to the specimen’s maximum loading effective length ∆L Le http://training. some asphalt binders (especially modified asphalt binders) may be able to stretch far enough before breaking that they can absorb these high thermal stresses without cracking. Recall that a high creep stiffness BBR test value implies that the asphalt binder will possess high thermal stresses in cold weather as a result of shrinkage.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. The DTT basically loads a small sample of asphalt binder in tension until it breaks (see Figure 3. The DTT is only used for testing asphalt binders with a high BBR creep stiffness (300 – 600 MPa). S (t).37) is used in the Superpave system to compliment the BBR in testing asphalt binders at low temperatures.htm (19 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . The DTT is used because creep stiffness. The assumption is that the asphalt binder will crack because of these high thermal stresses. The failure strain is then calculated from the following equation: Figure 3.#penetration_test q AASHTO TP1: Method for Determining the Flexural Creep Stiffness of Asphalt Binder Using the Bending Beam Rheometer 3.4. asphalt binders with BBR creep stiffness values below 300 MPa are assumed satisfactory and the DTT is not needed. as measured by the BBR is not sufficient to predict thermal cracking in some asphalt binders that exhibit high creep stiffness (> 300 MPa). However.ce.washington.2.38).10 Direct Tension Tester (DTT) – Superpave The direct tension tester (DTT) (see Figure 3.

edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. volatilizes (gives off vapor) when heated. The standard direct tension tester procedure is: q AASHTO TP 3: Method for Determining the Fracture Properties of Asphalt Binder in Direct Tension (DT) 3. it must have a minimum failure strain (indicating it will stretch rather than crack) to meet Superpave binder specifications. At extremely high temperatures (well above those experienced in the manufacture and construction of HMA) asphalt cement can release enough vapor to increase the volatile concentration immediately above the asphalt cement to a point where it will ignite (flash) when exposed to a spark or open flame.3 Safety Tests Asphalt cement like most other materials.#penetration_test Figure 3.38: Direct Tension Tester Schematic If a particular asphalt binder has a high BBR creep stiffness (indicating high thermal stress).ce. The fire point. which occurs after the flash point. A typical flash point test involves heating a small sample of asphalt binder in a test cup.htm (20 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .washington. This is called the flash point. Standard flash point tests are: q AASHTO T 48 and ASTM D 92: Flash and Fire Points by Cleveland Open Cup (more common for asphalt cement used in HMA) AASHTO T 73 and ASTM D 93: Flash-Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester q http://training. The test can be continued up to the fire point – the point at which the test flame causes the sample to ignite and remain burning for at least 5 seconds. the flash point of asphalt cement is tested and controlled. is the temperature at which the material (not just the vapors) will sustain combustion. The temperature of the sample is increased and at specified intervals a test flame is passed across the cup.4. For safety reasons. The flash point is the lowest liquid temperature at which application of the test flame causes the vapors of the sample to ignite.

1. A small drop of prepared asphalt cement is dropped onto a filter paper. Anything remaining on the mat is considered an impurity.ce. The standard spot test is: http://training. Water impurities are quantified through distillation.4. the spot test is not often specified. If the spot formed is brown with a black center then the test is positive.5 Specific Gravity Test Because the specific gravity of asphalt binders change with temperature. as used for HMA paving. specific gravity tests are useful in making volume corrections based on temperature. If the spot formed is uniformly brown then the test is negative.03. Standard purity tests are: q AASHTO T 44 and ASTM D 2042: Solubility of Bituminous Materials AASHTO T 55 and ASTM D 95: Water in Petroleum Products and Bituminous Materials by Distillation AASHTO T 110 and ASTM D 1461: Moisture or Volatile Distillates in Bituminous Paving Mixtures q q 3. The standard specific gravity test is: q AASHTO T 228 and ASTM D 70: Specific Gravity and Density of Semi-Solid Bituminous Materials 3.6 Spot Test The spot test is used to determine whether or not an asphalt cement has been damaged during processing due to overheating.6° C (60° F) is commonly used when buying/selling asphalt cements. The specific gravity at 15.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. A typical specific gravity for asphalt is around 1. the spot test is rarely used. Today. This damage. should consist of almost pure bitumen. the spot test is a form of paper chromatography (a method for analyzing complex mixtures by separating them into the chemicals from which they are made).washington.1 trichloroethane through a filter mat. Mineral impurities can be quantified by dissolving a sample of asphalt cement in trichloroethylene or 1. Impurities are not active cementing constituents and may be detrimental to asphalt cement performance. called "cracking". Cracked asphalt cements tend to be less ductile and more susceptible to aging effects.htm (21 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .#penetration_test 3.4.4. Basically. Since modern refining practices rarely cause cracking. occurs because the actual molecules are thermally broken apart.4 Purity Asphalt cement.

washington.ce. WSDOT had used the aged residue (AR) viscosity grading. Therefore. the deeper the needle will penetrate.1 Penetration Grading The penetration grading system was developed in the early 1900s to characterize the consistency of semi-solid asphalts. This subsection briefly describes the major grading systems and discusses what they use to grade asphalt and how prevalent they are in the U.S. asphalt binders are typically categorized by one or more shorthand grading systems.#penetration_test q AASHTO T 102: Spot Test of Asphaltic Materials 3.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.5 Grading Systems Rather than refer to an extensive list of its physical properties.htm (22 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . This penetration depth is empirically (albeit only roughly) correlated with asphalt binder performance. Therefore. These baseline grades are typically used and then adjusted as necessary. today. 3. WSDOT Asphalt Binder Specifications WSDOT uses the Superpave asphalt binder performance grading system and specifications. asphalt binder must meet the requirements of AASHTO MP 1. The commonly used grade in this old system was AR4000W. These systems range from simple (penetration grading) to complex (Superpave performance grading) and represent an evolution in the ability to characterize asphalt binder. WSDOT uses three baseline asphalt binder performance grades based on geography. Previously. Penetration grading quantifies the following asphalt concrete characteristics: q Penetration depth of a 100 g needle 25° C (77° F) Flash point temperature Ductility at 25° C (77° F) Solubility in trichloroethylene Thin-film oven test (accounts for the effects of short-term aging) r q q q q Retained penetration Ductility at 25° C (77° F) r Penetration grading’s basic assumption is that the less viscous the asphalt.5. asphalt binders with high penetration numbers (called "soft") are used for cold climates while http://training.

it can easily be used in the field. Typical grades used in the U. Table 3.S. Penetration grades are listed as a range of penetration units (one penetration unit = 0. Shear rate is variable and high during the test. May also provide a better correlation with lowtemperature asphalt binder properties than the viscosity test. Since asphalt binders typically behave as a non-Newtonian fluid at 25° C (77° F). 1996) Advantages The test is done at 25° C (77° F). Temperature susceptibility (the change in asphalt binder rheology with temperature) can be determined by conducting the test at temperatures other than 25° C (77° F).100 http://training.#penetration_test asphalt binders with low penetration numbers (called "hard") are used for warm climates.htm (23 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM Comments Hardest grade. Therefore. Penetration grading key advantages and disadvantages are listed in Table 3. this will affect test results.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. Table 3.. .7. which is performed at 60° C (140° F).6: Advantages and Disadvantages of the Penetration Grading (from Roberts et al. Temperature susceptibility (the change in asphalt binder rheology with temperature) cannot be determined by a single test at 25° C (77° F).7: AASHTO M 20 and ASTM D 946 Penetration Grades Penetration Grade 40 – 50 60 .1 mm) such as 120 – 150. Disadvantages The test is empirical and does not measure any fundamental engineering parameter such as viscosity. which is reasonably close to a typical pavement average temperature. The test is quick and inexpensive. The test does not provide information with which to establish mixing and compaction temperatures.washington.ce.70 85 . Penetration grades specified in AASHTO M 20 and ASTM D 946 are listed in Table 3.6.

it should be more representative of how asphalt binder behaves in HMA pavements. Table 3.#penetration_test 120 – 150 200 – 300 Softest grade.2 Viscosity Grading In the early 1960s an improved asphalt grading system was developed that incorporated a rational scientific viscosity test. 3.ce.8: Advantages and Disadvantages of Viscosity Grading (from Roberts et al.. The AR grading system is an attempt to simulate asphalt binder properties after it undergoes a typical HMA manufacturing process and thus. These will most likely disappear as the Superpave PG system becomes more prevalent.htm (24 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM Disadvantages . Viscosity grading quantifies the following asphalt binder characteristics: q Viscosity at 60° C (140° F) Viscosity at 135° C (275° F) Penetration depth of a 100 g needle applied for 5 seconds at 25° C (77° F) Flash point temperature Ductility at 25° C (77° F) Solubility in trichloroethylene Thin film oven test (accounts for the effects of short-term aging): r q q q q q q Viscosity at 60° C (140° F) Ductility at 25° C (77° F) r Viscosity grading can be done on original (as-supplied) asphalt binder samples (called AC grading) or aged residue samples (called AR grading).5. With AC grading. The AR viscosity test is based on the viscosity of aged residue from the rolling thin film oven test. 1996) Advantages http://training. the asphalt binder is characterized by the properties it possesses before it undergoes the HMA manufacturing process. This scientific test replaced the empirical penetration test as the key asphalt binder characterization.8 lists key advantages and disadvantages of the viscosity grading system. 1996) A few states still have provisions for the penetration grading system.. Table 3. Used for cold climates such as northern Canada (Roberts et al.washington.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.

9 shows standard viscosity grades for the AC and AR grading systems from AASHTO M 226 and ASTM D 3381. viscosity is a fundamental engineering parameter.htm (25 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . AC-20. AC-5 (viscosity is 500 ± 100 poise at 60° C (140° F)) is less viscous than AC-40 (viscosity is 4000 ± 800 poise at 60° C (140° F)).ce.5 AC-5 AC-5 AC-10 AC-10 AC-20 AC-20 AC-30 AC-30 AC-40 AC-40 Grading based on Aged Residue (AR) AR-10 AR-1000 AR-20 AR-2000 AR-40 AR-4000 AR-80 AR-8000 AR-160 AR-16000 http://training. The lower the number of poises. q q Temperature susceptibility (the change in asphalt binder rheology with temperature) can be somewhat determined because viscosity is measured at three different temperatures (penetration only is measured at 25° C (77° F)). Viscosity is measured in poise (cm-g-s = dyne-second/cm2. named after Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille).edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. although asphalt binders are of the same AC grade they may behave differently after construction. Thus. Typical grades used for HMA paving in the U.washington. Table 3. Therefore. the lower the viscosity and thus the more easily a substance flows. AR-4000 and AR 8000. 135° C (275° F) – HMA mixing temp.S. Table 3.9: AASHTO M 226 and ASTM D 3381 Viscosity Grades Standard AASHTO M 226 ASTM D 3381 Grading based on Original Asphalt (AC) AC-2.#penetration_test Unlike penetration depth. are AC-10. When using the AC grading system. thin film oven test residue viscosities can vary greatly with the same AC grade. 25° C (77° F) – average pavement temp.5 AC-2. The testing is more expensive and takes longer than the penetration test. Testing equipment and standards are widely available. 60° C (140° F) – high pavement temp. AC-30. Test temperatures correlate well with: q The principal grading (done at 25° C (77° F)) may not accurately reflect low-temperature asphalt binder rheology.

These tests and specifications are specifically designed to address HMA pavement performance parameters such as rutting. Table 3.ce.. 1996) Limitations of Penetration. This concept is not new – selection of penetration or viscosity graded asphalt binders follows the same logic – but the relationships between asphalt binder properties and conditions of use are more complete and more precise with the Superpave PG system.5. temperature at which the criteria must be met changes in consideration of the binder grade selected for the prevalent climatic conditions. Table 3. the PG system uses a common battery of tests (as the older penetration and viscosity grading systems do) but specifies that a particular asphalt binder must pass these tests at specific temperatures that are dependant upon the specific climatic conditions in the area of use. http://training. Information on how to select a PG asphalt binder for a specific condition is contained in Module 5.10: Prior Limitations vs. For asphalt binders. however. Tests are conducted at one standard temperature without regard to the climate in which the asphalt binder will be used. Therefore. Superpave performance grading (PG) is based on the idea that an HMA asphalt binder’s properties should be related to the conditions under which it is used. Superpave Method.S. Therefore.htm (26 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . Therefore. this involves expected climatic conditions as well as aging considerations. Test criteria remain constant. AC and AR Grading Systems Superpave Binder Testing and Specification Features that Address Prior Limitations The physical properties measured are directly related to field performance by engineering principles. Superpave Testing and Specification Features (after Roberts et al. a binder used in the Sonoran Desert of California/Arizona/Mexico would have different properties than one used in the Alaskan tundra. AC and AR grading system general limitations. Section 5. the previous grading systems are somewhat limited in their ability to fully characterize asphalt binder for use in HMA pavement.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body..washington.#penetration_test 3. as part of the Superpave research effort new binder tests and specifications were developed to more accurately and fully characterize asphalt binders for use in HMA pavements.10 shows how the Superpave PG system addresses specific penetration.3 Superpave Performance Grade (PG) Although in common use throughout the U. the Penetration and ductility tests are empirical and not directly related to HMA pavement performance. fatigue cracking and thermal cracking.

Grading is more precise and there is less overlap between grades. tested: 1. For example.htm (27 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . Superpave performance grading uses the following asphalt binder tests: q Rolling thin film oven (RTFO) Pressure aging vessel (PAV) Rotational viscometer (RV) Dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) Bending beam rheometer (BBR) Direct tension tester (DTT) q q q q q Superpave performance grading is reported using two numbers – the first being the average seven-day maximum pavement temperature (°C) and the second being the minimum pavement design temperature likely to be experienced (°C).washington. Thus. Three critical binder ages are simulated and Test methods only consider short-term asphalt binder aging (thin film oven test) although long-term aging is a significant factor in fatigue cracking and low temperature cracking. there is no test method for asphalt binder stiffness at low temperatures to control thermal cracking. The entire range of pavement temperatures experienced at a particular site is covered.#penetration_test The range of pavement temperatures at any one site is not adequately covered. Original asphalt binder prior to mixing with aggregate. Tests and specifications are intended for asphalt "binders" to include both modified and unmodified asphalt cements. a PG 58-22 is intended for use where the average seven-day maximum http://training. Aged asphalt binder after HMA production and construction. 3. Long-term aged binder.ce. 2. Asphalt binders can have significantly different characteristics within the same grading category.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. Modified asphalt binders are not suited for these grading systems.

ce.washington.11). The commonly used grade in this old system was AR4000W. WSDOT had used the aged residue (AR) viscosity grading.11: Prediction of PG Grades for Different Crude Oil Blends WSDOT Asphalt Binder Specifications WSDOT uses the Superpave asphalt binder performance grading system and specifications. Table 3. WSDOT uses three baseline asphalt binder performance grades based on geography. Previously.htm (28 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . The standard method for PG asphalt binder grading is: q AASHTO PP6: Practice for Grading or Verifying the Performance Grade of an Asphalt Binder http://training.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. Notice that these numbers are pavement temperatures and not air temperatures (these pavement temperatures are estimated from air temperatures using an algorithm contained in the LTPP Bind program). These baseline grades are typically used and then adjusted as necessary. As a general rule-ofthumb. Therefore. asphalt binder must meet the requirements of AASHTO MP 1.#penetration_test pavement temperature is 58°C and the expected minimum pavement temperature is -22°C. PG binders that differ in the high and low temperature specification by 90°C or more generally require some sort of modification (see Table 3.

. when they can benefit the final product without creating an environmental liability they are often used as additives in HMA. q Higher stiffness at high service temperatures. Increased adhesion between the asphalt binder and the aggregate in the presence of moisture. glass and ash) in order to gain added benefit. This facilitates pumping of the liquid asphalt binder as well as mixing and compaction of HMA. q Superpave asphalt binder specifications. while decreasing its stiffness at low temperatures to improve its resistance to thermal cracking. q Public agency willingness to fund higher-cost asphalt additives. loads and tire pressures have increased substantially in recent years. The asphalt binder used with the sample on the left contain no anti-stripping modifier. which can cause increased rutting and cracking. which results in good aggregate-asphalt binder adhesion.washington..htm (29 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . Asphalt cement modification has been practiced for over 50 years but has received added attention in the past decade or so. This will reduce rutting and shoving. Thus. q Environmental and economic issues. Superpave asphalt binder specifications developed in the 1990s require asphalt binders to meet stiffness requirements at both high and low temperatures. 1996): q Lower stiffness (or viscosity) at the high temperatures associated with construction.5% (by weight of asphalt binder) of an anti-stripping modifier. roofing shingles. but it should provide a longer service life with less maintenance. The asphalt binder used with the sample on the right contains 0.6 Asphalt Binder Modifiers Some asphalt cements require modification in order to meet specifications. asphalt cement should be modified to achieve the following types of improvements (Roberts et al. q q http://training.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. Many modifiers can improve the asphalt binder's stiffness at normal service temperatures to increase rut resistance. Traffic volume. In regions with extreme climatic conditions this is not possible without asphalt binder modification.39 shows two aggregate samples from the same source after they have been coated with asphalt binder. Modified asphalt cement is usually higher in initial cost than unmodified asphalt cement.#penetration_test 3. not all modifiers are appropriate for all applications. It is both environmentally and economically sound to recycle waste and industrial byproducts (such as tires. 1996): q Increased demand on HMA pavements. Lower stiffness and faster relaxation properties at low service temperatures.ce. In general. The benefits of modified asphalt cement can only be realized by a judicious selection of the modifier(s). This will reduce thermal cracking. This will reduce the likelihood of stripping. There are numerous binder additives available on the market today. Figure 3. The added attention can be attributed to the following factors (Roberts et al. which resulted in almost no aggregate-asphalt binder adhesion.

Emulsions are used because they effectively reduce asphalt viscosity for lower temperature uses (tack coats. the application rate. hot in-place recycling (HIPR).htm (30 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . etc.ce. fog seals. Generally. Emulsions are typically either anionic (asphalt droplets are negatively charged) or cationic (asphalt particles are positively charged).1 Emulsified Asphalts Emulsified asphalt is simply a suspension of small asphalt cement globules in water. 2000).edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. The emulsifying agent assists by imparting an electrical charge to the surface of the asphalt cement globules so that they do not coalesce (Roberts et al.39: Anti-stripping Modifier Example. ASTM D 3628 contains guidance on selection and use of emulsified asphalt. When the asphalt cement starts to adhere to the surrounding material (aggregate. tack coats. supporting layer or subgrade stabilization. stabilization material). As water begins to evaporate.washington. http://training.40). Under most circumstances. subgrade.#penetration_test Figure 3. emulsions appear as a thick brown liquid when initially applied (see Figure 3. bituminous surface treatments (BST). slurry seals.42).7.41) and the emulsion is said to have "broken" (see Figure 3. 1996). These types of asphalt are not used in HMA pavements but are used extensively in pavement repairs. The time required to break and set depends upon the type of emulsion. cutback asphalt. the temperature of the surface onto which it is applied and environmental conditions (TRB. Once all the water has evaporated. three other forms of asphalt that are used prominently in the paving industry are emulsified asphalt. bituminous surface treatments (BSTs). 3. cold in-place recycling (CIR) and full depth recycling (FDR). existing surface. slurry seals.7 Other Forms of Asphalt Used in Paving Although asphalt cement is probably the most well known type of asphalt. fog seals. an emulsion will set in about 1 to 2 hours (TRB. the emulsion begins to behave more and more like pure asphalt cement. which is assisted by an emulsifying agent (such as soap). the emulsion is said to have "set". 3.) the color changes from brown to black (see Figure 3. 2000).. and foamed asphalt.

41 (upper right): The Same Tack Coat After 23 Minutes. Emulsified asphalts evaporate water into http://training. slurry seals. after a cutback asphalt is applied the petroleum solvent evaporates leaving behind asphalt cement residue on the surface to which it was applied. Cutback asphalts contain volatile chemicals that evaporate into the atmosphere. cutbacks are used because they reduce asphalt viscosity for lower temperature uses (tack coats.42 (left): Tack Coat Using an Asphalt Emulsion. fog seals. q The use of cutback asphalts is decreasing because of (Roberts et al..edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. Figure 3. stabilization material). Like emulsions. 3.2 Cutback Asphalts A cutback asphalt is simply a combination of asphalt cement and petroleum solvent. The black color indicates it has broken. Figure 3.#penetration_test Figure 3. Similar to emulsified asphalts.ce. The brown color indicates that it has not yet broken. The brown color now appears in splotches indicating it is beginning to break.40 (upper left): Freshly Placed Emulsion Tack Coat.7. 1996): Environmental regulations.htm (31 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM . A cutback asphalt is said to "cure" as the petroleum solvent evaporates away.washington.

3 Foamed (Expanded) Asphalt Foamed asphalt is formed by combining hot asphalt binder with small amounts of cold water. Superpave tests measure specific asphalt binder physical properties that are directly related to field performance by engineering principles. these tests have reached an apogee with the Superpave binder tests. The petroleum solvents used require higher amounts of energy to manufacture and are expensive compared to the water and emulsifying agents used in emulsified asphalts. When the cold water comes in contact with the hot asphalt binder it turns to steam. 2001). asphalt functions as an adhesive that holds aggregate together. Since chemical knowledge and testing is limited. WSDOT Cutback Asphalt Use WSDOT does not specify cutback asphalts because of their potential effect on the environment. Asphalt cement can also be modified using certain chemical and organic products to . HMA use exceeds 500. 2001). and is often used as the stabilizing agent in full-depth asphalt reclamation. They are also the most complex and the most expensive.edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body. Chemically. Over the years many tests have been developed to fully characterize asphalt’s physical attributes. high volume asphalt foam with approximately 10 times more coating potential than the asphalt binder in its normal liquid state (World Highways. Asphalt binders can be characterized by chemical and physical properties. The most common asphalt binder classifications are: penetration grade. 3. To date. asphalt binders are classified for use (graded) based on their physical properties as measured through testing.#penetration_test the atmosphere. which becomes trapped in tiny asphalt binder bubbles (World Highways. Currently. Foamed asphalt can be used as a binder in soil or base course stabilization. This high volume foam state only lasts for a few minutes. 2000).ce.8 Summary Humans have used asphalt for thousands of years. In the HMA paving industry. Modern asphalt binder produced using the PG system is often modified. alter its behavior. cutback asphalt use is restricted to patching materials for use in cold weather. Youtcheff and Zupanick. Using the tests discussed in this section. These asphalt grades are what is http://training. viscosity grade and performance grade (from Superpave). The result is a thin-film.000 tonnes (tons) per year at a cost of almost $3 billion per year (Anderson. 3. asphalt is most commonly described by its physical attributes. In many places.htm (32 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM Although natural sources still exist.7. Thus. q Loss of high energy products. The microstructure of these molecules tends to govern asphalt’s physical behavior. today’s asphalt is almost entirely produced from petroleum refining. asphalt is a mixture of polar and non-polar complex organic molecules. after which the asphalt binder resumes its original properties.washington.000. theoretically they offer the best and most complete asphalt binder characterization.

we generally specify asphalt binder characteristics for each and every HMA pavement. These products are often used in an HMA pavement's supporting layers as well as by themselves for lowvolume roads. http://training. This is reflected in the substantial level of effort put forth to accurately characterize asphalt binder.ce. roads will be built where they can or need to be regardless of the subgrade. Of all the HMA pavement constituents. we have the most control over the asphalt binder.#penetration_test generally specified in HMA mix design.htm (33 of 33)5/13/2010 11:21:39 AM .edu/wsdot/modules/03_materials/03-3_body.washington. and aggregate is usually taken from the closest source as long as it meets minimum standards. asphalt binder is also used in other road-related products: emulsions. cutbacks and foamed asphalt. Although this section has concentrated on asphalt binder characterizations and tests associated with HMA. Generally. However.

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