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Theory
Asphalt concrete mix design stability depends on cohesion and internal friction, just like soilaggregrate mixtures, and it is directly proportional to the density and quantity of asphalt present (Witczak 1975, 398). Sizes of aggregates are controlled by layer thickness and the material passing the No.200 sieve acts as a mineral filler and examples of such fillers may consist of limestone dust or Portland cement (Yoder and Witczak 1975, 400). In the Marshall test, specimens of the aggregate and bituminous mix are compacted in the laboratory using different asphalt contents, usually with a plus or minus 0.5% change. The test specimens used are 4diameter and 2.5 height units based on ASTM D1559 Standards. It is necessary to determine the apparent specific gravity of aggregates and bituminous materials to be used in the mix. Flow value and stability are measured in this experiment. The stability is defined as the maximum load resistance that the specimen will achieve at 140F (60C) under specified conditions. Flow is the total displacement of a specimen measured in 0.01 unit during the stability test as the load is increased from zero to a maximum (Garber and Hoel 2009, 974). The density values are determined before test and the computations are made of the total air voids in the mixtures and the percent of the aggregate voids filled with asphalt.

(Yoder and Witczak 1975, 401) Typical results are shown above. In graph (a) a maximum density value is indicated at a certain bituminous content. On the left side of the graph, the bituminous material coats the aggregate, at the peak, the voids between the grains are essentially full and on the right side of the curve, the aggregate is embedded in the bituminous material. In graph (d), it is seen that the stability increases a small amount

[Type text] with increase in bitumen content to the optimum bitumen content and then decreases rapidly (Yoder and Witczak 1975, 401).

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Objective
1) To determine the optimum asphalt content for a particular aggregate blend and asphalt to be used. 2) For the optimum asphalt content determine the corresponding air voids (%), Marshall Stability, Marshall Flow, voids in mineral aggregates (VMA) and voids filled with asphalt (VFA).

Introduction
A pavements chief purpose is to provide a surface of acceptable ride quality, strength and durability; therefore, it is essential that high quality materials be utilized along with high standards of construction. In order to determine the optimum asphalt content for this experiment, the Marshall method was used. The concept of the Marshall Method Procedure was built by Bruce Marshall who was a bituminous engineer with the Mississippi State Highway Department. The original procedure has been tweaked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the test is standardized and described in ASTM D1559 (Garber and Hoel 2009, 974). Test specimens of standard dimensions are prepared by a procedure of heating, mixing and compacting the asphalt and aggregates which is then subjected to stability and flow test and a density void analysis. The design of asphalt paving mix must satisfy certain requirements in order to obtain desired properties of a pavement structure. The chief desirable properties of Asphalt mixes are:1) Resistance to permanent deformation- the mix should not be distorted when subjected to traffic loads. Traffic loads are classified into 3 categories of light, medium and heavy. 2) Fatigue resistance- the mix should not crack when subjected to cyclic loadings. 3) Durability- the compacted asphalt cement should not have high air voids which reduces the design life of the pavement. Some other important properties include workability, skid resistance and good drainage properties.

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Apparatus/ Materials
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) Electronic balance Hot plate Pan Metal spoon Filter papers Ear muffs & thick gloves Temperature gauge White-off Water bath@60C Mold assembly consisting of mold, extended collar and base compaction plate Hydraulic extruder Asphalt binder and aggregate design mix with properties shown below:

Aggregrate Specific size wt., G 3/4" 1/2" 3/8" Dust Binder 2.768 2.709 2.675 2.724 1.02

% 9 12 35 44

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Procedure
Specimen preparation-Marshall compaction
1) The aggregate design mix was dried in an oven at 105-110C. 2) A pan was placed on the balance and its weight was tared to 0.00. The calculated mass of the aggregate blend was measured for the preparation of the first sample and then its mass was tared. Finally, 4.5% asphalt content of the 3600g was measured and added to the aggregate design mix. 3) The asphalt and aggregrate mix constitute a mass of 3600g which was split into 3, 1200g portions to prepare Marshall Mold specimens. Mold specimen sizes are based on the ASTM D 1559 Standards. 4) ASTA D6929-10 Standards were used in the preparation of bituminous specimens using Marshall Apparatus. The pan with its contents is carried to a hot plate where it is properly mixed to allow an even distribution of the binder onto the aggregates. The mix was also heated to a Standard temperature of around 140C and it was monitored using a temperature gauge. 5) After the heating process, the mold, mold base and collar was quickly assembled on the compaction base with a circular filter paper placed at the base in the mold. 6) 1200g of the asphalt cement mix was measured on the balance and then using a metal spoon, was carefully transferred into the mold. 7) A heated knife was used to provide a first degree of compaction by giving the mold contents 10 blows at the center and 15 blows around the interior. It was also used to smoothen out the top surface of the mix before placing the top filter paper. This step was performed swiftly so that the temperature is remains within the limits of the specified compaction temperature. 8) The mold assembly was then carried to the Marshall Compaction machine where the specimen was given a Standard of 75blows on both ends. This number of blows is based on the USACE Standards when designing for pavements of heavy traffic category. 9) The specimen was then removed from this machine and placed on the bench where the filter papers, mold collar and its base were removed. The specimen was labelled using white off and allowed to cool to room temperature. 10) Same steps are repeated for the other two specimens and then 3 specimens per trial of asphalt contents with each consecutive trial increasing in 0.5%. 11) When compaction is completed and after cooling, the sample was extruded from the compaction mold using a hydraulic jacking device which provides a gentle and constant pressure. 12) After cooling the weight of each sample was measured using a balance, in air, in water and finally saturated surface dry (SSD) and recorded.

Marshall Stability and Flow test Setup


1) All 15 specimens are immersed in a bath of water at a temperature of 60+ or - 1C for approximately 30minutes in numerical order.

[Type text] 2) Then each specimen is then quickly placed in the Marshall Stability testing machine and loaded at a constant rate of deformation of 5mm/min until failure. The total time between removing the specimen from the bath and completion of the test should not exceed 30s. 3) The total maximum in KN (that causes failure of the specimen) is taken as Marshall Stability. 4) The corrected stability factors were obtained which is dependent on the stability value. 5) The total amount of deformation that occurred at maximum load is recorded as Flow value.

Maximum theoretical specific gravity


1) 500g of sample was weighed out and placed into volumetric flasks and enough distilled water was added to submerge the sample. It was moved to the vacuum table where all the air was removed. 2) The flask was then filled with distilled water at a temperature of 25C. This procedure was performed according to AASHTO T 209, NDDOT Modified Standard.

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Discussion
The chief purpose of the mix design is to resolve what is the optimum asphalt content or aggregate components that will satisfy the requirements of the specifications. The asphalt concrete must have the adequate asphalt content to ensure a durable pavement, adequate stability to prevent excessive distortion and displacement when traffic loads are applied. For this laboratory experiment, the aggregates and the asphalt were used to design for pavement to support high tire pressures (heavy traffic category), hence, a 75 blow compactive effort per side using the Marshall compaction machine was performed for each sample specimen. In this experiment, pertinent graphs were plotted to determine if the asphalt design mix satisfies the Marshall Mix design requirements on stability, flow, air voids and voids filled with asphalt (VFA). The first graph of % air voids vs % asphalt content (AC) was used to determine the asphalt content at 4% air voids. 4% air voids was chosen because it is an intermediate, neutral value between the maximum and minimum limits (3% and 5% respectively). The graph of % air voids vs % AC illustrated the trend of decreasing air voids with higher asphalt content which is analogous to the theory. More asphalt will fill the voids between the aggregate mix resulting in less space occupied by air. The experiment graph unfortunately did not possess the same exponential decay shape as the theoretical one but more of a polynomial trend. This can be due to limitations or potential sources of errors such as uneven distribution of the liquid binder over all the aggregate. Another potential error is that in the time taken for preparation of mold specimens could have been enough time for the temperature of the design mix to decrease below 135C standard temperature resulting in the binder properties to change. Also, while preparing specimens, the remaining sample in the pan could have exceeded a temperature of 140C. The asphalt content that corresponded to 4% air voids was 5.4%. From the Marshall Stability graph, 5.4% AC corresponds to 10.9KN (10 900N) which is greater than the minimum requirement for heavy traffic pavement stability (minimum value is 8000N). The Marshall Stability curve obtained possessed a unique shape compared to the theoretical shape. Although the graph showed the general trend analogous to the theory that stability decreases with increasing asphalt content, there was no slight peak in the lower asphalt content values but instead a plateau between 5%-5.4% AC. After 5.4% the asphalt mix continues to decrease in strength. While it is important to achieve the minimum stability value in the USACE criteria, it can be detrimental to performance and in design life (durability). The experimental flow curve showed a mirrored shape to the theoretical shape. Flow amplifies with increasing asphalt content. A flow of 12.4 (x0.01) corresponds to 5.4% AC and this value satisfies the minimum flow of 8 (x0.01) and is less than the maximum flow of 14 (x0.01). Based on this, the aggregate properties and gradation selected is appropriate for the pavement. Flow values that are too low indicate aggregates that are too strong and too high indicate aggregates that are too weak. The optimum % VMA is 15.7% and % VFA and 75% which was obtained from their respective graphs. The optimum VFA satisfies the USACE criteria since it falls within the minimum and maximum design range of 70% and 80% respectively. The VFA graph vividly shows that % VFA increases with increasing % AC. VFA relates to the durability of the asphalt concrete and it can be controlled by limiting

[Type text] VMA maximum levels. The %VMA graph shows a rapid decrease of %VMA from around 5%-5.5%, a drop between 5.5%-6% and beyond 6% starts to rise once more. The optimum VMA is dependent on the aggregate mix not the asphalt content. The design asphalt content of 5.4% was located on the left side of this curve which is the preferred dry part of the graph. The right side of the curve is known as the right side and if asphalt contents lie in this region will result in mixes with too much asphalt content. These mixes will show poor rutting performance and will tend to bleed after construction (Murphy and Bentsen 2001, Chap. 1). However, this is not the case for the experimented design mix as the design asphalt content was suitable in holding the mineral aggregates together. In checking the validity of the test results obtained, the effective specific gravity, Gse must not change with varying asphalt content because the aggregate blend should absorb the same quantity of asphalt, provided the asphalt viscosity (constant temperature) is the same for each batch. Based on the Gse numbers computed for each sample of varying %AC, Gse values varied slightly. This can be due to experimental errors or rounding off calculated values to a significant amount.

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Sources of errors
1) Uneven distribution of the liquid asphalt over the aggregate blend which can affect asphalt mix compaction and inevitably computations for determining the properties of the mix. 2) Incorrectly calibrated temperature gauge. 3) Insufficient time for specimens to cool to room temperature. 4) When determining the Standard temperature of the mix, the temperature gauge made contact with the base of the pan. This causes direct heating instead of measuring the temperature of the asphalt mix. 5) When preparing mold specimens, the remaining asphalt mix from each sample that was left in the pan on the hot plate could have increased above the standard temperature of 140C affecting the properties of the binder.

Precautions
1) Thick gloves were worn when handling the movement of the hot pan with the asphalt mix as it was being transferred into the mold assembly. 2) Ear plugs were worn when turning on the Marshall Compaction machine. 3) Caution was taken when lifting and dropping the Marshall hammer onto the sample to avoid injury as a potential exists where fingers can be trapped under the falling compaction hammer.

Conclusion
For the optimum asphalt content of 5.4% which was obtained from the air voids vs % AC graph; the corresponding Marshall stability and flow is 10.9KN and 12.4x0.01 respectively. % VMA is 15.7% and % VFA is 75%. Optimum bulk density is 2370kg/m^3.

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References
1) Yoder, J.E. and M.W. Witczak. 1975. Principles of Pavement Design 2nd Edition. 2) Garber, J. Nicholas and Lester A. Hoel. 2009. Traffic & Highway Engineering. 3) ASTM D1559. Standard Test Method for Resistance to Plastic Flow of Bituminous Mixtures Using Marshall Apparatus. 4) ASTM D6929-10. Standards practices for preparation of bituminous specimens using Marshall Apparatus. 5) Association of state Highway and Transport officials (AASHTO) Standard. 6) USACE Standards. 7) University of Minnesota Department of Civil Engineering. 1999. The Effect of Voids in Mineral Aggregates (VMA) on Hot-Mix Asphalt Pavements. Accessed October 10th, 2013. http://www.mrr.dot.state.mn.us/research/pdf/200013.pdf 8) Marshall Method of Asphalt Concrete Mix Design (Chapter 11). Accessed October 9th,2013. http://uotechnology.edu.iq/depbuilding/LECTURE/construction%20engineering%20&%20managemnt/third_class/Highway%20E ngineering/11-MARSHALTEST.pdf