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Design of Bituminous Mixes

Dr P K Jain
IAHE Faculty
Head( Retired) ,Flexible Pavements

Central Road Research Institute

What is a bituminous mix ??

• It is a mixture of
• Coarse Aggregates
• Fine aggregates
• Mineral Filler and
• Bitumen/Modified Bitumen

•Well graded aggregates and mineral filler resulting

in maximum density when mixed with optimum
quantity of bitumen results in a mix with very
high stability.
Requirements of Bituminous Mixtures

• Must be workable at application temperature

• Be able to resist permanent deformation
• Be able to resist Cracking
• Impermeable to ingress of water to lower layers
• Durable under prevailling traffic and environment
• Contribute to pavement strength
• Less noisy
• Resistant to skiding in wert condition
• Use local materials
• Cost effective
Purpose of Mix design
Mix design is carried out to arrive at a Job
mix formula of producing economical mix of
 Durability
 Stability
 Sufficient Voids
 Sufficient Flexibility
 Sufficient Workability

Basically mix design consists of a procedure to

select aggregates (quantity and gradation), binder
type a content, additive/modifier types and content
to produce a bitumen aggregate mix that satisfies
specific requirements.of road pavement
Mix Design Methods

• Hubbard Field (1920s)

• Hveem (1930s)
• Marshall (1940s)
• SuperPave (1990s)
Marshall Method of Mix Design
(ASTM D 1559)
Why it is widely used ?

•It was designed to stress the entire

sample rather than just a portion of it
•It facilitated rapid testing with minimal
•It was compact, light and portable.
•It produced densities reasonably close to
field densities
Properties Considered in Mix Design
 It is the ability of mix to resist deformation
under sustained or repeated loads
 Stability requirements should be high enough to
handle traffic adequately, but not higher than
traffic conditions require.
 Too high a stability value produces a pavement
that is too stiff and therefore less durable than
Causes and Effects of Pavement Instability

Causes Effects

Excess bitumen in mix Washboarding / corrugations,

rutting and flushing /bleeding

Excess medium size sand in Tenderness during rolling and for

mixture period after construction, difficulty
in compacting
Rounded aggregate, little or Rutting and channeling
no crushed surfaces
Properties Considered in Mix Design …Contd.
• Durability
• It is the resistance to disintegration by
weathering or abrasive forces of traffic.
• Generally durability can be enhanced by three
• using maximum bitumen content
• using a dense gradation of stripping-resistant

• designing and compacting the mixture for low

Causes and Effects of lack of Durability

Causes Effects

Low asphalt Dryness or raveling

High void content Early hardening of
through design or asphalt followed by
lack of compaction cracking or
Water susceptible Films of asphalt strip
(hydrophilic) from aggregate leaving
aggregate in an abraded, raveled, or
mixtures mushy pavement
Properties considered in mix design
 It is the resistance of an asphalt pavement to the passage
of air and water into or through it.
 It is related to the void content of the mixture.
 Even though void content is an indication for the potential
for passage of air and water through a pavement, the
character of these voids is more important than the number
of voids.
 The degree of impermeability is determined by the size of
the voids, whether or not the voids are interconnected, and
the access of the voids to the surface of the pavement.
 Virtually all asphalt mixtures used in highway construction
are permeable to some degree.
Causes and Effects of Lack of
Causes Effects

Low asphalt content This asphalt films will cause early

aging and raveling

High voids content in design Water and air can easily enter
mix pavement causing oxidation and
Inadequate compaction Will result in high voids in pavement
leading to water infiltration and low
Properties considered in mix design …Contd.
 It is the ease with which paving mixture can be placed and
 Workability can be improved by changing mix design
parameters, aggregate source and / or gradation.
 Harsh mixtures (mixtures containing a high percentage of
coarse aggregates) have a tendency to segregate during
handling and also may be difficult to compact.
 Too high a filler content can also affect workability. It can
cause the mix to become gummy, making it difficult to
 As the temperature of the mix affects the viscosity of the
asphalt, too low a temperature will make a mix
unworkable, too high a temperature may make it tender.
 Asphalt grade may also affect workability, as may the
percentage of the asphalt in the mix.
Causes and Effects of Workability Problems

Causes Effects

Large maximum-sized Rough surface, difficult to place


Excessive coarse May be hard to compact


Too low a mix temperature Uncoated aggregate, not durable,

rough surface, hard to compact

Too much medium-sized Mix shoves under roller, remains

sand tender

Low mineral filler content Tender mix, highly permeable

High mineral filler content Mix may be dry or gummy, hard to

handle, not durable
Properties considered in mix design

 It is the ability of an asphalt pavement to adjust
to gradual settlements and movements in the
subgrade without cracking.
 An open-graded mix with high asphalt content is
generally more flexible than a dense-graded,
low asphalt content mix.
 Sometimes, the need for flexibility conflicts with
stability requirements, so the trade-offs have to
be made.
Properties Considered in Mix Design …contd.
Fatigue Resistance
 It is the resistance to repeated loading under wheel loads.
 Air voids and asphalt viscosity have a significant effect on
fatigue resistance.
 As the percentage of air voids increases, pavement fatigue
life is drastically shortened.
 A pavement containing asphalt that has aged and hardened
significantly has reduced resistance to fatigue.
 Thick, well supported pavements do not bend as much
under loading as thin or poorly supported pavements do.
So, they have longer fatigue lives.
Causes and Effects of Poor Fatigue Resistance

Causes Effects

Low asphalt content Fatigue cracking

High design voids Early aging of asphalt

followed by fatigue cracking
Lack of compaction Early aging of bitumen
followed by fatigue cracking
Inadequate pavement Excessive bending followed
by fatigue cracking

Skid Resistance
 It is the ability of an asphalt surface to minimize skidding
or slipping of vehicle tires, particularly when wet.
 For good skid resistance, tire tread must be able to
maintain contact with the aggregate particles instead of
riding on a film of water on the pavement surface
 Best skid resistance is obtained with rough-textured
aggregate in a relatively open-graded mixture.
 Besides, having a rough surface the aggregates must resist
polishing (smoothing) under traffic.
 Unstable mixtures that tend to rut or bleed present serious
skid resistance problems.
Causes and Effects of Poor Skid Resistance

Causes Effects

Excess asphalt Bleeding, low skid

Poorly textured or Smooth pavement,
graded aggregate potential for
Polishing Low skid resistance
aggregate in
Steps Involved in Mix Design Process

 Selection of aggregates
 Selection of aggregate gradation
 Proportioning of aggregates to meet the required gradation
 Selection of bitumen
 Preparation of Marshall specimens
 Testing of the specimens (Density, Stability and Flow)
 Density - Voids Analysis
 Determination of Optimum Bitumen Content (OBC)

 Computation of materials required for 100 sqm.

1. Mould Assembly : Cylindrical moulds
consisting of base plate and collar
2. Compaction Pedestal and Hammer : 4.54
kg weight and a free fall of 45.7 cm
3. Braking Head : inside radius of curvature
of 5 cm
4. Loading Machine
5. Flow Meter
Table 500-11: Requirements for Dense Graded Bituminous Macadam
Properties Viscosity Modified bitumen Test Method
Grade Hot climate Cold climate
Compaction level 75 blows on each face of the specimen
Minimum stability (kN at 9.0 12.0 10.0 AASHTO T245
Marshall flow (mm) 2-4 2.5-4 3.5-5 AASHTO T245
Marshall Quotient 2-5 2.5-5 MS-2 and ASTM
Stability D2041

% air voids 3-5

% Voids Filled with 65 -75
Bitumen (VFB)
Coating Strength ratio 95 % minimum IS:6241
Tensile Strength ratio 80 % Minimum AASHTO T283
% Voids in Mineral Minimum percent voids in mineral aggregate (VMA)
Aggregate (VMA) Are set out in Table 500-13
Marshall Hammer

Marshall Stability and

Flow Test Equipment
Design Parameters
Property Requirement
Minimum Stability (kN at 9.0
Marshall Flow 2- 4 mm
Compaction Level 75 blows on each of the
(No. of Blows) two faces of the
Percent Air Voids 3–6
Percent Voids Filled With 65 – 75
Bitumen (VFB)
Property Test Specification Test Procedure
(For BC)
Cleanliness Grain Size Analysis Max 5 % passing on IS:2386 (Part 1)
(Dust) 0.075 mm sieve
Particle Shape Flakiness and Elongation Max 30 % IS:2386 (Part 1)
Index (Combined)
Strength Los Angeles Abrasion Value / Max 30 % / IS:2386 (Part 4)
Aggregate Impact Value Max 24 %
Polishing Polished Stone Value Min 55 BS:812 (Part 114)

Durability Soundness (Sodium Sulphate Max 12 % / IS:2386 (Part 5)

/ Magnesium Sulphate) Max 18 %
Water Water Absorption Max 2 % IS:2386 (Part 3)
Stripping Coating & Stripping of Minimum retained IS:6241
Bitumen Aggregate Mixtures coating 95 %
Water Retained Tensile Strength Min 80 % AASHTO T283
Note : ** The water sensitivity test is only required if the minimum retained
coating in the stripping test is less than 95%
Specified Gradation for BM
Mix Designation Grading 1 Grading 2
Nominal Aggregate Size 40 mm 19 mm

Layer Thickness 80 – 100 mm 50 – 75 mm

IS Sieve (mm) Cumulative % by weight of total aggregate passing

45 100 -

37.5 90 – 100 -

26.5 75 – 100 100

19 - 90 – 100

13.2 35 – 61 56 – 88

4.75 13 – 22 16 – 36

2.36 4 – 19 4 – 19

0.3 2 – 10 2 – 10

0.075 0–8 0–8

Bitumen Content, % by 3.1 – 3.4 3.3 – 3.5

weight of total mixture
Specified gradation for DBM
Mix Designation Grading 1 Grading 2
Nominal Aggregate Size 40 mm 25 mm

Layer Thickness 80 – 100 mm 50 – 75 mm

IS Sieve (mm) Cumulative % by weight of total aggregate passing

45 100 -

37.5 95 – 100 100

26.5 63 – 93 90 – 100

19 - 71 – 95

13.2 55 – 75 56 – 80

4.75 38 – 54 38 – 54

2.36 28 – 42 28 – 42

0.3 7 – 21 7 – 21

0.075 2-8 2-8

Bitumen Content, % by Min 4.0 Min 4.5

weight of total mixture
Specified gradation for SDBC
Mix Designation Grading 1 Grading 2
Nominal Aggregate Size 13 mm 10 mm

Layer Thickness 35 – 40 mm 25 – 30 mm

IS Sieve (mm) Cumulative % by weight of total aggregate passing

19 100 -

13.2 90 – 100 100

9.5 70 – 90 90 – 100

4.75 35 – 51 35 – 51

2.36 24 – 39 24 – 39

1.18 15 – 30 15 – 30

0.3 9 – 19 9 – 19

0.075 3–8 3–8

Bitumen Content, % by Min 4.5 Min 5.0

weight of total mixture
Specified gradation for BC
Mix Designation Grading 1 Grading 2
Nominal Aggregate Size 19 mm 13 mm
Layer Thickness 50 – 65 mm 30 – 45 mm
IS Sieve (mm) Cumulative % by weight of total aggregate passing
26.5 100 -
19 79 – 100 100
13.2 59 – 79 79 – 100
9.5 52 – 72 70 – 88
4.75 35 – 55 53 – 71
2.36 28 – 44 42 – 58
1.18 20 – 34 34 – 48
0.6 15 – 27 26 - 38
0.3 10 – 20 18 – 28
0.15 5 – 13 12 – 20
0.075 2-8 4 – 10
Bitumen Content, % by 5.0 – 6.0 5.0 – 7.0
weight of total mixture
Grading of available aggregates : Example
Sieve % passing by weight of total aggregate
Size Aggregate Aggregate Aggregate Filler
(mm) A B C (Lime )
(20 mm) (10 mm) (Stone
19 100 100 100 100
13.2 46.5 100 100 100
9.5 13.1 100 100 100
4.75 0 100 100 100
2.36 0 40 100 100
1.18 0 17.6 86.8 100
0.6 0 0.5 63.7 100
0.3 0 0 47.7 100
0.15 0 0 24.8 90
0.075 0 0 9.5 74.3
Proportioning of Mineral Aggregates

Sieve A B C Filler Combined Specified

Size 24 % 30 % 42 % 4% 100 % -
19 24 30 42 4 100 100
13.2 11 30 42 4 87 79 –
9.5 3 30 42 4 79 70 – 88
4.75 0 12 42 4 58 53 – 71
2.36 0 5 42 4 51 42 – 58
1.18 0 0 36 4 41 34 – 48
0.6 0 0 27 4 31 26 - 38
0.3 0 0 20 4 24 18 – 28
0.15 0 0 10 4 14 12 – 20
0.075 0 0 4 3 7 4 – 10
Gradation chart
Selection of bitumen
• A proper grade should be selected as per
• Bitumen should satisfy all the specifications
as per IS:73
• If modified bitumen is used then additional
tests (elastic recovery etc.) should be
performed as specified (IRC:SP-53-2012)
Table 500-1
Selection Criteria for Viscosity-Graded (VG) Paving
Bitumen Based on Climatic Conditions

Lowest Daily Highest Daily Mean Air Temperature,

Mean Air oC

Less than 20 20 to 30 oC More than 30 oC

Temperature, C

More than – 10 oC VG-10 VG-20 VG-30

-10 oC or lower VG-10 VG-10 VG-20

Preparation of Specimen
• The coarse aggregates, fine aggregates and
the filler material should be proportioned
and mixed as per the dry mix design

• The required quantity of the dry mix is

taken so as to produce a compacted
bituminous mix specimen of thickness 63.5
mm approximately

• Approximately 1100 g of aggregates and

filler is taken to get a standard specimen
Preparation of specimen ….Contd.
• The dry mix of aggregates and filler is heated to a
temperature of 150 to 160°C

• The compacted mould assembly and rammer are

cleaned and kept preheated to a temperature of
100 to 140°C

• The bitumen is heated to a temperature of 150°C

to 165°C

• Samples are prepared with the first trial

percentage of bitumen
preparation of specimen ….Contd.
Marshall Mould
 For preparing specimens of 101.6 mm (4
inch) diameter and 63.5 mm height for
Marshall testing
 Consists of base plate, forming mould
and collar
 Interchangeable base plate and collar can
be used on either end of compaction
Preparation of specimen ….Contd.
 Compaction of the Specimen

 The mix is placed in the mould and

compacted by a rammer with about 75
blows on each side
 The weight of hammer is 4.54 kg and
height of fall is 457 mm
 The compacting temperature may be
about 135°C for VG 20 grade bitumen
 The compacted specimen should have a
thickness of 63.5±1.3 mm
Preparation of specimen ….Contd.

Sample Extraction
 The compacted specimens
are extracted using a
Sample Extractor after the
curing time

 Sample extractor is
designed for fast
extrusion of samples from
compaction moulds

• At least three specimens should be prepared at

each trial bitumen content which may be varied at
0.5% increments
Weights and volumes in a compacted specimen

Vv Voids 0
Vb Bitumen Pb Gb

Vca Pca Gca
Vfa Pfa Gfa
Vmf Pmf Gmf
% Volumes % Weights Specific
Density void analysis
The following quantities are worked out by
carrying out density voids analysis
• Bulk Specific gravity of compacted mixture
• Bulk specific gravity of aggregate (Ga)
• Theoretical maximum specific gravity (Gt)
• Percent air voids in the final mix (Vv)
• Percent air voids in mineral aggregates
• Percent aggregate voids filled with
bitumen (VFB)
Bulk specific gravity of compacted mixture
 By weighing in air and water : if the specimen has
impermeable surface (ASTM D 2726)
Gmb = W/(W–Ww)
Where, W & Ww = weight of the specimen in air and
 By weighing paraffin coated specimen in air and
water : if the specimen has open impermeable
surface (ASTM D 1188)
Gmb 
W  Ww 
' ' W '
 W

W ' GP

W’ = weight of coated specimen in air

= weight of coated specimen in water
Gp = specific gravity of paraffin coating at 25 C
Bulk specific gravity of aggregate
 Bulk specific gravity (Ga) of aggregate

Pca  Pfa  Pmf

Ga 
Pca Pfa Pmf
 
Gca G fa Gmf
P = percentages by weight of aggregates
G = Bulk specific gravities of aggregates
Theoretical maximum specific gravity
 Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity (Gt) of the mix

Gt 
Pca Pfa Pmf Pb
  
Gca G fa Gmf Gb
Vv , VMA and VFB

 Voids in the final mix

Vv  100
 Gt  Gmb 

 Voids in mineral aggregates

Gmb Pa
VMA  100 
Pa  Pca  Pfa  Pmf

 Aggregate voids filled with bitumen

VFB 100
VMA  Vv 
Marshall Stability and Flow
The specimens to be tested are kept immersed in
water in a thermostatically controlled water bath at
60 ± 1 °C for 30 to 40 minutes.
Marshall Stability and Flow …Contd.

• Take out the specimen from

the water bath and place it in
the breaking head

• Place the breaking head in

Marshall testing machine

• Load is applied on the

breaking head by the loading
machine at the rate of 5 cm
per minute
Why the Marshall Specimen is loaded diametrically ??

Stability values obtained

indirectly represent the strength
Marshall Stability and Flow …Contd.
 Stability value is the load taken by the specimen at
the failure
 Flow value is the deformation of the specimen at
 Record stability either by proving ring or load cell
display unit
 Record the flow by the dial gauge or displacement
cell attached to the breaking head
 Apply correction factor to the stability value if the
height of specimen is different from 63.5 cm
Marshall Stability and Flow …Contd.

• The following graphs are plotted

• Unit weight vs. bitumen content
• Marshall stability vs. bitumen content
• Percent voids in mix vs. bitumen
• Percent aggregate voids filled with
bitumen vs. bitumen content
• Flow values vs. bitumen content
Unit weight vs. Bitumen content
Stability vs. Bitumen content
% voids in mix vs. Bitumen content
VFB vs. Bitumen Content
Flow value vs. Bitumen content
Optimum Bitumen Content
• Bitumen content corresponding to maximum
stability = 5.5 %
• Bitumen content corresponding to maximum
bulk density = 6.0 %
• Bitumen content corresponding to 4 % air
voids = 6.34 %
• As per Asphalt Institute MS-2, Optimum
Bitumen Content (OBC) of the mix (5.5 + 6.0
+ 6.34 )/3 = 5.95 %
Filler to binder ratio
The Filler to Binder (F/B) ratio shall be in the range
of 0.6 to 1.2 by weight.
• If filler = 40 gms
• Binder = 51 gms
• Then, F/B = 0.78, hence acceptable

• If F/B ratio is less than 0.6 – insufficient Stability

• If F/B ratio is more than 1.2 – Durability is affected
Benefits of hydrated lime
• Hydrated lime reduces stripping.
• It acts as a mineral filler, stiffening the asphalt
binder and HMA.
• It improves resistance to fracture growth (i.e., it
improves fracture toughness) at low temperatures.
• It favorably alters oxidation kinetics and interacts
with products of oxidation to reduce their
deleterious effects.
• It alters the plastic properties of clay fines to
improve moisture stability and durability.
Evaluation and adjustment of mix design

A. Voids Low, Stability Low

 Increase VMA by adding either additional
coarse or additional fine aggregate to
the mixture. Increasing VMA provides
more space in the mixture for additional
air voids.
 Lower the bitumen content.
 Enhance grade of bitumen
Evaluation and adjustment of mix design

B. Voids Low, Stability Satisfactory

 Low void content can cause flushing
after the pavement has been exposed to
traffic for a period of time.
 Insufficient void content can also result
in instability and flushing when
degradation of the aggregate occurs.
 So mixes low in voids should be
adjusted, even though the stability
appears satisfactory.
Evaluation and adjustment of mix design …Contd.

C. Voids Satisfactory, Stability Low

 Low stability when voids and aggregate grading are
satisfactory may indicate some deficiencies in the

D. Voids High, Stability Satisfactory

 High voids are, frequently, associated with high
 So even when the mix stability is satisfactory,
excessive void content should be reduced.
 This can be done usually by increasing the
mineral dust content of the mix or sometimes
by adjusting the aggregate gradation to
increase density.
Evaluation and adjustment of mix design

E. Voids High, Stability Low

 In such a case, the void content
should be reduced.
 If the adjustments does not
improve both void content and
stability, the type of aggregate
used must be revised.
Introduction to
Mix Design

• It is a product of SHRP
• It is a new system for design of HMA based
upon mechanistic concepts.
• SuperPave is an acronym for “Superior
Performing Asphalt Pavements”
• It is supposed to be the best available at
this time
Asphalt binder grading system

 The asphalt binder grading system in SuperPave

is called “Performance Grading” (PG) system.
 The system is unique in that it is a performance
based specification.
 It specifies binders on the basis of the climate
and attendant pavement temperatures in which
the binder is expected to serve.
 Physical property requirements remain the same,
but the temperature at which the binder must
attain the properties changes.
Asphalt binder grading system….Contd.
 Another key feature to binder evaluation in SuperPave
system is that physical properties are measured on binders
that have been laboratory aged to simulate their aged
condition in a real pavement.
 Some binder physical property measurements are
performed on unaged binder.
 Aging in the laboratory is done by :
• RTFO – to simulate oxidative hardening that occurs
during hot mixing and placing.
• PAV – to simulate the severe aging that occurs after the
binder has served many years in a pavement.
Asphalt binder grading system….Contd.

 Binder physical properties are measured using four devices :

• Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) – used to characterize
the visco-elastic properties of the binder.
• Rotational Viscometer (RTV) – characterizes the stiffness
of the asphalt at 135⁰C.
• Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR) – used to characterize
the low temperature stiffness properties of binders.
• Direct Tension Tester (DTT) – used to characterize
binder’s resistance to low temperature cracking.
Mineral aggregates
• Mineral aggregates play a key role in HMA
• Two types of aggregate properties are specified in the
SuperPave system :
• Consensus Properties
• Source Properties
• Consensus properties – were believed to be critical in
achieving high performance HMA. These properties
must be met at various levels depending upon traffic
level and position within the pavement.
• Source properties – were used to qualify local sources
of aggregates.

 Consensus properties
• Coarse Aggregate Angularity
• Fine Aggregate Angularity
• Flat, Elongated Particles, and
• Clay Content
 Source Properties
• Toughness (by LA Abrasion)
• Soundness (by Sodium/Magnesium
sulphate solution)
• Deleterious Materials
• It uses the 0.45 power gradation chart with control limits
and a restricted zone to develop a design aggregate
• A Superpave design aggregate structure must pass between
the control points while avoiding the restricted zone.
• The restricted zone is used by Superpave to avoid mixtures
that have a high proportion of fine sand relative to total
sand and gradations that follow the 0.45 power line, which
do not normally have adequate VMA.
• The design aggregate structure approach ensures that the
aggregate will develop a strong, stone skeleton to enhance
resistance to permanent deformation while achieving
sufficient void space for mixture durability.
Asphalt mixtures
 Laboratory compaction – done by SGC
 Performance Testing – Two tests have been developed
• Superpave Shear Tester (SST)
• Indirect Tensile Tester (IDT)
• The results of SST and IDT are input into pavement
performance prediction models.
• Using these models, mix design engineers can estimate
the combined effect of asphalt binders, aggregates,
and mixture properties.
• The output of models is mm of rutting, % area of
fatigue cracking, and spacing (in meters) of low
temperature cracks.
• By using this approach, the Superpave system
accomplishes what no previous design procedure has,
i.e., it joins material properties with pavement
structural properties to predict actual pavement