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B. Rama Mohan Reddy1, Arun Lal Gain1, M. Lakshmi Kiranmayi1, M. Naveen Kumar1, Navneet T. Narayan1, T.N.D. Prasanth1, T. Sumala1, Tejaswi Geetla1, Aishwarya2, Ravindra Gettu1*, J. Murali Krishnan1, and Manu Santhanam1 ABSTRACT There is a general consensus that semi-flexible pavements combine the advantages of asphalt concrete with cement concrete. Cement-grouted asphalt concrete is a good candidate for semiflexible pavements. However, little investigation on the issues related to the production, construction and performance monitoring of cement-grouted asphalt concrete mixtures are available in the literature. In this paper, a preliminary investigation on the fabrication of cement-grouted asphalt concrete in the laboratory is described. The initial results are quite promising and warrant a full-fledged investigation on various issues related to the fabrication, characterization and utilization of these mixtures.
INTRODUCTION Asphalt concrete is widely used in the construction of roads, highways, bridge deck top layers, and pavements in airports and other areas with heavy wheel loads. The important characteristics of asphalt concrete that have led to such widespread utilization include low curing period, good point-load carrying capacity, skid resistance, ease of maintenance and repair. Nevertheless, asphalt concrete has some important disadvantages such as surface deterioration and rutting due to repeated concentrated loads and temperature changes . To overcome the problem of high deformability, semi-flexible pavements of open-graded (or porous) asphalt concrete filled with cement-based grouts have been constructed in applications where the pavement is subjected to high wheel loads, especially in parking and braking areas. When the void volume, which is about 30%, is filled with cement grout, the resulting composite has material characteristics and load-carrying capacity that are higher than in asphalt concrete  though lower than usual cement concrete. The open-graded asphalt concrete used has a bitumen content of about 4-5% and some filler. The benefits of cement-grouted asphalt concrete (CGAC), as observed in airport projects in Denmark and France , include the possibility of removing the pavement easily for accommodating airport redesign, fast curing, elimination of joints, skid resistance and low cost. Applications in the US have also demonstrated the benefits of using CGAC in parking areas for heavy trucks, airport aprons and container staging areas . Cement mortar filled asphalt pavements have been used since the 1950s under different trade names such as Salviacim, Betophalt, Densiphalt, grouted porous asphalt [4, 5] and, more recently, as combi-layers .
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India. Department of Civil Engineering, Vignan Jyothi College of Engineering, Hyderabad. * Contact author, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The objective of the present paper is to explain the results of preliminary trials performed for obtaining CGAC with locally-available materials. As there are no established design methods for such materials, the trials were useful for studying the requirements for proper composite action and working toward the optimization of the material.
BASIC CONCEPTS CGAC is essentially a three-phase material consisting of aggregates, bitumen-filler binder and hardened cement-based grout, where the latter two phases can be considered as continuous (see Fig. 1). Since the hardened grout is relatively stiffer than the bitumen, the composite is less flexible than regular asphalt concrete . (a)
Fig. 1 (a). Idealized structure of the cement-grouted asphalt concrete, where the darkest region represents the bitumen binder and the lightest coloured region represents the grout and (b) saw cut made along the casting direction of 150×150 mm CGAC cube.
For developing the material, the procedure adopted has three steps: the fabrication of an opengrade asphalt concrete with about 20-30% of inter-connected voids, the preparation of a cement-based grout that is fluid, segregation-resistant and rapid-hardening, and the filling of the voids in the former, after it has reached ambient temperature, with the latter, by gravity (i.e., without forcing the grout through vibration or air pressure). The bond between the bitumen binder and the aggregates is good due to the adsorption of the binder on the surface of aggregates but the bond between the cement grout and the binder is weak. The variables in the fabrication of the asphalt concrete are the grain size distribution of the aggregates, the filler content and the bitumen content. In general, low filler content and high volume of the mid-size fractions seem to give the optimum structure. The cement grout should be able to fill the voids without segregating, implying the need for a fluid but cohesive slurry. Also, the water content should be limited so that the strength is not affected. This necessitates the use of a superplasticizer. The possibility of cracking due to thermal and shrinkage-induced stresses should be reduced by using mineral fines to partially substitute the cement.
LABORATORY TRIALS Fabrication of open-graded asphalt concrete The crushed granite aggregate fractions used in the fabrication are given in Table 1, along with their specific gravities. Table 1. Aggregates used Aggregate fraction (mm) 19.0 – 13.2 13.2 – 4.75 4.76– 2.36 2.36 – 0.6 < 0.6 (filler) Specific gravity 2.71 2.71 2.64 2.63 2.32
The bitumen used had a penetration grade of 60/70 and a specific gravity of about 1.01. The bitumen content was varied between 4 to 5%, by weight. The open-graded asphalt concrete is fabricated as follows: the aggregates are maintained at a temperature of 160 ºC in an oven for at least 24 hours before mixing, the required quantities of aggregates are transferred to a heated pan and the desired amount of bitumen is added, the mixture is mixed and poured into a mould. At least four mixes were fabricated and tested. The grain size distributions of the aggregates in each mix are shown in Fig. 2. Mix 1 was similar to a regular asphalt concrete mix but had a low void content and could not be grouted successfully. The other mixes are similar with differences in filler content; mixes 2, 3 and 4 have filler contents of 4, 0 and 1%, respectively, and in mix 4 the coarsest fraction content was increased from 5 to 8%, all by weight.
% aggregate passing
Mix -2 Mix -3 Mix-4 mix-1
0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
passing sieve size (mm)
Fig. 2. Aggregate proportions in each mix
As mentioned earlier, the bitumen content is also a variable that has to be optimized. It was seen in the trials that higher bitumen contents (i.e., close to 5%) it was seen that the void structure was not uniform leading to some areas with more bitumen and less grout. Therefore, the bitumen content was set in the range of 3.5-4.0%. Though different types of specimens were prepared, the ones used for the final analysis are cubes of 100 mm, made in moulds used normally for concrete specimens. The specimens were cast in two layers, each of which was compacted with the Marshall compactor. Through several trials, it was observed that 25 blows/layer yielded the optimum compaction of the asphalt concrete. A photograph of a 150 mm cube cut vertically at the mid-width is shown in Fig. 1b. Preparation and characterization of the cement grout The cement grouts used in the trials contained a 53 grade Ordinary Portland Cement. The water demand for normal consistency was determined through the Vicat penetration test (according to IS 4031-Part 4 and IS 5513) to be 33% (or water/cement ratio of 0.33). Also, the initial setting time for the cement was also measured using the Vicat apparatus, as per IS 4031-Part 5, the value of the initial setting time was 72 minutes. These measurements were made at an ambient temperature of about 35ºC. Tap water was used in the grouts as no difference was found in the water demand or initial setting time with distilled water. In order to have a high initial strength, silica fume was incorporated in the grout. Also, fly ash was used for limiting the early-age shrinkage and temperature rise. The relative proportions of the cement-based binder are cement: silica fume: fly ash = 73:7:20. These proportions were selected based on mini-slump test results and other practical considerations. In mini-slump tests  of pastes with fixed water content, it was found that the fluidity of the paste system increases slightly when fly ash is incorporated until a dosage of 20% (replacement of cement by weight), after which the fluidity decreases (see Fig. 3a). In the case of pastes with silica fume (dosages of 5-20%, cement replacement by weight), the presence of this mineral admixture causes the fluidity to decrease (see Fig. 3b). However, a dosage of less than 5% is not expected to increase the strength of the grout. Consequently, a replacement dosage of 7%
was used in the present work. The water/binder ratio (w/b) was varied from 0.35 to 0.5. All the grouts were hand-mixed at an ambient temperature of about 35 ºC. (a)
S LUM P DIAM E TE R(cm ) 19.5 19 18.5 18 17.5 17 16.5 16 0 10 20 30 40 50 % FLY ASH
SLUMP DIAMETER (cm)
18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 % SILICA FUME
Fig. 3. Mini-slump test results showing the variation of the final slump diameter for different (a) fly ash and (b) silica fume dosages
The flow behavior of the grouts was studied with two tests: the Marsh cone test  and the mini-slump test . The intention was to define suitable water content and an optimum superplasticizer dosage for obtaining fluid slurry with some cohesion. It was found that w/b had to be at least 0.4 for the spread in the mini-slump to be reasonable (i.e., at least 15 cm) for both cement and cement-fly ash mixes. When silica fume was incorporated at dosages more than 10% of the cement weight, the spread reduces significantly. Therefore, the abovementioned proportions of binder were selected. The Marsh cone test is used to determine the flow time for a certain volume of paste (here, 500 ml out of 1000 ml) to flow through a metal funnel (Fig. 3). Several superplasticizers were tried out and a polycarboxylate-based product was used in the specimen fabrication due to its higher effectiveness. The saturation dosages for w/b of 0.4 and 0.5 were found to be 2.5% and 1.5%, by weight, of cement; the saturation dosage is that beyond which there is no significant decrease in the flow time with increasing superplasticizer content. In all the grouts, the water content of the superplasticizer was taken into account and the superplasticizer dosages are given in terms of the active component of the product.
Fig. 3. Marsh cone Preparation of grouted specimens The open-graded asphalt concrete specimens were filled while in the mould with the slurry or grout by slowly pouring and spreading it on the top surface. The specimens were maintained in the mould for about 3 days and then demoulded. The cubes were tested for compressive strength by applying load on two parallel molded surfaces, as in tests of conventional concrete. No wet curing was performed in order to simulate the worst case in practical applications. The best results in terms of compressive strength were obtained with CGAC made with the asphalt mix 2, bitumen content of 4% and a grout with w/b = 0.4 and a superplasticizer/cement dosage of 2.5% (the grout density was 1.82 kg/litre). The 3-day strength for this material was 4.1 MPa. Also, CGAC with asphalt mix 4, bitumen content of 3.5% and the same grout yielded 3-day strength of 3.4 MPa and a 10-day strength of 6.9 MPa. Specimens made with the asphalt mix 3 gave low compressive strengths, which was attributed to the zero filler content.
CONCLUSIONS Preliminary results obtained in ongoing work on the development of optimum cement-grouted asphalt concrete mixes for semi-flexible pavements are reported. The material seems to have good applications, as seen in the literature pertaining to pavements in airports, loading areas and port container storing areas. More investigations are needed for this material on several fronts such as optimizing the constituents for getting good strength parameters, investigation on the influence of the rheological parameters of the constituents on the overall behavior of the composite, modeling the interactions between asphalt bound granular matrix with the cement grout etc.
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