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Whats it all about?

(*) Information taken from Asphalt Institutes MS-2 manual, 6 th Ed.

What is a mix design?
Would you recognize one if it
walked up to you and asked for
spare change?

Basically, its just a recipe for

making hot mix.
What are the ingredients?

Well first you need a binder:

would be the asphalt cement.

Whats being bound together?


would be the aggregate.

The objective of the design process is

to determine the proportions of asphalt

cement and aggregate that will give long
lasting performance as part of the
pavement structure
(Asphalt Institute, MS-2)

the percent asphalt cement is in terms

of the total mix mass in this course

in order to get the right balance
between aggregate and binder we need to
know some properties of these materials
the basic property of the aggregate is
its grain size distribution or gradation
this, more than any other property will

affect the performance of the mix


Objective 3.01

to determine a cost-effective blend and

gradation of aggregates and asphalt
(cement) that yields a mix having:
1. sufficient asphalt (cement) to ensure a durable
2. sufficient mix stability to carry traffic without
distortion or displacement
3. sufficient voids in the total compacted mix to allow
for a slight amount of asphalt expansion due to
temperature increases without flushing, bleeding
and loss of stability


Objective 3.01

4.a maximum void content to limit the

permeability of harmful air and moisture
into the mix
5.sufficient workability to permit efficient
placement of the mix without segregation
and without sacrificing stability and
6.for surface mixes, proper aggregate
texture and hardness to provide sufficient
skid resistance in unfavourable weather

(Asphalt Institute,


Objective 3.02

The Asphalt Institute (MS-2) identifies

4 different types of asphalt paving
mixtures based on their functions
within the pavement:
1. Surface Course Mixtures (fine MPS*)
(*) MPS = Maximum Particle Size

2. Binder Course Mixtures (medium MPS)

3. Base Course Mixtures (coarsest MPS)
4. Sand-Asphalt Mixes (finest MPS)

Surface Course Mixtures

for wearing surfaces, so fine aggregate
needed to give a smoother texture
must still have sufficient stability and
durability for traffic loads
Maximum Particle Sizes range between
9.5 mm and 19 mm ( to )
open-graded friction course (OGFC), a.k.a.
porous friction course or popcorn mix used to
reduce hydroplaning and increase skid

Objective 3.02

Binder Course Mixtures


layer between surface and base

larger Maximum Particle Sizes 19 mm - 38 mm
( 1 )
can be used as a base course or as a surface
course where heavy wheel loads and tight
radius power steering turns are involved such
as is port facilities, logging yards and
industrial loading docks

Objective 3.02

Base Course Mixtures


be placed directly on compacted subgrade

or over a granular base
Maximum Particle Sizes range up to 75 mm
larger particle sizes result in higher stability
in dense-graded mixes and facilitate drainage
in open-graded mixes

Objective 3.02

Sand-Asphalt Mixes

Objective 3.02

tightest surface texture and with

proper aggregate type (hardness and shape)
can be highly skid resistant
minimum lift thickness is 15 mm (0.6) which is
useful as overlay padding (scratch course,
leveling course)
Maximum Particle Sizes range between
4.75 mm and 1.18 mm (No. 4 to No. 16)
a.k.a. plant mix seal or sheet asphalt


Objective 3.02

The percent asphalt cement required for

mixes with the required properties
varies among these mix types according
to the maximum particle size:
1. Sand-Asphalt Mixes (highest %AC)
2. Surface Course Mixtures (lower % AC)
3. Binder Course Mixtures (lower % AC)
4. Base Course Mixtures (lowest % AC)


The Marshall mix design method involves
preparing and testing mix specimen at
trial % AC contents.
The steps that we will be covering are:
1. Sieve analyses of stock aggregates (stone, sand, mineral filler)
2. Proportion stock aggregates to produce a blend that meets specs
3. Measure specific gravities of stock aggregates and asphalt cement
4. Laboratory compaction of trial mix specimens (6 trial % ACs)
5. Stability (or strength) and volumetric testing of each specimen
6. Analysis of results (determination of mix properties and optimum %AC)
Objective 3.02

Objective 3.02

Tests on Asphalt Cement


ASTM Designation

AASHTO Designation



T 49

Absolute Viscosity

D 2171

T 202

Kinematic Viscosity

D 2170

T 201

Flash Point

D 92

T 48

Thin Film Oven Test

D 1754

T 179

Rolling Thin Film Oven Test D 2872

T 240


D 113

T 51


D 2042

T 44

Specific Gravity

D 70

T 228

Objective 3.02

Tests on Mineral Aggregates


ASTM Designation

AASHTO Designation

Los Angeles Abrasion

C 131 or C 535

T 96

Unit Weight

C 29

T 19

Sieve Analysis (Aggregates) C 136

T 27

Sieve Analysis (Filler)

D 546

T 37

Specific Gravity (Coarse)

C 127

T 85

Specific Gravity (Fine)

C 128

T 84

Specific Gravity (Filler)

D 854 or C188

T 100 or T 133

Sulphate Soundness

C 88

T 104

Sand Equivalent

D 2419

T 176

Particle Shape

D 4791

Objective 3.02

Tests on Paving Mixture


ASTM Designation

AASHTO Designation

Asphalt Content

D 2172

T 164

Asphalt Content (Nuclear)

D 4125

T 287

Recovery of Asphalt

D 1856

T 170

Density and Voids Analysis See next slide

Maximum Specific Gravity

D 2041

T 209

Bulk Specific Gravity

D 1188 or D 2726

T 166

Steps for Voids Analysis

(T is AASHTO Test and D or C is ASTM Test)

1. Measure bulk specific gravities of coarse aggregate (T 85

or C 127) and fine aggregate (T 84 or C 128).
2. Measure specific gravity of asphalt cement (T 228 or D 70)
and of mineral filler (T 100 or D 854).
3. Calculate the bulk specific gravity of the aggregate
combination in the paving mixture.
4. Measure maximum specific gravity of loose paving mixture
(D 2041).
5. Measure bulk specific gravity of compacted paving mixture
(D 1188 or D 2726).
6. Calculate the effective specific gravity of the aggregate.
7. Calculate the asphalt absorption of the aggregate.