Volume 40, Issue 4 (July 2012)
Laboratory Evaluation of Warm Mix Asphalt Influence on Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity
Warm mix asphalt (WMA) technology provides sufficient workability for asphalt mixtures at reduced mixing and compaction temperatures. Depending on the WMA technology, the typical temperature reduction range is 20 °C to 55 °C below hot mix asphalt (HMA) production temperatures. WMA involves chemical and wax additives that are added to an asphalt binder or incorporated through the use of foaming technology. The main advantages of WMA are reduced emissions and a reduction in combustible fuel consumption. Ongoing WMA research projects have documented some differences between HMA and WMA mixes, prompting numerous research projects that are investigating these concerns. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the volumetric properties by directly comparing laboratory produced WMA and HMA mixes. This study investigates the impact of WMA additives on the volumetric properties, specifically, the theoretical maximum specific gravity (Gmm). The Gmm testing followed the procedure of ASTM D2041. Two mix designs with HMA binder were produced, one without recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) and the other with 30 % RAP. After the mix designs were completed, no additional changes were made to account for the addition of the WMA technology. The mixes included the WMA technologies Sasobit and Advera, as well as an HMA control, for a total of six different laboratory produced mixes. Each mix was produced at 120 °C, 135 °C, and 150 °C, and each mix was oven cured for 1, 2, and 4 h. The test results were analyzed using statistical principles to determine whether differences in the Gmm values were statistically significant. The results show that temperature has little impact on Gmm. Gmm was not affected by curing times of 1 and 2 h, but the longer curing time of 4 h resulted in a statistically significant increase in Gmm. Further analysis revealed that the mix sensitivity to curing time depends on the amount of RAP in the mix. For the mix designs studied, the Advera Gmm values were similar to the HMA values, but the Sasobit Gmm values were statistically lower than the Advera values.