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Good performance for a highway, like any other product, is satisfaction of the user or customer. Most asphalt pavement users are well satisfied as long as the ride is smooth and the cost is low. The major purpose of this paper is to determine those engineering properties which result in a durable, smooth, low-cost asphalt pavement and to show how they can be controlled to assure continuing satisfaction of the road user. These properties are identified as being those that eliminate or reduce low-temperature cracking, reflection cracking, fatigue cracking, distortion and disintegration. Distortion or structural weakness can be eliminated by increasing the top size of the aggregate in the region of the weakness or increasing the thickness of the pavement depending on the type of distortion. Disintegration is controlled through softening the asphalt, increasing its content and the quality of the aggregate. Cracking is reduced through a combination of the foregoing factors. Proper management of these factors assures long term satisfaction.
engineering, science, mathematics, elasticity, viscoelasticity, cost, plasticity, mechanical properties, low-temperature fracture, reflection cracking, healing, fatigue, rutting, stripping, durability
Engineering Consultant, Pittsburgh, PA