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The objective of this study was to develop a practical laboratory test to measure reliably the relative durability of paving asphalts. An appropriate test must harden a wide variety of asphalts in the same order as do field exposures. The studies reported demonstrate that current asphalt durability tests do not properly relate to field hardening because they exaggerate unrealistically the volatile loss to obtain sufficient oxidative hardening. A microfilm exposure conducted in an RTF bottle exposed to the oven atmosphere through a short capillary is shown to prevent excessive volatile loss while permitting sufficient oxidation to take place. The functionality of this new RMF-C test is supported by three different correlations: a group of recent California highway test projects, the Z-W Test Project, and a group of asphalt concrete specimens aged for 100 days at 140 F (60 C). The data support the contention that the exposure is a valid simulation of the field hardening expected to occur in asphalt concrete pavements.
asphalts, durability, microfilm, test roads, specifications, bituminous concretes, viscosity
Senior research associates, Chevron Research Company, Richmond, Calif.