Cylindrical specimens are commonly used in laboratory testing of asphaltic paving mixtures. This paper describes a study that examined the influence of different compaction methods on the resulted density distributions of cylindrical specimens using a laboratory twin-probe nuclear density gage. Two common sizes of 102 mm (4 in.) cylindrical specimens, namely 64-mm (2.5-in.) high Marshall-size specimens, and 200-mm (7.87-in.) high triaxial test specimens, were considered in the test program. Four compaction methods were studied: drop-hammer compaction, kneading compactions, single-plunger compression, and double-plunger compression. In the case of 200-mm-tall specimens, the effect of compaction in layers was also examined. Test results show that, except for the kneading compaction method, the other three methods could all produce 64-mm-tall Marshall-size specimens of relatively uniform density distributions with density variation within 0.05 g/cm3. For 200-mm-tall specimens, only the double-plunger compression method was able to produce specimens with density distribution of similar uniformity.
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