Journal Published Online: 27 March 2014
Volume 42, Issue 3

Investigating the Consistency of Asphalt Density Measurement Methods Over a Wide Range of Air Voids



The overall purpose of this paper is to identify the most reliable bulk mixture specific gravity (Gmb) measurement method for dense graded asphalt concrete that can be used for a wide range of air voids and specimen types. A secondary purpose is to identify ranges of conditions where less established Gmb measurement methods are suitable. A comprehensive literature review was performed to identify promising density test methods for further study. Findings from studies comparing AASHTO T166 (saturated surface dry method) and AASHTO T331 (Corelok method) were used to provide a succinct summary of the relative behaviors of the two methods at mix design, performance testing, and field construction air void levels. Density measurement was performed using four methods (AASHTO T166, T269, T331, and TP82) on dense graded mixture specimens. In total, approximately 2500 data points were used herein, with approximately 30 % of this total coming from literature review and 70 % coming from the authors of this paper. Review of literature along with the evidence presented in this paper indicates that T331 is the most reasonably accurate and versatile Gmb measurement method for a wide range of air voids all the way from mix design through performance testing to construction acceptance testing. T331 has also been recommended (or at least evaluated favorably) by several previous researchers over the last ten years. Based on the evidence presented in this paper, the provisional TP82 test method in its current form does not provide acceptable Gmb measurements relative to T166 or T331 over a wide range of air voids. The magnitude of the discrepancy begins to increase dramatically as air voids increase.

Author Information

Howard, Isaac
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS, US
Doyle, Jesse
Engineer Research and Development Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS, US
Pages: 13
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JTE20130157
ISSN: 0090-3973
DOI: 10.1520/JTE20130157