Detailed data were collected from field and laboratory evaluations to determine whether changes in crude oils affect the physical and chemical properties of asphalt binders over time. The test results indicated that asphalt cement properties produced today have the same range of values as those produced in the 1990s. Asphalts with high-viscosity susceptibility were shown to be associated with pavement distress. Field evaluations showed that asphalts with a viscosity susceptibility value lower than 0.088 will perform well without premature failure. Asphalts containing relatively low asphaltenes, particularly those of softer grade, appeared to have a greater probability of producing mixtures that could lead to pavement distress. Data analyses revealed that a good knowledge of the physical characteristics and chemical composition of asphalts can provide a useful tool for distinguishing between asphalts associated with pavement performance.
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