Journal Published Online: 10 October 2018
Volume 48, Issue 2

Employment of Mechanical Testing to Evaluate the Effect of Density on Asphalt Pavement Performance



Considering the budget allotted to construct and maintain roadway surfaces, a 5 to 10 % increase in their performance could potentially yield annual savings of billions of dollars. Considering this, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) launched a project to better understand the effect of in-place density on the durability of their hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavements. In-place density is known to be a crucial factor in HMA performance. The Asphalt Institute in cooperation with the KYTC embarked upon the research and collected numerous HMA samples from five pavement construction sites in Kentucky. An experimental laboratory plan was developed to examine potential improvement in the mixtures’ performance if they were compacted to a desired higher density. The laboratory test plan consisted of flow number, flexural beam fatigue, and disk-shaped compact tension tests to evaluate the mixtures’ performance with respect to rutting, fatigue cracking, and low-temperature cracking. A statistical analysis of the results was performed to evaluate the effect of density on the durability of each of the pavements. The results showed that the service life of the pavements could improve considerably by achieving a target density of 92 %. The compactibility of the HMA mixtures was also investigated through their compaction characteristic curves by using the Superpave gyratory compactor. Based upon the compactibility analysis, the mixtures could be better compacted in the field by increasing their lift thickness.

Author Information

Zeinali, Alireza
Morehouse Instrument Company, Inc., York, PA, USA
Blankenship, Phillip B.
Blankenship Asphalt Tech and Training, PLLC, Richmond, KY, USA
Pages: 17
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JTE20170549
ISSN: 0090-3973
DOI: 10.1520/JTE20170549