Remote Detection and Characterization of Field Aging of Asphalt Pavement

The oxidation of binders in asphalt pavements has been a subject of interest for a significant number of years given that oxidative aging constitutes a primary cause of binder hardening in pavements, thus contributing to various forms of pavement failures. The action of oxygen is one of the principal factors responsible for the occurrence of aging phenomena. When asphalt is exposed to atmospheric oxygen, a slow autoxidation occurs, the chemical nature of which depends to a very large extent upon the temperature. As binders oxidize, carbonyl groups are formed increasing the polarity of their host compounds and making them much more likely to associate with other polar compounds. As they form these associations, they create less soluble asphaltenes materials, which behave like solid particles. This composition change results in orders-of-magnitude increases in both the asphalt’s viscous and elastic properties. The end result is a material that increases its stress greatly with deformation and simultaneously cannot relieve the stress by flow, leading to a pavement that is very brittle and susceptible to fatigue and thermal cracking. Current techniques do not allow for the detection of asphalt aging levels in the field. Most of the experimental techniques are limited to laboratory settings, thus leading to erroneous simulation predictions compared to actual observed degradation levels in the field. The objective of this project is to design and implement a low cost, easy to install, and implementable in the field, sensing system. The process is based on the inclusion of the material of chemical compounds that exhibit similar oxidation kinetics properties as to the used asphalt binder. These engineered compounds will also contain fluorescent elements which exhibit a varying fluorescence emission spectrum depending on levels of concentration of surrounding reactants (such as oxygen). The system will characterize the levels of oxidation in a particular location where the engineered compounds have been added and will be interrogated using remote imaging analysis (detection of emission spectrum). Successful development of this technique would allow for: (1) field sensing and evaluation of levels of oxidative aging of asphalt; (2) improve prediction models and correct for discrepancies between laboratory and field observations, thus improving planning in the context of pavement network preservation.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $74448
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC    20590

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Michigan State University - Center for Pavement Preservation

      2857 Jolly Road
      Okemos, Michigan  United States  48864
    • Performing Organizations:

      Michigan State University, East Lansing

      Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
      Institute for Community Development
      East Lansing, MI  United States  48824-1226
    • Principal Investigators:

      Lajnef, Nizar

      Chatti, Karim

    • Start Date: 20170131
    • Expected Completion Date: 20180731
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01662484
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Pavement Preservation
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC44
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Mar 11 2018 11:48AM