Development of an Automated and Rapid Conditioning and Testing Device for Cracking and Rutting

State highway agencies (SHAs) are currently facing multiple challenges. Three such challenges involve addressing (a) the asphalt pavement cracking and rutting distresses that cost taxpayers billions of dollars annually, (b) the loss of the workforce and the skills associated with the workforce, and (c) laboratory safety concerns to prevent worker injury. Many SHAs are addressing the cracking and rutting problems by implementing a balanced mix design method to design durable mixes. However, the lack of workforce and workforce skills hinder such efforts. Additionally, primary safety concern in the laboratory is preventing worker injury often associated with the hot asphalt, large masonry saws, high-force testing machines, and toxic chemicals typically found in an asphalt material testing lab. Automation of certain processes can alleviate all these safety concerns by reducing the number of employees exposed to the different hazards. The automated robotic device developed in this project attempts to address these issues. The device is named asphalt mixture automated testing system with zero intervention (AMAZE). The device comprises four main components: (a) an air void measurement unit, (b) a temperature conditioning unit, (c) a material testing unit, and (d) a robotic arm. Furthermore, AMAZE can automatically perform different tests to measure four essential properties of asphalt mixtures: (a) air voids, (b) indirect tensile strength, (c) Ideal cracking tolerance index, and (d) Ideal rutting tolerance index. A comparisons of test results measured by AMAZE versus laboratory technicians was made in terms of air voids, cracking tolerance index (CTIndex), and rutting tolerance index (RTIndex), respectively. The asphalt mixture properties measured by AMAZE are comparable to those measured by laboratory technicians. The outcomes of this research project are the AMAZE device and a step-by-step implementation plan for DOT.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $135000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA 224

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute

  • Principal Investigators:

    Zhou, Fujie

  • Start Date: 20210101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20230630

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01757157
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA 224
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 4 2020 11:27AM