Feasibility Assessment of Warm Mix Asphalt in Arkansas

Even though the warm mix asphalt (WMA) technologies are not new concepts in the U.S., they have not been adopted by many state agencies including the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT). This is mainly due to the lack of performance data of WMA for conditions in Arkansas. In particular, the ArDOT has not adopted any additive-based WMA technologies event though the benefits of these technologies in terms of energy savings and air quality improvements are promising. They can reduce the production temperatures by 16o C to over 55o C compared to the traditional hot mix asphalt (HMA). The reduction in production temperatures leads to reduced emissions, dust, and production costs. The WMA technologies can also extend the paving season or hauling distance in certain locations where the construction of the HMA is restricted to warmer months. The proposed study will minimize the research gap by generating performance data that are significantly lacking in terms of viscoelastic properties of additive modified binders. To this end, a laboratory study will be undertaken to evaluate four warm mix additives, namely Sasobit®, Aspha-Min®, Evoflex® and Radiset®, by mixing them with the three ARDOT-certified performance grade (PG) binders (PG 64-22, PG 70-22 and PG 76-22). At first, the changes in rheological properties of the asphalt binder upon the addition of WMA additives will be evaluated by following a series of conventional binder testing protocols. The chemical properties and surface free energies of the modified asphalt binder were then evaluated in the laboratory. Among other properties, the reductions of mixing of compaction temperatures due to the use of these additives will be evaluated. The findings of this study will help to know the most appropriate WMA additives along with its application rate. The collaborative effort with refineries and other specialty chemical industries is expected to enhance through this project. On the other hand, the use of WMA technology will help reduce environmental hazards. For instance, the reduction of production temperature can lead to up to 30% reduction of fuel energy consumption, with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions of 30%. Thus, the proposed study supports the Center’s vision, “in partnership with major state authorities and other public and private organizations in the region, will allow it to become a transportation focal point in the region.” Experimental data gathered from this study are expected to give some confidence to state and local transportation agencies, and contractors in the region. The design and quality-control guidelines developed from the proposed study are expected to be implemented by state and industry partners in the region. The proposed study will facilitate in meeting many objectives of Tran-SET, and they are: (1) Promote sustainability and resiliency of the transportation infrastructure renewal and upgrade; (2) Introduce and implement costeffective solutions to the transportation infrastructure backlog of projects; (3) Develop cost-effective solutions for the construction and maintenance of the transportation infrastructure in metropolitan and rural areas; and (4) Promote workforce development through learning and continuous education. The proposed study is aligned with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) track regional priority “Multiscale characterization of recyclable waste materials in transportation applications for achieving the economic and financial sustainability,” with a primary focus of “Recycling Infrastructure Assets.” Besides regional priorities, this project strongly supports the Center’s FAST focus areas 4 and 5. This study will assess the feasibility of preparing asphalt mixes at low production temperatures, and enhance collaborative records among partner industries. The major benefits of the proposed study are to: (a) produce asphalt and construct asphaltic roadways that will conserve energy and safe for environment and workers, (b) enhance training opportunity for students in the region, and (c) build a future workforce.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $ 100099
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Mousa, Momen

  • Performing Organizations:

    Arkansas State University

    Department of Engineering
    P.O. Box 1740
    State University, AR  United States  72467
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hossain, Zahid

  • Start Date: 20200801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220201
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01757532
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 10 2020 8:08PM