Implementation of IDEAL Cracking Test for Asphalt Mix Design QC/QA

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on making asphalt mixes more affordable, and this has led to the increased use of recycled materials and binder modifications. Consequently, premature cracking of the asphalt mixes becomes a national problem. There is an urgent need for a practical and reliable cracking test for routine use in the process of mix design, quality control (QC), and quality assurance (QA) testing.  Various cracking tests have been developed in the past but none of them is simple enough for routine uses, especially for QC testing in contractors’ field labs.  To address this problem, the researchers in the NCHRP 20-30/IDEA 195 Project developed an asphalt cracking test (IDEAL-CT) integrated with the following features:   (1)  Simplicity: no instrumentation, cutting, gluing, drilling, or notching; (2)  Practicality: minimum training needed for routine operation; (3)  Efficiency: test completion within 1 min.; (4)  Test equipment: existing or low cost equipment (< $10,000); (5)  Repeatability: coefficient of variation less than 20%; (6)  Sensitivity: sensitive to mix factors (recycled materials, aggregates, binder, aging); and (7)  Good correlation with field cracking performance: validated with field test sections in Texas, LTPP-SPS10 at Oklahoma, and Federal Highway Administration-Accelerated Loading Facility.   The researchers established and partially validated cracking criteria for different types of asphalt mixtures. They also developed an ASTM standard test procedure for determining the cracking tolerance index for any asphalt mixtures using the IDEAL-CT test.  Furthermore, they collaborated with several equipment manufactures to make low cost stand-alone ITC test equipment or test fixtures which can be incorporated into existing commonly used load frames.   The objective of this research was to facilitate the implementation of the IDEAL-CT test by the state DOTs in their asphalt mix design and QA/QC activities.  


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $119645
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University

  • Principal Investigators:

    Zhou, Fujie

  • Start Date: 20190801
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01838182
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: 20-44(16)
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 7 2022 6:12PM