Using Both Infrared and High-Speed Ground Penetrating Radar for Uniformity Measurements on New HMA Layers

For hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavement, in-place density is a critical determining factor for pavement durability. Real-time nondestructive testing (NDT) procedures are ideal tools to provide immediate feedback to paving crews so that corrective action can be taken. Promising recent studies have shown that infrared (IR) and ground penetrating radar (GPR) technologies can be used to identify in-place density during construction operations. Both technologies can be used to provide near 100% coverage of constructed layers in contrast to other existing technologies such as nuclear density gauges and electrical impedance devices, which take discrete measurements. Temperature uniformity is critical for achieving the needed density. Temperature segregation continues to be a frequently reported defect in new HMA overlays, and such segregation is difficult to detect with traditional techniques during mat placement. Thermally segregated areas results in periodic low-density areas in new mats that let water enter lower layers, significantly shortening the performance life of new overlay. IR techniques are already being implemented by some transportation agencies for quality assurance (QA) purposes. GPR can also be used to measure in real time the density of HMA layers, both during and after compaction. Although this technology is not new, very little progress has been made at implementing them in construction specifications. The Finland Road Authority, for example, has used GPR for HMA density (Saarenketo, 1998) and this was implemented in 2002 as an accepted method of measuring HMA layer density. No department of transportation in the United States has, however, implemented GPR for QA of HMA layers. Field demonstrations are needed to prove that both of these technologies can improve the quality assurance testing of new HMA surfaces. The objective of this project is to demonstrate IR and GPR technologies as NDT techniques to assess HMA density and segregation and to make recommendations for how these technologies can be incorporated into existing department of transportation specifications for construction QA. The IR and GPR technologies under investigation should provide near 100% coverage of the constructed surface area.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project R06(C)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Strategic Highway Research Program 2

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Starnes, Monica

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Scullion, Tom

  • Start Date: 20090306
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 18490

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464413
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project R06(C)
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:42PM