Engineering Properties, Emissions, and Field Performance of Warm Mix Asphalt Technologies

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><div style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><div style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Hot mix asphalt (HMA) is produced at temperatures between 280° and 320°F. These temperatures ensure that the aggregate is dry, the asphalt binder coats the aggregate, and the HMA mix has a suitable workability. HMA needs to be workable so it can be transferred into storage silos, transported, placed, and compacted. Even higher temperatures are used for HMA mixtures containing polymer-modified asphalt binders and crumb rubber asphalt binders. Technology is now available to decrease HMA production temperature by 30° to over 100°F. These relatively new processes and products use various physicochemical means to reduce the shear resistance of the HMA at construction temperatures while reportedly maintaining or improving pavement performance. While the current state of the practice for producing HMA has been shown to comply with existing environmental, health and safety standards, reducing HMA production and placement temperatures will provide several benefits, including reduced emissions, fumes, and odors, and a cooler work environment. An energy savings from lower production temperatures is evident with the use of warm mix asphalt (WMA) technology. The quality of the HMA construction and performance may also be improved when production temperatures are lower. Workability improvements may result in higher in-place density. This decrease in in-place air voids decreases the permeability of the HMA and the long-term or in-service hardening of the asphalt binder as well as reducing water damage that can occur in the HMA. Workability improvements also have the potential to extend the construction season and the time available for placement of the asphalt mixture during a given day. Due to enhanced workability of the HMA, it may be placed under cooler weather conditions. A significant amount of asphalt binder aging occurs during the mixing and placing of HMA. Lower production temperatures for asphalt paving mixtures will decrease the aging of the asphalt binder during production. This decrease in aging can improve thermal and fatigue cracking resistance. The use of WMA technology has some potential engineering challenges. Since the asphalt binders may not harden as much at the lower production temperatures, a softer binder will likely be in the HMA mixtures when the pavement is opened to traffic and the mixture may have a greater potential for rutting. In addition, traffic may not be allowed on the pavement at the conclusion of the compaction process until the mixture cools beyond what is normally required for conventional HMA. Because binders may be softer and some WMA technologies use water as a workability aid, WMA may be more susceptible to moisture damage. The relationship among engineering properties of such mixes and field performance needs to be investigated to facilitate the implementation of this technology. <span style="COLOR: black">The objectives of this project are to (</span>1) establish relationships among engineering properties of WMA binders and mixes and the field performance of pavements constructed with WMA technologies, (2) determine relative measures of performance between WMA and conventional HMA pavements, (3) compare production and laydown practices and costs between WMA and HMA pavements, and (4) <span style="COLOR: black">provide relative emissions measurement of WMA technologies as compared to conventional HMA technologies. Project deliverables shall include (1) recommended modifications to the preliminary WMA mix design and analysis procedure under development in NCHRP Project 9-43, (2) a protocol for laboratory evaluation of WMA performance, (3) guidelines for WMA production and construction, and (4) an updated emissions measurement protocol. </span>For the purposes of this project, WMA technologies, which use different grades of both neat and modified binders, are classified into four broad systems: (1) organic additives, including waxes; (2) water-bearing zeolites; (3) water-based foaming processes; and (4) emulsion-based processes. The project shall include these WMA technology classifications evaluated on a minimum of two full-scale field trials each (complemented where possible by accelerated pavement testing (APT) trials), with pre-construction, construction, and post-construction information and materials collected at each trial. For this project, the term "full-scale" denotes a project using ideally a minimum of 5,000 tons, but not less than 1,500 tons, of a WMA technology, produced and constructed with typical equipment on an in-service pavement. Ideally, the projects should be selected to represent varying climates and traffic levels. </div></div></span>


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  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $79000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 9-47

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    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

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Performing Organizations:


    LEXINGTON,   United States  40512-4052
  • Principal Investigators:

    Anderson, Michael

  • Start Date: 20080331
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090108
  • Source Data: RiP Project 17191

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464533
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 9-47
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:44PM