Evaluation of Highly Polymer-Modified Asphalt Mixtures

Polymer-modified asphalt binders (PMB) often contain up to 2.5% by weight Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) copolymer and have been used for many years to increase performance of asphalt mixtures. This study will evaluate highly polymer-modified asphalt (HiMA) binders, which contain up to 7.5% SBS copolymer. The primary application of this binder is reflective crack mitigation; however, the outcomes of the study may also indicate whether HiMA is a strong candidate for construction of longer lasting thin pavements where a thin lift is required. This study will evaluate both laboratory-produced and field-produced mixtures. Comparisons will be made to one or more SBS-modified binders in terms of performance. This project will dovetail with the construction of a highly polymer-modified asphalt test section in a subdivision (Summerwood Circle, Ashburn) within Northern Virginia District to address reflective cracking. The details of the production and lay-down operations and short term (<1 year) performance will be evaluated and reported.