An Acoustic Emission-Based Test to Determine Asphalt Binder and Mixture Embrittlement Temperature

This project will develop and demonstrate the use of an acoustic emission-based test method for rapid and reliable characterization of asphalt binder embrittlement temperature. The work will be carried out in two stages. Work in Stage 1 will focus on developing an improved prototype of an asphalt embrittlement device and standardizing and validating the binder test method. The prototype will feature an integrated cooling chamber and an acoustic emission measurement system incorporating signal processing and data analysis. The next task will involve standardizing the binder testing method for determining the embrittlement temperature with particular reference to cooling rate, acoustic emission data filtering and data interpretation, sample preconditioning, and physical hardening. Binder samples from the university's material database will be tested along with samples provided by the Asphalt Institute. The embrittlement temperature results will be compared to other low temperature parameters, such as critical cracking temperature from BBR, DTT, and the AASHTO MP1a method. Work in Stage 2 will focus on developing and validating mixture testing methods. Three specimen configurations will be examined: loose mixture (aggregates coated with asphalt), compacted asphalt mixture (compacted with the Superpave gyratory compactor, for instance), and restrained asphalt mixture (such as an asphalt mixture bonded to a rigid substrate). The embrittlement temperature measured in these three mixture 'states' will be compared to the embrittlement temperature measured on the binder to explore relationships between these parameters. To investigate the feasibility of determining the embrittlement temperature on pavements in-situ, pavements in the Urbana-Champaign area and the ATREL's full-scale testing facility will be tested using the prototype device. Binder and mixture samples from the university's material database will also be tested, along with samples provided by the Asphalt Institute to validate the relationship between embrittlement temperature and the field performance of asphalt pavement surfaces. The final report will provide all relevant data, guidelines and specifications for using the new test method, and plans for its implementation by highway agencies.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    Jawed, Inam

  • Start Date: 20091027
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 24028

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547242
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 4 2014 1:00AM