Development of an IDEAL Cracking Test for Asphalt Mix Design, Quality Control, and Quality Assurance

This project will develop a simple, reliable, performance-based indirect tensile asphalt cracking test cracking test for asphalt mix design, quality control and quality assurance. Work in Stage 1 of the project will focus on the development of an indirect tensile asphalt cracking test (IDEAL-CT) with particular attention to three critical features: repeatability, sensitivity, and correlation to field cracking performance. Two asphalt mixes, a dense-graded virgin mix and the same virgin mix modified with 20% recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), will be employed to define the repeatability of the IDEAL-CT. Statistical analyses will be performed to determine test repeatability and the number of specimens required for the coefficient of variation of the IDEAL-CT to be below 20%. At least 5 variables, including RAP and recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) content, asphalt binder type, binder content, air voids, and aging conditions will be evaluated. A series of laboratory- mixed and laboratory-molded specimens will be employed to evaluate the sensitivities to RAP and RAS content, binder type, and binder content. A plant mix collected from a field project will be used to determine the sensitivities to air voids, aging conditions, and specimen thickness. Finally, the correlation of the IDEAL-CT to field performance will be investigated. Data from accelerated pavement testing from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Florida Department of Transportation (DOT), full-scale test road in Minnesota, and in-service pavements in Texas will be utilized to validate the IDEAL-CT in terms of fatigue, top-down, and reflective and thermal cracking. The main outcomes of this stage work will be establishing the repeatability, sensitivity, and correlation to field cracking performance of the IDEAL-CT. Work in Stage 2 will focus on activities related to implementation of the IDEAL-CT test. These will include documenting the test procedure, developing generic test equipment along with data analysis tools and a draft American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) test procedure. Specifically, for agencies already running the indirect tensile strength tests and generating load versus displacement data, a data processing algorithm will be provided. For agencies with any type of existing loading frames, necessary drawings for the required fixtures and data acquisition requirements will be provided. Agencies wanting a stand-alone unit will be able to purchase it from three companies that have agreed to make them (IPC Global, Instrotek Inc., and Testquip, LLC) for less than $10,000. For other companies interested in making the IDEAL-CT equipment, technical specifications and data processing algorithms will be made available. Furthermore, an IDEAL-CT video will be developed to facilitate the implementation.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $137000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA 195

  • 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
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute

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

    Zhou, Fujie

  • Start Date: 20170108
  • Expected Completion Date: 20181231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41386

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01622202
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA 195
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 8 2017 1:00AM