Field Implementation of Handheld FTIR Spectrometer for Polymer Content Determination and for Quality Control of RAP Mixtures

The purpose of this research project is to determine if Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIRS) can be implemented in Louisiana for polymer content determination and for quality control of recycled mixtures. The specific research objectives are to perform comprehensive literature review and research to select major variables that influence FTIRS results when used for mix and in-place pavement and investigate through multiple field projects and lab test how these variables influence the accuracy of the FTIRS indices; to investigate both handheld FTIR-attenuated total reflection (ATR) and handheld FTIR-diffuse reflectance (DR) techniques for their accuracy and suitability for immediate field implementation in mix and in-place pavement for quality control; to investigate computational techniques for FTIRS data analyses that have been used in asphalt binder and apply it into mix and in-place pavement samples to determine the computational technique that produce the best correlation and the best accuracy; and to develop guidelines/specifications to select projects for effective usage of FTIR spectrometer and develop criteria for acceptance /rejection of a mix, develop a test method for field application for immediate implementation, develop training materials describing the test method, specifications and data analyses.