Development of a National Performance-Related Specification for Emulsified Asphalt Binder

The proliferation of method specifications, many of which are antiquated and outdated, has resulted in surface treatment performance deficiencies. In response to these difficulties, contractors, industry, and agencies have begun moving toward the development and implementation of performance specifications for chip seal emulsions and other emulsion-based treatments. The key challenge in the development of performance specifications is the need to identify appropriate testing protocols and acceptance criteria that will reliably predict long-term treatment performance or the potential for failure. By developing reliable acceptance criteria, agencies will have the means to determine when a treatment has been satisfactorily constructed and to aid in assessing the appropriate level of compensation. Emulsified asphalt technologies have been the long-overlooked stepchild of asphalt technologies in general, specifically hot mix binder that has taken most of the research and development (R&D) resources over the last three decades. This effectively has held emulsion technologies stagnant with very little advancement in the technology, practices, and specifications. As the demand for asphalt emulsions has increased due to the widespread acceptance of pavement preservation, it is recognized that a need exists to develop a nationally accepted performance-related specification for an all-encompassing emulsified asphalt similar to the SuperPave binder specifications, for use by state departments of transportation (DOTs) and local agencies. It is envisioned that the specification will utilize readily available testing equipment (i.e., Superpave-based testing equipment) and be based on environmental and traffic conditions and validated with field trials. It is anticipated that the recent findings from NCHRP Project 9-50 and FHWA/TX-12/0-6616-1 will also be incorporated. The objective of the research is to develop and validate a national performance related specification for emulsified asphalt for use with chip seals. The study would leverage the recently completed research on emulsified asphalt performance related specifications and build on these in order to create a consensus national specification that is validated and ready for implementation by state DOTs. Accomplishment of this objective shall require the following tasks, at a minimum: (1) collect and evaluate existing literature including published and unpublished sources and personal contacts with industry and DOT leaders; (2) utilize field and laboratory data to evaluate correlations between laboratory test results and field performance; (3) develop performance specifications; particularly performance-graded residue specifications; and (4) validate specifications via field studies performance evaluation.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 09-63

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    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
  • Project Managers:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Start Date: 20180618
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672242
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 09-63
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2018 3:02PM