Assessment of Asphalt Shear Rutting Test Method to Improve the Performance of ADOT Asphalt Mixes

A balanced mix design (BMD) approach to asphalt mixtures that considers both cracking and rutting resistance is important to minimize road-maintenance costs and extend the life of the pavement. Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is currently engaged in a research project to assess innovative test methods to predict the cracking resistance of ADOT asphalt mixes across the state. The ADOT Materials Laboratory (Lab) obtained an apparatus known as the IDEAL-RT, which is used to conduct the shear rutting tests that predict the resistance to rutting (permanent deformation) of asphalt mixes. The Lab is interested in this test method to determine if it is acceptable for regular use in future rutting-resistance assessments of ADOT asphalt mixes. To refine its mix designs and improve resistance to cracking and rutting, the Lab needs valid, reliable methods to test and predict asphalt performance. Assessment results would inform the Lab in correlating the results of the IDEAL-RT with the traditional Hamburg Wheel Tester and the Asphalt Pavement Analyzer test methods. This project will focus on assessing the IDEAL-RT as a tool for predicting rutting resistance. Objectives: (1) Document the state of the practice of the methods used to test the rutting resistance of asphalt pavements, including a review of literature, current technology, and the practices of other state departments of transportation. (2) Collect asphalt plant samples of different mixes from upcoming ADOT asphalt paving projects from locations that represent a range of climate conditions. (3) Correlate the results of the IDEAL-RT with Hamburg Wheel Tester and Asphalt -Pavement Analyzer rutting results from the same asphalt plant samples collected from upcoming ADOT asphalt paving projects. (4) Assess the predictive performance of the research mix samples on rutting resistance. (5) Provide ADOT with guidance on how to interpret the IDEAL-RT results. (6) Develop suggested standard work language to utilize when performing IDEAL-RT testing.