Friday, July 20, 2018

Laboratory Performance Testing of Warm-Mix Asphalt Mixtures for Airport Pavements

DOT/FAA/TC-18/26 Authors: Mariely Mejías-Santiago and John F. Rushing

In many paving projects, warm-mix asphalt (WMA) has replaced hot-mix asphalt (HMA) as a means of reducing the environmental impacts, which include air pollution, fossil fuel depletion, and smog formation, during production of asphalt mixtures.  As state Departments of Transportation (DOT) gain experience with WMA, conventional HMA may become less available for paving.  Empirical evidence suggests that WMA performs well under heavy military aircraft loads and can be adopted for use in airfield pavements.  However, further research is required to develop guidance for using WMA for commercial airport pavements.  Additional laboratory and field performance evaluation of WMA technologies under heavy aircraft loads will provide the information needed to develop such guidance.

This report presents a laboratory rutting performance evaluation of WMA compared to HMA.  The study includes evaluation of the three main categories of WMA technologies:  chemical additive, organic wax, and a foaming process.  A laboratory replicated WMA mixtures from two airport paving projects using the same materials and mix design procedures used for construction.  The laboratory designed a third mixture using Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) local materials and mix design specifications.  The repeated load test, static creep test, indirect tensile strength test, and asphalt pavement analyzer test evaluated all three mixtures for rutting.  A mixture for full-scale evaluation of WMA under heavy aircraft loads at the FAA High Temperature Pavement Test Facility (is recommended based on the results.

Authors: Mariely Mejías-Santiago and John F. Rushing

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