Investigation of Asphalt Mixtures Compaction Using a Novel Approach Based on Tribology


Tianhao Yan, Mugurel Turos, Ravi Kumar, Mihai Marasteanu

December 2020

Report no. CTS 20-14

Compaction is one of the most important factors that affects the durability of asphalt pavements. Many studies have been focused on developing methods to improve compaction. Previously, the authors found that the addition of small percentages of Graphite Nanoplatelets (GNPs) significantly increase the compactability of asphalt mixture. Traditional viscosity test results show that the increase in compactability is not a result of viscosity reduction, which implies that other mechanisms are responsible for the increase in compactability of GNP modified mixtures. This study investigates the lubricating behavior of the binder. A new test method, referred to as a tribological test, is conducted to evaluate the lubricating behavior of binders modified with different percentages of GNP (0%, 3%, and 6%). To better simulate the roughness of the aggregate surface, the tribological fixture is modified using textured contact surfaces instead of smooth ones. The results of rough surface tribological tests show that the addition of GNPs increases the lubrication behavior of the thin film binder between rough surfaces. It is hypothesized that the increase in compactability can be attributed to the increase in the lubricating behavior of the binder due to the addition of GNP.

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