Development of Simple Asphalt Test for Determination of RAP Blending Chart

Principal Investigator(s):

Mihai Marasteanu, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Gene Skok, Former University Researcher, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

There are two main reasons why the use of RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) as a construction material is profitable. First, the use of RAP is economical and can reduce material and disposal problems. Second, using RAP conserves natural resources. According to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) nearly 30 million tons of RAP are recycled into Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) pavements every year and thus RAP is the most recycled material in the United States. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of developing a simple test that could be used to obtain asphalt binder properties that are required in developing blending charts to select the appropriate percentage of RAP. Based on the laboratory testing and data analysis it was found that Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR) tests performed on thin beams of asphalt mixture can be successfully applied into derivation of the creep compliance (and stiffness) of asphalt mixtures. It was shown that recently proposed Hirsch model can be then used to back-calculate the binder stiffness. The detailed procedure that leads to constructing blending charts and obtaining the critical temperatures was proposed. It was concluded that additional research is needed to further investigate Hirsch model and refine it to obtain reasonable stiffness values and binder m-values. It is recommended to employ the proposed procedure only in low temperature grading since the addition of RAP affects mostly the low temperature PG limit.

Project details: