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Asphalt Mixtures Containing RAS and/or RAP: Relationships amongst Binder Composition Analysis and Mixture Intermediate Temperature Cracking Performance

Samuel B. Cooper, Jr., Ioan Negulescu, Sreelatha S. Balamurugan, Louay Mohammad, William H. Daly, Gaylon L. Baumgardner


The use of recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) as a partial replacement for petroleum-based virgin asphalt binder has received considerable attention in recent years. The objective of this study is to correlate the molecular structure and corresponding compositional analysis of asphalt binders of conventional asphalt mixtures as well as of mixtures containing recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) and/or reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) with their cracking potential at intermediate temperature. Laboratory testing evaluated the molecular composition of asphalt binders obtained from asphalt mixtures evaluated in this study using thin layer chromatograph/FID (Iatroscan) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Fracture resistance of laboratory-produced mixtures was assessed using the semicircular bend (SCB) test at intermediate temperature. Molecular fractionation through GPC of RAS samples confirmed the presence of associated asphaltenes in greater concentrations than recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) samples. High concentrations of high molecular weight asphaltenes decrease the fracture resistance of the asphalt mixtures. The use of rejuvenating agents, Cyclogen-L, Hydrogreen, asphalt flux and re-refined engine oil bottoms (REOB), did not reduce the concentration of the highly associated asphaltenes; further they failed to improve the cracking resistance of the asphalt mixtures evaluated in this study.


asphalt mixtures, reclaimed asphalt pavement, recycled asphalt shingles, rejuvenating agents, gel permeation chromatography, SARA, semi-circular bend test.

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