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Implementation of a Balanced Asphalt Mixture Design Procedure: Louisiana's Approach

Louay N. Mohammad, Samuel B. Cooper III


Conventional asphalt mixture design methodologies such as Superpave, Marshall, and Hveem are used to determine the optimum asphalt binder content by means of physical and volumetric laboratory measurements. All three procedures ensure the materials proportion and quantity of the asphalt cement binder are adequate to meet stability and durability concerns. However, with the increased use of recycled materials, there is a need to develop laboratory mechanical tests in order to evaluate the quality of the asphalt cement binder to complement the Superpave volumetric mixture design procedure. An important component to successful mixture design is the balance between volumetric composition and material compatibility. Balanced asphalt mixture design offers innovation in designing mixtures for performance and evaluation of the quality of a mix design relative to the anticipated performance using a rational approach. This research documents the selection of laboratory mechanical tests, in addition to volumetric requirements, that can ascertain a mixture’s resistance to common asphalt pavement distresses. Factors in the selection of laboratory mechanical tests such as availability of standard test procedures, advantages and limitations, laboratory-to-field correlations, and sensitivity to mixture composition are reviewed. Further, an implementation framework and case histories is also discussed


balanced mixture design, loaded wheel test, semi-circular bend, intermediate temperature

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