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Modern, Recycled SMA Mixtures on the Illinois Tollway and Preliminary Performance-Based Mix Design Approach



As more recycled materials are utilized in modern asphalt mixtures, the overall phenomenological behavior of this important infrastructure material becomes more complex than ever, accelerating the need to supplement volumetric-based mix testing procedures with mixture mechanical tests. This paper introduces a mixture performance test based design approach, as a supplement to the current Superpave volumetric mix design approach, which is being implemented by several agencies near Chicago, Illinois, USA. For research purposes, the practical design suite, which considers the high and low-temperature performance of asphalt mixtures through Hamburg wheel tracking and disk-shaped compact tension fracture testing, has been supplemented by additional testing and analysis including creep compliance, performance-space diagram construction, and thermal cracking modeling using the software program ILLI-TC. Field cores from seven Illinois Tollway sites in Chicagoland with welltracked pavement performance were tested and analyzed using the aforementioned methods. These modern, high-performance stone matrix asphalt (SMA) recycled mixtures contained recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS), and ground tire rubber (GTR), and used a 3.5% design void target to promote mix durability. Rutting and cracking test results, and thermal cracking modeling predictions, were found to be consistent with field observations indicating near-zero rutting and cracking levels after up to eight years of heavy tollway traffic and severe mid-continental environmental conditions. In addition, the Hamburg-DC(T) performance space diagram was used to further analyze the results, demonstrating how this plotting tool can be used to adjust future mix designs to yield even longer life on the Tollway system at little-to-no extra cost.


stone matrix asphalt, reclaimed asphalt materials, ground tire rubber, performance, mixture designText


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