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Validation of Loose Mix Aging Procedures for Cracking Resistance Evaluation in Balanced Mix Design (Phase I)

MnDOT Contract Number: 1048485
Status: Complete
Project Start Date: April 1, 2022
Project End Date: September 30, 2023

Phase I Project Highlights

The overall project aims to validate loose mix aging procedures for cracking resistance evaluation of asphalt mixtures in balanced mix design (BMD) with a broad range of field projects covering various mixture components, pavement ages, and climatic conditions. Phase I started with a literature review primarily focusing on the development and preliminary field validation of existing loose mix aging procedures and the impact of loose mix aging on asphalt binder and mixture properties. A gap analysis was then conducted to identify knowledge gaps that might hinder the implementation of loose mix aging for cracking resistance evaluation in BMD. Finally, a Phase II work plan was developed to address the knowledge gaps through two experimental tasks: 1) further validation of 95°C loose mix aging maps, and 2) conversion of different loose mix aging procedures based on a kinetics aging model.


Task 1: Synthesize the Existing Binder and Mixture Test Results

The objectives of Task 1 are to: (1) critically review current and past research on loose mix aging procedures, (2) synthesize existing aging-focused binder and mixture data available at NCAT, UNH, and TTI, as well as those identified from the literature review and from NRRA member states, and (3) conduct critical data review and analysis. Upon completion of this task, the Research Team will prepare a project update report and deliver a presentation to document the Task 1 findings.

Task 2: Annual Interim Update 1st Year

The Research Team will prepare a project update report and make a presentation to the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and NRRA members with the interim findings and project schedule from Year 1.

Task 3: Model Development and Experimental Planning for Phase II

The objectives of this task are to identify research gaps based on literature review findings and critical review of existing aging data in Task 1 and develop a comprehensive experimental plan for Phase II study to address the research gaps. The Phase II experimental plan will specifically focus on developing correlations between loose mix aging and field aging, determining the applicability (and limitations if any) of loose mix aging for specialty asphalt mixtures containing various additives, and selecting appropriate parameters to assess the impact of aging on asphalt binder performance. The anticipated data analyses include, but are not limited to, ANOVA and Tukey-Kramer grouping for comparison of various loose mix aging procedures, General Linear Model (GLM) and machine learning analysis (if applicable) to develop field aging evolution models, and statistical correlation analysis for lab-versus-field aging comparisons.

Task 4: Annual Interim Update 2nd Year

The Research Team will prepare a project update report and make a presentation to the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and NRRA members with the interim findings and project schedule from Year 2.

Task 5: Draft Final Report

The Research Team will prepare a final report and deliver a project close-out presentation to: (1) summarize the literature review findings, existing binder and mixture test results from relevant aging studies, and data analysis results and findings from Task 1; and (2) provide the proposed Phase II experimental plan and the anticipated data analysis approach from Task 3.

Task 6: Editorial review and publication of final report

The Research Team will revise the final report based on TAP’s review comments to the report and closeout presentation as well as MnDOT’s editorial review feedback to the report.

Project team

Email the Project Team
Principal Investigator:
Fan Yin, f-yin@auburn.edu, National Center for Asphalt Technology
Co-Principal Investigators: Raquel Moraes, moraes@auburn.edu; and Chen Chen, czc0105@auburn.edu, National Center for Asphalt Technology; Jo E. Sias, Jo.Sias@unh.edu; Eshan Dave, Eshan.Dave@unh.edu, University of New Hampshire; and Fujie Zhou, f-zhou@tti.tamu.edu, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Technical Liaison: Joseph Podolsky, MnDOT, Joseph.Podolsky@state.mn.us
Technical Advisory Panel (TAP):

  • Brandon Brever, MAPA
  • Ashley Buss, Iowa DOT
  • Curt Dunn, North Dakota DOT
  • Daniel Kopacz, P.E., Wisconsin DOT
  • Oak Metcalfe, Montana DOT
  • Dan Oesch, Missouri DOT
  • Joseph Podolsky, Minnesota DOT (TL)
  • Punyaslok Rath, University of Missouri
  • Dylan Specht, Illinois DOT
  • Joseph Voels, Minnesota DOT
  • Hao Yin, Horizon Engineering Consulting

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