Asphalt mixture moisture sensitivity evaluation using surface energy parameters

Ahmad, Naveed (2011) Asphalt mixture moisture sensitivity evaluation using surface energy parameters. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Asphalt mixture is mainly used for the construction of roads throughout the world. Large amounts of capital are spent for construction and maintenance of roads. Water is one of the major contributors towards the damage of the road structure. It is considered as the worst enemy of a pavement structure by directly causing a distress or indirectly magnifying a distress and hence damaging the road structure. Asphalt mixture loses its strength in the presence of water either through loss of cohesion within the bitumen or loss of adhesive bond between bitumen and aggregate. All the conventional techniques that are used for the determination of the moisture susceptibility of an asphalt mixture assess the material as a whole by using some mechanical testing technique without taking into account the individual physicochemical characteristics of both the bitumen and the aggregates. The surface energy properties of the materials, which are used to quantify their interfacial adhesion, play an important role in the final adhesive bond strength between these materials. The aim of this research is to produce detailed experimental techniques to measure the surface energy properties of bitumen and aggregate, and then combine them with a mechanical moisture sensitivity test procedure. This can greatly contribute towards the development of a powerful material screening protocol/tool for selection of bitumen-aggregate combinations that are less susceptible to moisture damage.

This thesis describes the work that was carried out towards the development of a physico-chemical laboratory at the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC). Four types of equipment were used, namely goniometer and dynamic contact angle analyser for determining the surface energy properties of the bitumen samples, and the dynamic vapour sorption and microcalorimeter systems for the surface energy properties of the aggregates. Large amount of material testing was carried out with these equipment and testing protocols were developed and improved over the course of experimental work. It was found that the dynamic contact angle technique and dynamic vapour sorption technique provides consistent results for bitumen and aggregates respectively as compared to the other two test equipment. The surface energy properties of the bitumen and the aggregates were then combined thermodynamically to determine the adhesive bond strength between the two materials, and the reduction in the adhesive properties if water is introduced into the system. The results showed that these thermodynamic properties generally correlate well with the moisture damage performance of these combinations from the laboratory testing. SATS mechanical test technique was used to determine the moisture susceptibility of different bitumen-aggregate combinations. The virgin material and the recovered material from the SATS tested cores were tested for the surface energy properties. It was found that the surface energy properties combined with SATS results can be used, with some exceptions, to identify compatible bitumen-aggregate combinations and hence improved moisture damage performance of the resulting asphalt mixture.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Airey, G.D.
Grenfell, J.R.A.
Keywords: Pavements, asphalt, moisture, measurement, surface energy, road materials testing
Subjects: T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Civil Engineering
Item ID: 13421
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2013 11:26
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 04:32

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