Laboratory Investigation of Open Graded Friction Courses with Different Binder Grades and Aggregate Gradations

This study investigates the effectiveness of the volumetric mix design procedure used by the New Mexico Department of Transportation based only on the tensile strength ratio (TSR) test for designing open graded friction course (OGFC) materials. It also evaluates the effects of different binders (or binder grades) and aggregate gradations on the performance of OGFC materials. Nine OGFC mixes were produced using three different binders (PG 64-28+, PG 70-28+, and PG 76-22+) and three different aggregate gradations (two of 9.5?mm nominal maximum aggregate size [NMAS] and one of 12.5?mm NMAS). Next, a thorough laboratory investigation was conducted to evaluate their various performances. This study found that the traditional volumetric mix design based solely on the TSR test cannot ensure adequate durability performance. The PG 64-28+ OGFCs, for example, met all the volumetric and TSR requirements during mix design but performed poorly in all performance tests. This suggests that additional performance testing for OGFCs is required to ensure adequate longevity. Cantabro abrasion and semi-circular bending tests are found to be useful in characterizing the durability and moisture conditioning, and the fracture performances of an OGFC, respectively. Furthermore, a new test is proposed for evaluating the durability performance of an OGFC in wet conditions using the Micro-Deval device. According to this study, OGFC's durability and fracture performance improves as the grade of binder used increases. The OGFCs prepared with aggregates of smaller NMAS outperformed the OGFCs prepared with larger NMAS aggregate in both durability and fracture tests despite having similar asphalt contents.


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  • Accession Number: 01884738
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 9 2023 9:24AM