Characterisation of ageing processes on the asphalt mixture surface

Ageing of asphalt binders leads to evolution of pavements mechanical performances, due to changes in their rheological behaviour and in the binder composition. Ageing leads to a hardening of asphalt, mainly due to the oxidation of the asphalt binder itself. Oxidation rate is influenced by several parameters, namely outside temperature, ultraviolet (UV) radiation and intrinsic characteristics of the mixture constituents. In order to assess physical and chemical characteristics of the binders in aged pavements, mixture samples of several centimetres in thickness are usually cored from the field. Binders are extracted from these asphalt samples. This process of extraction is typical but it does not allow differentiating bulk and surface characteristics. Indeed, only the surface binder is exposed to UV rays and weathering. In order to assess the ageing of only the surface layer, to verify, for instance the influence of ageing on adhesion characteristics, it is necessary to extract and recover only the surface asphalt binder. A new test protocol, presented in this paper, has been developed to fulfil this purpose. This protocol consists in sampling only small particles at the surface layer, extracting the binder from the particles and performing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) tests to assess the ageing of the binder. As the quantity of binder is very small, a specific FTIR test method is used. This method consists in keeping the binder diluted in the solvent and placing the solution in the ray of the spectrometer to perform the measurement. This new method has been compared to a more typical one, which consists in applying the binder on a transparent plate after having extracted the binder from the solvent. Once it has been checked that the two methods provide the same results for three kinds of binders, surface ageing tests have been performed. Two different ageing processes were considered: an ageing on site and an accelerated ageing protocol using a climate chamber named Weatherometer (SUNTERTXXL+). In this chamber, temperature, humidity and rain are controlled. The comparison between the ageing in the laboratory and the field allowed correlating both processes to establish an accelerator factor with respect to the increase in carboxyl group.


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  • Accession Number: 01538802
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 29 2014 3:01PM