Total Recycled Asphalt Mixes: Characteristics and Field Performance

The use of recycled materials in asphalt concrete (AC) pavement has increased significantly because of their economic and environmental benefits. The use of recycled materials can pose risks to the performance of asphalt pavements, however. The Illinois Department of Transportation developed five total recycled asphalt (TRA) mixes in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable pavements. These mixes contain up to 60% asphalt binder replacement (ABR) obtained from reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and recycled asphalt shingles. Virgin aggregates were replaced by 100% recycled aggregates including RAP, steel slag, and recycled concrete aggregate (RCA). Based on laboratory testing, all the mixes offered excellent rutting resistance because of their high ABR content. The TRA mixes were relatively less compliant and not very sensitive to field aging, whereas indirect tensile strength tests showed indistinguishable results. All mixes had comparable complex modulus |E*| and phase angle (?) values at low temperatures. Laboratory-compacted specimens had relatively low flexibility index (FI) compared with field cores taken after construction. The FI values of the field cores decreased with aging, higher recycled materials content, or both. An exponential increase in transverse cracking was observed in the field cores because of their relatively high ABR, RCA/steel slag content, or both. The progression of field transverse cracking over time and FI values are well correlated. A three-dimensionally balanced mix design was introduced and used successfully to distinguish between AC mixes; it is proposed as a tool for better control mix designs and optimum field performance.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The Standing Committee on Non-Binder Components of Asphalt Mixtures (AFK30) peer-reviewed this paper (19-05042). © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2019.
  • Authors:
    • Safi, Fazal R
    • Al-Qadi, Imad L
    • Hossain, Kamal
    • Ozer, Hasan
  • Publication Date: 2019-12


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  • Accession Number: 01710403
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-05042
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 26 2019 1:08PM