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Performance-Space Diagram for the Evaluation of High and Low Temperature Asphalt Mixture Performance

William G. Buttlar, Brian C. Hill, He Wang, Walaa Mogawer


This paper presents a simple, yet powerful method for simultaneously evaluating the high and low temperature performance of asphalt paving mixtures for the purpose of mixture design, evaluation, and forensic investigation. A performance-space diagram approach is described, with an emphasis on Hamburg-DC(T) plots presented in this paper. Specifically, a plot of Hamburg wheel tracking results, plotted in reverse order on the y-axis using an arithmetic scale, along with DC(T) fracture energy results, plotted on the x-axis, constitutes the Hamburg-DC(T) plot. Plotting candidate mixture designs, research results, etc., yields a surprising amount of insight towards mixture variables that affect overall performance. For instance, substitution of one straight-run binder grade for another results in a clear, predictable trade-off in the Hamburg-DC(T) performance space. Polymer modified grades, on the other hand, provide a more beneficial shift in the Hamburg-DC(T) space. The benefits of using this approach in the design of mixtures containing recycled asphalt mixture and recycled asphalt shingles are also presented. Effects of rejuvenators and the benefits of stone mastic asphalt designs are also demonstrated. Finally, a broad look at a large database of mixtures recently designed in Illinois is presented.


thermal cracking, fracture, asphalt, rutting, fracture energy, performance

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