Aging of Asphalt Symposium: Delft, the Netherlands September 17th 2014

S. Erkens (Editor), Athanasios Scarpas (Editor)

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Technical specifications for the asphalt concrete properties are developed to be able to specify mixtures that will perform well in pavement applications. Being able to identify and determine properties related to pavement performance in practice is crucial for both road authorities and contractors, since it allows for design and risk management by determining design life times and reliability. However, the properties of Asphalt Concrete (AC) change over its lifetime and since most pavement layers last for a decade or more these changes are crucial in determining the performance in practice.
For many of the standard materials the effect of aging is implicitly dealt with in the safety factors that also account for other effects such as the variation rest periods/healing and variations in traffic and weather in the design methods and specifications. Rapid changes in the materials used (increasing percentages reclaimed asphalt, bio‐bitumen, rejuvenators, waste materials) and in the
production of both bitumen (new refining methods resulting in different composition of bitumen) and asphalt concrete itself (warm mix asphalt, porous asphalt concrete, rubber asphalt mixtures) lead to increased uncertainty in the effects of aging. As a result, the uncertainties in pavement performance increase, which means the prediction of maintenance and the necessary budgets is getting more inaccurate.
In order to maintain the ability to reliably design and maintain pavements and determine the most cost‐effective solutions for a given situation, a better understanding of the aging processes and objective methods to take into account aging effects on material properties is needed. This need is widely recognized, in the USA the Mechanical Empirical Design Guide takes aging into account through aging tests on the bitumen used and in Europe CEN TC227 works on establishing a method to assess the aging sensitivity of asphalt mixtures. This symposium aimed at combining the existing information and insights from ongoing research into recommendations that will allow the
development of methods to determine aging sensitivity and the impact on pavement performance, facilitate the exchange of obtained data and stimulate further developments The resulting recommendations are:
 Do make long term aging sensitivity of binders part of the bitumen standards and take the results from the aging sensitivity of binders into consideration when assessing AC properties.
Be aware that RTFOT testing only gives an indication of the sensitivity of a penetration grade binder to aging during hot mix production and construction, it doesn’t work for hard grades, PMB’s or warm mixes.
 Because of the many variables involved, developing one test method to characterise aging sensitivity seems improbable. However, PAV aging is both practical and, if tests at various conditions are carried out, able to give kinematic properties. A PAV protocol for testing at two temperatures and time intervals could provide practical characterisation information for
the short term and enable model development and validation on the long term. RCAT and other aging procedures could also be used in this sense, but considering the availability of equipment and the wide spread experience, PAV is the best candidate to allow the rapid development of international experience with the approach.
Based on the current standards and the work presented during the symposium, PAV tests at 90 and 100 degrees Celsius and 20 and 40 hours, respectively, are suggested. The low values for temperature and duration are based on the current standards and fit both the USA and CEN procedure, while research shows that after 40 hours at 100 degrees the chemical (FTIR) and rheological (DSR) properties of laboratory aged and field samples were similar (Section
6.5 and 8.5). At 100oC the temperature is low enough so that the effect of secondary reactions is negligible. As such, these conditions are appropriate for kinetic expressions for in service pavement performance. For high temperature processes and possibly also for repeated recycling (very long term) more sophisticated methods are needed.
 Set‐up and maintain field monitoring of temperature and UV radiation in various climate zones, as well as regular sampling over time and height to keep checking the predicted changes (from both tests and models), versus the actual changes in properties order to ensure reliability of the data as well as the applicability for pavement performance prediction. In setting up field tests, it is important to get both the composition of the virgin bitumen and the composition after mixing, transport and placement in the pavement. These
compositions provide the starting points from both the material and pavement structure point of view and can be used to assess the development of aging products over time. There is a lot of discussion about the impact of binder recovery methods on the observed composition, so until it is proven that this does not have an influence, for comparisons the same recovery method should be used.
 Set up a coordination and support action on AC‐Aging to continue to exchange information and experiences, both in research and in construction projects.
 develop an IR testing protocol, to facilitate the exchange of results and information.
 Compare the bitumen composition that is found through various recovery methods to
establish if there is an effect and if so, develop a procedure to address this.
 To further understanding of aging, a Round Robin test on the differences in test conditions between US and EU, allowing better access to each other’s data and knowledge would be seful.
 When developing aging tests for AC, it would be useful to look at the US experience. As long as there is no fundamentally correct method for assessing the aging, it would be preferable to standardize it as much as possible in order to allow cooperation and exchange of data.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Delft
Number of pages187
ISBN (Print)978‐94‐6186‐524‐3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • asphalt concrete
  • aging
  • CEN
  • ASTM


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