Date of this Version
Published in Construction and Building Materials 31 (2012), pp. 204–211; doi: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2011.12.085.
This study presents laboratory evaluation integrated with field performance to examine two widely used warm-mix asphalt (WMA) approaches—foaming and emulsion technology. For a more realistic evaluation of the WMA approaches, trial pavement sections of the WMA mixtures and their counterpart hot-mix asphalt (HMA) mixtures were implemented in Antelope County, Nebraska. Field-mixed loose mixtures collected at the time of paving were transported to the laboratories to conduct various experimental evaluations of the individual mixtures. Among the laboratory tests, three (two conventional and one newly attempted) were performed to characterize moisture damage potential which is the primary focus of this study. From the laboratory test results, WMA mixtures showed greater susceptibility to moisture conditioning than the HMA mixtures, and this trend was identical from multiple moisture damage parameters including the strength ratio and the critical fracture energy ratio. Early-stage field performance data collected for three years after placement presented satisfactory rutting-cracking performance from both the WMA and HMA sections, which generally agrees with laboratory evaluations. Although the field performance data indicated that both the WMA and HMA show similar good performance, careful observation of field performance over a period of years is necessary since moisture damage can be accelerated after rutting or cracking as a later-stage pavement distress.