Date of this Version
Fatmehsari, H. H., Nsengiyumva, G. M., Kim, Y-R, Kommidi, S. R., Amelian, S. (2019). "Research on High-RAP Asphalt Mixtures with Rejuvenators - Phase II". NDOT Research Report SPR-(18) M070.
A previous study by the authors have demonstrated effectiveness of three rejuvenators: R1 (triglyceride/fatty acid: agriculture-tech based), R2 (aromatic extract: petroleum-tech based), and R3 (tall oil: green-tech based) on rejuvenating properties of the aged binder. In that study, it was observed that the rejuvenators made high-RAP mixtures softer and more compliant, which may increase the rutting potential, while they simultaneously improve cracking resistance of the high-RAP materials. Research outcomes and findings from the previous study resulted in consequential research needs for more specific investigation of high-RAP mixtures with rejuvenators in order to achieve realistic implementation into future high-RAP paving projects in Nebraska. This study thus aimed to investigate the effects of type, dosage, and treating methods of rejuvenators when they are added in aged asphalt materials. To meet the goal, we used the three rejuvenators (R1, R2, and R3) by conducting various binder-level and mixture-level tests in this study. For the binder-level testing, the performance grading (PG) method was used to primarily determine proper dosages targeting desired binder grades, and two chemical tests (i.e., Fourier Transform Infrared and Saturates-Aromatics-Resins-Asphaltenes analysis) were also conducted to examine chemical characteristics altered by rejuvenation and further aging process. The selected dosage levels from the binder testing were then applied to asphalt concrete (AC) mixture-level performance evaluation by conducting two tests: flow number for rutting and semicircular bending fracture with and without moisture conditioning for cracking. AC mixtures treated with rejuvenators at the dosage levels selected from the binder PG testing showed improved fracture resistance compared to unrejuvenated mixtures. Test-analysis results also indicated that PG binder testing, although it can successfully determine the proper dosage range of rejuvenators, is limited by only assessing the effects of rejuvenators in mechanical properties, which can be better aided by integrating chemical characterization that provides a more in-depth material-specific rejuvenation process. In addition, it appears that rejuvenation methods (e.g., blending and/or curing) can alter performance of aged mixtures. Therefore, the selection of rejuvenators and their implementation into practice should be carried out by considering multiple aspects not only by its PG recovery.