Sei sulla pagina 1di 38

AP-R256/04

AUSTROADS RESEARCH REPORT

Changes to the Austroads Mix


Design Procedure to incorporate
Recycled Asphalt
CHANGES TO THE AUSTROADS MIX DESIGN
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
RECYCLED ASPHALT
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to incorporate Recycled Asphalt

First Published 2004

© Austroads Inc. 2004

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968,
no part may be reproduced by any process without the prior written permission of Austroads.

National Library of Australia


Cataloguing-in-Publication data:

Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to incorporate Recycled Asphalt

ISBN 0 85588 716 8

Austroads Project No. TP1119

Austroads Publication No. AP–R256/04

Project Manager
John Bethune

Prepared by
John Oliver and Ross Luke
ARRB Transport Research Ltd

Published by Austroads Incorporated


Level 9, Robell House
287 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9264 7088
Fax: +61 2 9264 1657
Email: austroads@austroads.com.au
www.austroads.com.au

This Guide is produced by Austroads as a general guide. Its application is discretionary. Road authorities
may vary their practice according to local circumstances and policies.

Austroads believes this publication to be correct at the time of printing and does not accept responsibility for
any consequences arising from the use of information herein. Readers should rely on their own skill and
judgement to apply information to particular issues.
CHANGES TO THE AUSTROADS MIX DESIGN
PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
RECYCLED ASPHALT

Sydney 2004
Austroads profile
Austroads is the association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities whose
purpose is to contribute to the achievement of improved Australian and New Zealand road transport
outcomes by:

♦ undertaking nationally strategic research on behalf of Australasian road agencies and communicating
outcomes
♦ promoting improved practice by Australasian road agencies
♦ facilitating collaboration between road agencies to avoid duplication
♦ promoting harmonisation, consistency and uniformity in road and related operations
♦ providing expert advice to the Australian Transport Council (ATC) and the Standing Committee on
Transport (SCOT).

Austroads membership

Austroads membership comprises the six state and two territory road transport and traffic authorities and the
Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services in Australia, the Australian Local
Government Association and Transit New Zealand. It is governed by a council consisting of the chief
executive officer (or an alternative senior executive officer) of each of its eleven member organisations:

♦ Roads and Traffic Authority New South Wales


♦ Roads Corporation Victoria
♦ Department of Main Roads Queensland
♦ Main Roads Western Australia
♦ Department of Transport and Urban Planning South Australia
♦ Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Tasmania
♦ Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment Northern Territory
♦ Department of Urban Services Australian Capital Territory
♦ Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services
♦ Australian Local Government Association
♦ Transit New Zealand

The success of Austroads is derived from the collaboration of member organisations and others in the road
industry. It aims to be the Australasian leader in providing high quality information, advice and fostering
research in the road sector.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Austroads Guide to the Selection and Design of Asphalt Mixes was recently revised and a second
edition issued. However, the new edition did not address the issue of designing mixes which incorporate
Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP).
The design of mixes containing RAP requires that precautions be taken to ensure that the RAP is not
overheated (to prevent excessive binder oxidation) and that it does not contain such a high proportion of fine
material that the target grading cannot be met. This report was prepared to address these and other issues
associated with RAP usage.
The report contains the additions and modifications which should be made to the next revision of the Guide
to cover the design of mixes containing RAP.

—i—
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

1. Introduction 1
2. Revised Chapter 3 – The Design of Dense Graded Mixes 2
3. Changes to Chapter 7 27
4. Revised Chapter 8.3 – Mixing 27

— ii —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

1. INTRODUCTION
The Austroads Guide to the Selection and Design of Asphalt Mixes (APRG 2002) was recently revised to
include a number of new mix types and to separate the design process from specification requirements. The
new edition did not, however, address the issue of designing mixes which incorporate Recycled Asphalt
Pavement (RAP).
The design of mixes containing RAP requires that precautions be taken to ensure that the RAP is not
overheated (to prevent excessive binder oxidation) and that the it does not contain such a high proportion of
fine material that the target grading cannot be met. This report was prepared to address these and other
issues associated with RAP usage.
In Section 2 of the report, Chapter 3 of the Guide is reproduced in its entirety (with the exception of some
tables and figures), and the revised text highlighted in bold italics (and in red for those viewing “on screen”).
This allows the new or modified text to be considered in context. The changes to Chapters 7 and 8 are less
extensive and only the additional material for Chapter 7 is shown in Section 3 of the report. In the case of
Chapter 8 the only section modified (Section 8.3) is reproduced in its entirety with the new text highlighted.

Austroads 2004

—1—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

2. REVISED CHAPTER 3 – THE DESIGN OF DENSE GRADED MIXES

The proposed text changes are highlighted in bold italics (and in red).

3.1 Dense Graded Mix Design Concept

Introduction
The APRG 18 dense graded mix design procedure was developed on performance based principles by a
committee of experts from Industry and the public sector. It incorporates the outputs of a coordinated
laboratory research program, supported by an Accelerated Loading Facility (ALF) trial on full scale
pavements. The U.S. Superpave design procedure was developed at the same time along parallel lines, and
elements of the U.S. procedure have been incorporated into APRG 18.
APRG 18 is a procedure to design mixes and does not set specification limits. For this reason, the
procedures in this chapter should be read in conjunction with specifications relevant to the particular mix
being designed.
Procedures for the use of Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) in the design process are included where
necessary. This document should be read in conjunction with other guides on the use of RAP in hotmix
asphalt. It should not be assumed that all hotmix plants are suitable for producing asphalt incorporating
RAP.

Performance Requirements
The APRG 18 procedure is based on four key performance requirements:
• permanent deformation (surface courses),
• fatigue,
• moisture susceptibility, and
• durability.

Three Test Levels


The design procedure has been arranged in three levels. Level 1 addresses the very important volumetric
properties of a mix. Level 2 looks at mainly mechanical properties, such as modulus and creep together with
some optional tests, while Level 3 is concerned with evaluating rut resistance.
The cost and resources required for mix design testing must be balanced against the circumstances in which
the mix will be used and the consequences of early failure. For this reason, only a small amount of testing is
required for light traffic mixes, and they are only required to undergo Level 1 (volumetric) testing. Medium
and heavy traffic mixes undergo Level 1 and Level 2 testing, while very heavy traffic mixes proceed through
Levels 1 and 2 to Level 3.
Performance tests, such as wheel tracking and beam fatigue, are expensive but justified for very heavy
traffic mixes. One of the aims of the Level 1 (volumetric) stage of the procedure is to select a composition
which is likely to satisfy the wheel tracking and fatigue requirements before these properties are tested in the
Levels 2 and 3. Another, very important aim of Level 1 testing is to ensure satisfactory performance of those
mixes not required to undergo Level 2 or Level 3 testing. Level 1 mixes represent the bulk of asphalt placed
in Australia.

Austroads 2004

—2—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

The Treatment of Different Traffic Categories


The testing requirements for different traffic categories are summarised in Table 3.1 and described in more
detail in the following text.
Level 1 deals with volumetric testing. Light traffic mixes are gyratory compacted for 50 cycles and density
tested so that void content and VMA can be determined. This testing is done at four binder contents, or five
in the case of a new mix, and the volumetric properties plotted against binder content. The design binder
content is then determined as the binder content where the voids have the specified value (commonly 4%) at
50 cycles and the process is complete.
Medium traffic wearing course mixes are gyratory compacted for 80 cycles, and void content, density and
VMA plots prepared. Testing is done at four or five binder contents, as before, and the design binder content
is the binder content where the voids have the specified value (commonly 4%) at 80 cycles. The mix, at the
design binder content, then undergoes Level 2 testing. Heavy traffic wearing course mixes undergo the same
process except that they are compacted for 120cycles in the Level 1 phase.
For very heavy traffic mixes, a gyratory compaction curve is constructed in Level 1 covering the range 10 to
250 cycles. The design binder content is the binder content at which the voids have the specified value
(commonly 5%) at 120 cycles. There is also a requirement for the mix to have a minimum air void content
(commonly3%) at 250 cycles, and for the 10 cycle voids value to be recorded. Level 2 and Level 3 testing is
then performed.

Preliminary Activities
The very first stage in the process (assuming that a dense graded mix has already been selected) is to
establish the design criteria. This requires a knowledge of the expected traffic level and the specification
parameters (such as voids, mechanical properties, etc.) with which the mix is expected to comply. The traffic
data determines the appropriate design level and compaction cycles to be used (see Tables 2.2 and 3.1).
Suitable material supplies must be identified taking into account any specification requirements (such as
filler type, flakiness index, combined aggregate grading, etc.) which apply to the mix.
When RAP is to be included in the mix, the properties of the RAP including representative grading, binder
content, binder viscosity and any other properties required by a specification should be determined.
The next stage is to determine a suitable overall aggregate grading and the aggregate fractions (including
RAP if appropriate) to be used. Particularly in the case of a new mix, it may be advisable to compare the
volumetric properties of compacted specimens of, say, three trial gradings at one binder content, and to
choose the most appropriate. While the design procedure does not, at present, contain steps to optimise the
combined aggregate grading as just described, consideration is being given to introducing such requirements
in a future revision.
To help illustrate the work to be done in Levels 1 to 3 of the design procedure, example graphs have been
prepared. The example is for a very heavy traffic mix which has been specified to have a target air void
content of 5% at 120 cycles and a minimum air void content of 3.0% at 250 cycles (these air void values
would come from a separate specification document) . Note that for light, medium or heavy traffic mixes,
Level 1 testing requires preparation of samples at only one compaction level.

Austroads 2004

—3—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Level 1
Following selection of a suitable grading and target binder content, a series of trial mixes at a range of binder
contents are manufactured. The mixes are compacted in a gyratory compactor and density testing of the
compacted specimens then allows a compaction curve, such as that shown in Fig. 3.1, to be generated for
very heavy traffic mixes.

14

12
5.0% voids at
Air void content (%)

10 120 cycles
3.0% voids
2.5% voids
8 min. at 250
record cycles
6 10 cycles

0
10 100 1,000
Gyratory cycles (logarithmic scale)

Fig 3.1 — Gyratory compactor compaction curve

Important aspects of the gyratory compaction curve shown in Fig. 3.1 are:
A binder content is selected so that the mix will have the design air void content (5.0% in this case) at the
appropriate level of compaction (120 cycles). For mixes incorporating RAP the binder in the RAP is
included as part of the total binder content unless the specification requires that only a proportion of the
binder in the RAP is to be used in the calculation of the mix binder content. Compaction levels are chosen
as being representative of the field density of asphalt after several years of trafficking.
Voids at 250 cycles must be above 2.5% to avoid overfilling the mix with bitumen (associated with rapid
shear failure where extra compaction occurs in the field due to higher traffic or higher temperatures than
expected).
The 10 cycle value is recorded. In the U.S. Superpave procedure a minimum voids value (associated with
rutting resistance) is required, and information is being collected to see if such a measure is appropriate for
the Australian procedure.

Austroads 2004

—4—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

10 2.45
Density
Air voids
8
2.4

Density (t/m )
3
air voids (%)

6
2.35
4

2.3
2

0 2.25
3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
bitumen content (%) bitumen content (%)

21

20 VMA

19
spec min if applicable
VMA (%)

18

17

16

15
3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
bitumen content (%)

Fig 3.2 — Voids, density and VMA as a function of binder content

Testing at binder contents above and below the target value allows graphs of volumetric properties such as
voids, density and VMA to be generated. Examples are shown in Fig. 3.2.
The void content graph is used to select the design binder content. The sensitivity of the mix to binder
content can be determined from an examination of all three graphs. A VMA specification may apply to the
mix and conformance can be determined from the VMA graph.

Level 2
Level 2 testing assesses a further set of properties:
• film index (binder film thickness), minimum required to ensure
o durability, and
o fatigue resistance,
• creep (still to be finalised – an indicator of rutting),
• modulus (load spreading ability, used in structural design),
• moisture susceptibility (optional – depends on circumstance of mix), and
• beam fatigue resistance (optional – depends on pavement structure).
Testing is performed at a single binder content. Typical (single point) results are shown in Fig. 3.3 and
typical trend lines are also displayed to put the results in context.

Austroads 2004

—5—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

6,000 100

Tensile strenght ratio (%)


Resilient Modulus (MPa)
spec min if applicable
Modulus
5,000
80

4,000
Moisture
spec min if applicable 60 susceptibility
3,000 (not shown)

2,000 40
4 4.5 5 5.5 6 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0
Binder Content Binder Content

4.E+05 11
Film index
Fatigue life (cycles)

Fatigue 10

Film Index (µm)


3.E+05
spec min if applicable 9
(not shown)
2.E+05 8

7
1.E+05 minimum value
4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6
4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Binder Content
Binder Content

Fig 3.3 — Modulus, moisture sensitivity fatigue and film index as a function of binder content

A minimum value of binder film index is included in most specifications. In addition, specification limits
may apply to some or all of the other properties shown in Fig 3.3. If a specification requirement is not met, a
new mix composition may have to be trialed and information is given in the Guide on what effect mix
variables, such as binder and filler content, grading, etc. have on each of the properties.

Level 3
Measurement of the deformation resistance is performed in Level 3 using the wheel tracking test
(see Fig. 3.4).

1.0
Deformation resistance
Wheel tracking rate

0.8

0.6

0.4
spec max if applicable
0.2
(not shown)
0.0
4 4.5 5 5.5 6
Binder Content

Fig 3.4 — wheel tracking rate as a function of binder content


Checks at earlier stages in the procedure should ensure that the mix meets any specification requirement for a
minimum wheel tracking rate. If this is not the case, information in the Guide indicates how mix
composition can be changed to increase deformation resistance.

Austroads 2004

—6—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

The testing scheme shown in Fig. 3.5 should be considered the core of the design procedure. It represents
the minimum necessary to design a mix – the least cost option. Specifying authorities may require extra
testing to be undertaken to determine, for example, the effect that a change in binder content will have on
rutting and fatigue resistance.

Table 3.1: Appropriate levels of mix design for specific traffic characteristics

Traffic Category Design Level Laboratory Compaction (cycles)

Light 1 50

Medium 2 80

Heavy 2 120

Very Heavy 3 120 + 250

3.2 Balancing Mix Properties


It is important that a mix designer does not concentrate on optimising only one property of a mix at the
expense of others. It is comparatively easy to produce a very rut resistant mix by using a hard grade of
binder, reducing the binder content and adding extra filler. Such a mix would, however, be liable to fail
through fatigue and probably be prone to rapid oxidation hardening and be difficult to handle and compact.
In the new mix design procedure a balance can be obtained between properties. This can be achieved by
requiring Level 2 and Level 3 mixes to be tested for both deformation resistance and fatigue resistance.
These performance requirements normally place conflicting demands on a mix designer who must determine
the optimum solution. If it is imagined that a pendulum can swing between the requirements for fatigue and
the requirements for rutting then it is up to the designer to determine where the pendulum stops. For
example, if a mix is to be used in only a rut prone situation then the rut resistance requirement may be
strengthened and the fatigue resistance requirement relaxed; i.e. the point of balance is moved towards rut
resistance.
The requirement for a minimum binder film thickness (in Level 2) ensures that a minimum amount of binder
is used to obtain a reasonable level of cohesion, durability and fatigue resistance. It will not, however,
prevent problems such as a brittle mix arising from the employment of an excessively hard binder in a thin
surfacing layer. Fatigue testing assists in identifying such issues.

Austroads 2004

—7—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3

Select materials Check film index for Mix specimens at


and grading durability * design bitumen content

Mix specimens at design


compact trial mixes at bitumen content Gyropac for 250 cycles *
4 or 5 binder contents
in Gyropac
Condition 1 h at 150C
Voids > spec. minimum
(commonly 3%) *
Evaluate plots of voids, Compact for appropriate
density & VMA vs cycles
bitumen content
Compact wheel
Measure Moisture
track slabs
at x compaction cycles modulus sensitivity if
required

Compact Report wheel tracking


Measure
Voids slab
creep rate

Fatigue test if
required
Design bitumen content End Level 3
Check with
any specs
* testing normally carried
End Level 1 End Level 2
out in Level 1

Fig 3.5 — Diagram of the asphalt mix design procedure

3.3 Simulation of the Field Condition


An important aim of the procedure is to ensure that specimens prepared in the laboratory have properties as
similar as possible to asphalt placed on the road. The design procedure therefore includes a laboratory
conditioning step that simulates the binder hardening which occurs during manufacture and placement of mix
and the first year or two of field service.
Determination of the volumetric properties of mixes is carried out in the new Australian mix design
procedure using gyratory compacted specimens. For certain classes of mixes, volumetric testing is the only
laboratory evaluation undertaken, while for others volumetric testing constitutes the first step of the more
extensive design procedure depicted in Fig. 3.5.
The gyratory compaction levels adopted are intended to simulate the compaction which occurs on the road
after some traffic. They were determined by a national exercise which correlated gyratory compaction with
Marshall compaction since extensive field experience indicated that Marshall compaction densities are
usually achieved in the field after several years of traffic compaction. Generally, 75 blow Marshall
compaction is considered to be equivalent to heavy traffic compaction in the field, 50 blow Marshall to
medium traffic, and 35 blow Marshall to light traffic.
It was determined that 50, 80 and 120 gyratory cycles were approximately equivalent to 35, 50 and 75
Marshall blows, respectively.

Austroads 2004

—8—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

3.4 Level One Testing


This level covers volumetric design. It is used for mixes intended for lightly trafficked situations but is also
the first stage in the design of Level 2 and Level 3 mixes.

Stage 1. Selection of Materials, Aggregate Grading and Trial Binder Content

Aggregate Selection
A target grading and aggregate components (including RAP if appropriate) are selected to suit the mix type
being designed and the expected traffic conditions. The shape and texture of the particles in the different
fractions have an important effect on the properties of the final mix. Aggregate properties should, therefore,
be matched to the intended use of the mix. This subject is discussed in Chapter 7.
The impact of the properties of the RAP aggregate on the new mix design should be considered, especially
if the source of the RAP aggregate is unknown or different to that of the other aggregates.

Table 3.2 — Grading Envelopes in Austroads Asphalt Specification for Dense Graded Mixes,
Medium, Heavy and Very Heavy Traffic Wearing Course and All Base Course Mix Types

Sieve Size Mix designation


AS (mm) AC10 AC14 AC20 AC28 AC40
Percentage passing sieve size (by mass)
100
37.5 100 90 – 100
26.5 100 90 - 100 72 – 87
19.0 100 90 – 100 73 – 88 58 – 76
13.2 100 90 - 100 71 – 86 58 – 76
9.5 90 - 100 72 – 83 58 – 75 47 – 67 38 – 58
6.7 68 - 82 54 – 71 46 – 64 37 – 58
4.75 50 - 70 43 – 61 37 – 55 30 – 50 27 – 43
2.36 32 – 51 28 – 45 24 – 42 20 – 37 16 – 33
1.18 22 – 40 19 – 35 15 – 32 13 – 28 11 – 26
0.600 15 – 30 13 – 27 10 – 24 9 – 22 7 – 20
0.300 10 – 22 9 – 20 7 – 17 6 – 16 5 – 14
0.150 6 – 14 6 – 13 4 – 12 4 – 10 4 – 10
0.075 4-7 4-7 3–6 3-6 3–6

Aggregate Grading
The grading envelopes shown in Table 3.2 were devised by asphalt technologists and are coarser than those
in Australian Standard 2150.
A target grading may also be chosen based on experience with similar materials and mix types. While most
designers will work from “standard” grading curves such as those given in Table 3.2, it is possible to work
from formulae such as that of Fuller and Thompson (1907):

Austroads 2004

—9—
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

n
⎛d⎞
P = 100⎜ ⎟ (3.1)
⎝D⎠

where P = percentage of mass of aggregate passing a given sieve


d = size of a given sieve (mm)
D = the maximum particle size
n = an exponent between 0.4 and 0.7

It has been noted that for the purpose of designing an aggregate grading for all mixes other than 20 mm
mixes the Fuller relationship produces an unrealistic value for the percentage of material passing the 75 µm
sieve and to overcome this, Cooper et al (1991) proposed the following modified expression:

P=
(100 − F ) × (d n − 0.075n ) + F (3.2)
D n − 0.075n

where D, d, n are as for the Fuller relationship and F is the percentage of material passing the 75 µm sieve.

Matching the Target Grading


The target grading must be matched using the individual aggregate components (or stockpiles). The basic
formula for combining aggregate is:
P = Aa + Bb + Cc, etc. (3.3)
where P = percentage of combined aggregate passing a given sieve
A,B,C,etc. = percentages of material passing a given sieve for each of the given aggregates A, B, C, etc
a,b,c, etc. = proportion of aggregates A, B, C, etc., used in the combination and where the total is 1.00.

The procedure can be carried out using a calculator or a spreadsheet program. For RAP mixes the mineral
aggregate component of the RAP is included in the calculation.
A small amount of breakdown and creation of additional fines may occur during mixing. The grading after
mixing must be determined and nominated as the “job mix” for production process control.

Selection of Target Binder Content


As with selection of the target aggregate grading, selection of the target binder content will be based on
experience with similar mix types and any particular specified requirements. Selection of the final binder
content is based on testing the mix over a range of binder contents and ensuring that all relevant target
requirements are met, including volumetric properties and performance related tests.
For RAP mixes it is generally assumed that all the binder from the RAP is available and is included as
part of the total binder percentage (unless a specification directs otherwise). However, the binder RAP is
normally considerably harder than fresh binder and this will result in an increase in the binder viscosity
of the overall mix unless action is taken. It may be necessary, especially for mixes containing a high
percentage of RAP, to use a lower grade of fresh binder or add a rejuvenating agent to compensate for the
effect of the oxidised RAP binder. Section 3.8 contains further information on this subject.

Austroads 2004

— 10 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

To produce a durable mix, it is necessary to ensure that the binder film thickness is adequate and a minimum
film index value is commonly specified to achieve this. In addition, a low air void content in the field will
reduce the amount of oxygen that can penetrate into the interior of the mix (oxidation leads to binder
hardening) and the amount of water that permeates the layer (water remaining in the mix pores over a period
of time can lead to stripping). A low air void content in the field depends on the air void content specified in
the mix design, the degree of compaction achieved in the construction operation and the amount of further
compaction caused by traffic, usually in the first one or two hot seasons after construction.
Field air void contents of 5% or less are characteristic of a relatively impermeable mix where the binder
hardens slowly and there is a low risk of moisture induced stripping. Air void contents above about 7%
allow comparatively easy access of air to the interior which can result in of rapid hardening of the binder.
Further information on the effect of air void content on the moisture sensitivity of mixes is given in chapter
9.
Where air can penetrate into the interior of the mix, then the rate of binder hardening, and thus the maximum
life of the mix, is dependant on the durability of the bitumen (measured using Australian Standard method
AS 2341.13) or other binder as well as the temperature environment of the mix.
For certain performance conditions, polymer modified binders (PMBs) or multigrade bitumen may be
required. Information on the selection of PMBs to meet particular performance criteria is contained in an
Austroads publication entitled “Austroads Specification Framework for Polymer Modified Binders
(Austroads 2000x).” RAP should not be used in mixes where a modified binder has been specified.
Use of a PMB may result in a slightly higher binder content than a Class 320 bitumen for the same grading
combination, compaction level and target air voids. Since asphalt mixes containing PMBs are less
susceptible to traffic densification and deformation, designers may also choose to adopt an even higher
binder content in order to enhance fatigue resistance without incurring the risk of rutting.
A trial binder content is chosen, either on the basis of past experience with similar mixes, or so that a
minimum binder film index of 7.5 µm or greater is obtained (this ensures the mix has adequate durability and
fatigue resistance). Note that using the binder film index procedure gives the minimum binder content and
the trial binder content will normally be 0.5% greater than this.
As mentioned above, for mixes incorporating RAP, all the RAP binder is normally considered as active
(i.e. included as part of the total binder content) unless specified otherwise. Where only part of the RAP
binder is specified as active by a purchaser or a rejuvenating agent is added, the calculation of the film
index needs to be adjusted as follows. Where only a percentage of the RAP binder is specified to be active,
then this percentage of the measured RAP binder content should be added to the fresh bitumen content
for calculation of the film index. Where rejuvenating agent is added, then this material (expressed as a
percentage of the total mix mass) should be added to the RAP binder and fresh binder content to calculate
the film index.
Determination of the film index of a binder requires calculation of the surface of the aggregate blend and the
following formulae are used. When the combined bulk density of the mineral aggregate varies by less than
10% from 2.65 t/m3 then C in equation (3.4) equals A from equation (3.5), otherwise it has to be corrected
using equation (3.6).

Q EB 1 10 3
FI = × × (3.4)
100 − Q BIT C ρ BIT
where FI = film index (µm)
QEB = effective binder content (% by mass of mix)
QBIT = total binder content (% by mass of mix)
C = surface area of aggregate blend (m2/kg)
ρBIT = density of binder at 25C (t/m3)

Austroads 2004

— 11 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

The surface area of the aggregate is calculated from:


A = (2 + 0.02a + 0.04b + 0.08c + 0.14d + 0.30e + 0.60f + 1.60g) x 0.20482 (3.5)
B = (A x 2.65)/(combined bulk density of components (see Section 7.1)) (3.6)
C = A when the combined bulk density of the mineral aggregate is in the range 2.4 to 2.9 t/m3 (3.7)
C = B when the combined bulk density of the mineral aggregate is < 2.4 or > 2.9 t/m3 (3.8)
where a = percentage passing 4.75 mm sieve
b = percentage passing 2.36 mm sieve
c = percentage passing 1.18 mm sieve
d = percentage passing 0.60 mm sieve
e = percentage passing 0.30 mm sieve
f = percentage passing 0.15 mm sieve
g = percentage passing 0.075 mm sieve.

Stage 2. Mixing, Conditioning and Compaction of Samples for Density Testing


In Australia, Class 320 bitumen is normally used for asphalt work for medium and heavily trafficked mixes,
and, unless otherwise specified, should be employed in the design procedure. A softer grade of bitumen or a
rejuvenating agent may be required for mixes containing a high percentage of RAP (see Section 3.8).
Batches of mix are prepared at each of four or five bitumen contents. For an existing mix, a range of four
binder contents would be used, whereas, for a new mix, five binder are necessary. These bitumen contents
are normally, first of all, the trial bitumen content, and the trial bitumen content plus and minus 1% binder.
Depending on the results of testing these compositions a further 1 or 2 mixes with binder contents 0.5%
different from those already prepared would be used to fill in the gaps or extend the binder content range in
the appropriate direction. Trial binder contents can be selected based on experience or by calculating the
minimum binder content to give a film index of 7.5 µm and then adding 0.5 % bitumen.
For each batch, the selected binder, and aggregate and RAP (if required) are heated in an oven and mixed at
about 150°C (130°C for open-graded asphalt) using conventional mixing equipment. The material should
be at about 150°C (130°C for open-graded asphalt) at the conclusion of mixing. This means preheating
the aggregate to a higher temperature except in the case of RAP (where special precautions to avoid
oxidation must be taken). Heating and mixing of aggregate and RAP is covered in more detail in Chapter
8. The loose mix is then transferred to an oven held at 150°C (130°C for open-graded asphalt) and left there
for one hour. This conditioning step simulates the binder hardening which occurs during transport of mix
from the mixing plant to the construction site and during the first year or two of service.
Three replicate samples are mixed at each binder content and conditioned as described. The samples are then
compacted for the required number of cycles using a gyratory compactor. Note that the Gyropac compactor
has been adopted as the reference instrument. If a different device is used then it must be calibrated so that
compactive effort applied is equivalent to that provided by a Gyropac.
For mixes in the very heavy traffic category only, following determination of the design binder content in
Stage 3, a further set of samples are prepared. These are manufactured at the design binder content and
duplicate samples are compacted in the gyratory compactor for 10, 80, 120 and 250 cycles. The results from
this exercise are used to construct a gyratory compaction curve (as shown in Fig. 3.1).
TABLE 3.3 Here

Austroads 2004

— 12 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Stage 3. Determination of Design Binder Content


The densities of the compacted specimens, and a sample of loose mix at each bitumen content, are measured
and the air void content of each specimen calculated. The results are used to construct graphs of air voids,
density and VMA against binder content as shown in Fig. 3.2. These plots can be used to evaluate the mix
and to determine whether it meets any required specifications. The binder content at which the mix has the
required design air void content is determined from the air voids plot, as indicated in Fig. 3.6

10
Air voids
8

air voids (%) 6

0
3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6
bitumen content (%)

Fig 3.6 Determination of design binder content (for 4% design voids)

The air void contents appropriate to different classes of mix and different traffic levels are given in national
and local specifications. Typical values are shown in Tables 2.3 and 2.4.
For mixes progressing to Levels 2 or 3, the film index is normally calculated at this stage. If the air void
contents of the specimens do not span the specified value, or the film index value is not acceptable, then
further specimens, with a different mix composition, are prepared and tested. Advice on how to alter mix
composition to achieve a desired change in air void content is given in Section 3.8.
For mixes in the very heavy traffic category, a further set of samples are prepared at the design binder
content and duplicate samples compacted in the gyratory compactor for 10, 80, 120 and 250 cycles. The
results from this exercise are used to construct a gyratory compaction curve as shown in Fig 3.1. Since the
mix will be required to have an air void content at 250 cycles above a minimum value (set out in the
appropriate specification), a check on the 250 cycle voids value is normally made at this stage.
For dense graded mixes to be used on lightly trafficked streets the general design procedure terminates at this
stage.

3.5 Level Two Testing


Since the costs associated with the failure of a mix designed for a medium or heavily trafficked road will
almost certainly be much higher and less acceptable to users than that of a mix used on a lightly trafficked
street, it is considered appropriate to invest a commensurately greater effort in the design of more heavily
trafficked mixes. In level two testing the mechanical properties of the trial mix, identified in level one, are
determined.
Where a PMB is to be used, the purchaser may request that the modulus and creep testing be first carried out
using Class 320 bitumen to ensure that a satisfactory aggregate structure is obtained. A further set of
samples would then be manufactured using the designated PMB and these tested for compliance with the
specification requirements.

Austroads 2004

— 13 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Stage 4. Binder Film Index Check

A minimum binder film index of 7.5 µm is often specified to help ensure durability, cohesion and a
minimum level of fatigue resistance. This will be particularly useful in those cases where laboratory fatigue
testing is not specified.
An alternative measure of binder volume in the mix is voids filled with binder (VFB), and some users may
prefer to specify this measure rather than film index.

Stage 5. Mixing, Conditioning and Compacting Samples for Stiffness, Creep and Moisture Sensitivity Testing
One set of triplicate specimens, manufactured with the design bitumen content, is compacted to 5% air voids
for modulus and creep testing. The specimens are conditioned before compaction as previously described.
The specimens are tested for density to ensure that their air void content is within 0.5% of the desired value.
The 5% air void requirement is so that different mixes can be compared at a common void content (this
determines their “characteristic” value). However, it may be desirable to measure modulus and creep at
other void contents and, if this is done, the void content used should be stated in the results.
Since air void content has a large effect on creep (and to a lesser extent on modulus) results, it is essential
that all three specimens of both sets fall within the specified air void limits. If this is not the case, a further
set of three specimens will need to be prepared and, if these do not meet the air void requirements, Steps 1 to
5 repeated.
Six specimens, to be used for moisture sensitivity testing if required, are conditioned and compacted in the
gyratory compactor to a set air void content of 8 ± 1%, this being the critical voids content for stripping. See
Chapter 9 for further information.

Stage 6. Measurement of Modulus


The characteristic modulus values of the set of triplicate specimens compacted to the design air void content
are measured at 25°C according to the Australian Standard using the indirect tensile mode, and the results
recorded. Information on modulus testing is given in Chapter 11.
If the mean modulus of the specimens does not meet any minimum requirements for the expected service
conditions, the mix composition is adjusted and the design process repeated.

Stage 7. Measurement of Creep


The dynamic creep test is carried out on the same specimens as in Stage 6, using axial loading at 50°C
according to the Australian Standard. Information on dynamic creep testing is given in Chapter 12.
The mean minimum slope is derived from dynamic creep data and compared to any minimum requirements
(based on climate, traffic level and traffic speed) for the expected service conditions. The mix composition
is adjusted and the design process repeated if the results do not comply.
While the mix design process requires only one set of specimens at one binder content to be tested for creep
and modulus, it is expected that the purchaser will require extra testing to be undertaken in order to:
1. check that no error in sample preparation or testing has occurred, and
2. obtain information on the sensitivity of the mix to binder content and possibly to variations in grading or
degree of compaction.
For mixes to be used in medium and heavily trafficked pavements, the design process terminates at this stage
although optional moisture sensitivity and fatigue testing may be required by a purchaser.

Austroads 2004

— 14 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

The Creep Test as an Indicator of Deformation Resistance


The unconfined dynamic creep test was developed to indicate the deformation resistance properties of asphalt
mixes. An Accelerated Loading Facility (ALF) trial held in Queensland indicated that the creep test had a
number of deficiencies (Oliver et al. 1995). These included:
• the creep test ranked mixes with different aggregate gradings in a different order to ALF rutting,
• the creep test may indicate a much greater sensitivity of permanent deformation to air void content (and
thus degree of compaction) than is actually the case in the field, and
• the creep test appears to indicate that mixes with very low air void contents (less than 3%) will have
better rutting resistance than mixes with air voids above 3%. Conventional wisdom suggests the
opposite: that, at air void contents below about 3%, mixes are liable to fail rapidly under traffic due to
pore pressure effects (the binder has no interconnected voids in which to escape and forces aggregate
particles apart when loaded by traffic).
The test did, however, rank mixes with the same grading but different binders in the same order as ALF
rutting.
Efforts are being made to determine whether modifications to the creep test, such as sample confinement, can
be made to overcome the stated deficiencies. In the meantime, it is recommended that, where rutting
resistance is an important requirement of a mix, a wheel tracking test be carried out and, if possible, the
results compared against those of a mix known to provide acceptable performance.
If proper attention is paid to the volumetric requirements of the mix (Level 1 testing) and smooth or rounded
aggregate particles are avoided, the possibility of premature rutting will be reduced.

Stage 8. Check for Moisture Sensitivity (optional)


In order to check for the effect of moisture on the particular aggregate/binder combination being trialled, a
retained tensile strength (TSR) test is performed on six specimens manufactured to an air void content of 8%.
The test involves first measuring the air void content of the specimens using a “rapid” (3 to 5 minute
immersion) bulk density test to avoid saturating the specimens. The six specimens are then split into two
groups of approximately equal mean air void content (e.g. specimens with voids of 7.5, 7.6, 8.2, 8.3, 8.7, 8.8
could be split 7.5, 8.3 and 8.7 in one group – mean 8.2; and 7.6, 8.2 and 8.8 – mean 8.2 in the other).
The first group of specimens is partially saturated in water at 25°C in a vacuum desiccator for 10 minutes
and density tested to determine the percent saturation. The specimens are then conditioned in a water bath
for 18 hours at 60°C then returned to a water bath at 25°C for 2 hours. During this latter 2 hour period the
density of the samples is again determined and the percentage saturation and swell of the samples are
calculated. The tensile strength of the specimens is determined by loading them in a loading jig (e.g.
Marshall loading frame) until fracture occurs.
The second set of specimens is stored in the laboratory (where they can dry out) for the same period as the
first set and tested dry in the tensile loading jig. The tensile strength ratio of the two sets of specimens is
calculated. The percentage of stripped faces in the two sets of specimens is also determined by visual
inspection.
A freeze thaw cycle is optional and, if performed, is carried out immediately after the partial saturation
phase.

Stage 9. Fatigue Testing (optional)


The fatigue behaviour of an asphalt layer depends not only on the properties of the mix but also on the
structural properties of the underlying pavement layers, as well as traffic and climatic conditions. It is up to
the specifying authority to determine when fatigue testing is required.

Austroads 2004

— 15 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

In the past, a calculation based on work by Shell has been used to estimate fatigue life. This is based on the
volume of bitumen in the mix and applies to unmodified binders only. A laboratory test to measure fatigue
has been developed in Australia is available as Austroads Test Method AST 03 on the Austroads web site
(www.austroads.com.au/aprg).
To carry out a fatigue test, sufficient material to make at least one slab, 400 mm x 300 mm x 75 mm deep, is
mixed and conditioned in the normal manner (see Stage 2 instructions). A laboratory compactor or footpath
roller is used to compact the material. The achieved air voids of slabs must be within 5 + 0.5% to obtain the
“characteristic” result.
Fatigue testing is carried out at 20ºC using a third point flexural beam apparatus. Triplicate specimens, 400 x
50 (depth) x 63.5 (width) mm, are subjected to continuous haversine loading at 10 Hz and 400 µe. Failure is
when the flexural stiffness reaches 50% of the initial value measured at 50 cycles or when one million cycles
have been reached. Fig. 3.7 provides an indication of the relationship for laboratory testing of 10 mm dense
graded mixes suited to medium to heavily trafficked situations. Highly fatigue resistant mixes may not
achieve a 50% reduction in stiffness within

The standard characteristic test result is reported for testing with haversine loading at 10 Hz and 400 µe at a
temperature of 20ºC. However, other conditions may be used provided they are reported. If the test
proceeds to one million cycles the test result is reported as the percentage of the initial stiffness obtained at
one million cycles.
Extra fatigue testing may be required by the specifying authority for pavement (thickness) design purposes.

3.6 Level Three Testing


In the case of heavily trafficked mixes, or where extra reliability in terms of rutting performance is required,
Level 3 testing is performed. This consists of two separate operations: a check of voids at 250 gyratory
cycles, and the wheel tracking of slabs of the design mix.
FIGS 3.7 AND 3.8 Here

Stage 10. Voids at Maximum Cycles


The check of voids at maximum cycles is based on the assumption that:
1. a high degree of compaction of a mix in the laboratory is an indicator of the final condition a mix may
attain in the field if more severe conditions than expected are experienced (higher traffic levels or hotter
pavement temperatures), and
2. mixes with an air void content below about 2 to 3% in service are likely to become unstable and prone to
rutting.
The check of voids at maximum cycles involves compacting the design mix for 250 cycles in the gyratory
compactor. While different mixes will attain maximum density at a varying number of gyratory cycles, it is
believed that 250 cycles should be sufficient in the majority of cases. The commonly used specification
requirements are that a mix which has a design void content of 5% must have ≥ 3% voids at 250 cycles,
while a mix with design voids of 4% would need to have ≥ 2% voids at 250 cycles.
The required testing for this level 3 check is normally done during Level 1 testing. This ensures that Level 2
testing is not carried out unnecessarily on a mix which does not meet the 250 cycle voids criteria in Level 3

Austroads 2004

— 16 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Stage 11. Wheel Tracking


Sufficient material to make a 300 mm square slab, 50 mm deep (for size 14 and smaller mixes) or 75 mm
deep (for size 20 mm mixes) is mixed and conditioned in the normal manner (see stage 2 instructions). Two
slabs will be required to obtain a single wheel tracking result. A laboratory compactor or footpath roller is
used to compact the slabs. The achieved air voids of the compacted slabs must be 5 ± 0.5% to obtain a
“characteristic” value.
Wheel tracking is carried out at 60°C using a wheel of 50 mm width and 200 mm diameter subjected to a
load of 700 (Austroads Test Method AST 01 available on the Austroads web site
www.austroads.com.au/aprg).). Deformation rate is plotted against time and the slope of the line measured
to determine wheel tracking rate. If the mean wheel tracking rate of the two samples exceeds the specified
performance criteria then the mix design process must be repeated using a more deformation resistant
composition.
Fig. 3.8) provides an indication of the relationship between laboratory and field testing for a very heavily
trafficked situation. The data were obtained from an Accelerated Loading Facility (ALF) trial using an 80
kN load to test a range of mixes at 50°C. Wheel tracking was carried out at 60°C on 75 mm slabs cut from
the field pavement.
There are a number of ways of determining a wheel tracking parameter (such as cycles to a set rut depth or
slope of a linear linear or log log plot of deformation against number of cycles). The most appropriate
measure for Australian use has still to be determined. In the meantime Fig. 3.8 gives some guidance. The
wheel tracking rates in Fig. 3.8 were determined by selecting that portion of the (linear linear) deformation
against time plot that exhibited a reasonably constant wheel tracking rate and fitting a linear regression
equation to the data. The tracking rate is the slope of the regression line. It should be noted that mix C1
(Fig. 3.8) was chosen as typical of Queensland dense graded mixes which provide acceptable resistance to
rutting. Mix C7 has the same grading as mix C1 but a Class 600 binder.

3.7 Details of the Design Procedure


MATERIAL PROPERTIES

No Action Comment
0-1 Measure binder density according to AS 2341.7 Needed for binder absorption calculation which in turn is needed for binder film
index. Also required for VMA.

0-2 Measure bulk densities of filler, fine aggregate, and Needed for binder absorption calculation which in turn is needed for binder film
coarse aggregate and mineral component of index. Also required for VMA. Particle density determined on dry basis should be
RAP (if used) according to AS 1141.5, AS 1141.6 used in all cases unless other density specifically requested.
or AS 1141.6.2 & AS 1141.7

0-3 Determine particle size distribution (grading) of all


components (AS 1141). Store enough of each
component to carry out full design procedure,
allowing for possible iteration to meet compliance
requirements.

Austroads 2004

— 17 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

LEVEL 1
No Action Comment
1-1 Choose trial grading. Estimate binder content based on Surface area estimated by Hveem formula (assumes spherical
experience, or on film index calculation. The default binder is particles). May require allowance for 1% aggregate breakdown due
Class 320 bitumen. to mixing.

1-2 Prepare batches of material at trial binder content (TBC) and 3 For existing mixes test at 5 BCs, new mixes 4. Require test results
or 4 (4 if new mix) other bitumen contents (BCs). At each BC to span specified voids value. Start with TBC and TBC ± 1% and
mix sufficient material for triplicate specimens and for duplicate then infill at 0.5% BC intervals after voids have been determined for
Maximum Density (MD) determinations. TBC ± 1% samples.

TBC can be based on experience or min. binder content (MBC) to


give 7.5µm film using assumed value for bitumen absorption.

1-3 For each binder content, condition mix for 1 h at 150°C. Check Gyratory angle is 2°for 100 mm and 3° for 150 mm specimens.
gyratory angle and compact specimens at required number of
gyratory cycles. Put aside uncompacted mix for MD (AS Currently 50 cycles are used for light, 80 for medium and 120 for
2891.7.1). heavy traffic. These values intended to simulate compaction in a
pavement after 2-3 years traffic. Values subject to review

1-4 Measure bulk density of uncut, compacted specimens Note: the density of cut (e.g. for creep test and cores from road)
according to AS 2891.9 and MD (AS 2891.7.1). specimens is higher than uncut specimens. Difference depends on
level of compaction and mix size. AS 2891.9.2 is preferred for
mixes with small (<3mm) surface voids and AS2891.9.3 is preferred
for mixes with large (>3mm) surface voids.

1-5 Calculate air void content of each specimen (AS 2891.8). See Chapter 10 for information on measurement of volumetric
properties.

1-6 Construct plots of air voids, VMA and bulk density against
binder content.

1-7 For very heavy traffic mixes, prepare a further set of samples The results from this exercise are used to construct a gyratory
at the design binder content and duplicate samples compacted compaction curve as shown in Fig 3.1.
in the gyratory compactor for 10, 80, 120 and 250 cycles

1-8 Design binder content is binder content with specified value of Required air void content is obtained from relevant specification.
air voids for mix type. If results do not span specified value of Tables 2.3 and 2.4 have commonly used design air void values.
voids then alter composition and repeat steps.

1-9 For heavily trafficked mixes, check that air voids for the design Since a heavily trafficked mix will be required to have an air void
binder content at 250 cycles (maximum cycles) meet the content at 250 cycles above a minimum value (set out in the
relevant specification minimum value. appropriate specification), a check on the 250 cycle voids value is
normally made at this stage. 2% minimum is commonly used for
mixes with 5% design air voids.

1-10 Manufacture triplicate specimens of the design mix at the Only performed if Workability Index is required for level 1 mixes.
design binder content and compact in the gyratory compactor
for the required number of cycles. Record ram displacement Workability Index procedure is given in Section 8.7.
as indicated in the Workability Index procedure. Calculate
Workability Index

Austroads 2004

— 18 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

LEVEL 2
No Action Comment
2-1 Check binder film index is sufficient for adequate fatigue resistance. Compare value with any specification requirement. 7.5µm
Determine binder film index using measured value of binder minimum is commonly used to help ensure adequate cohesion
absorption. and durability.

2-2 Manufacture one set of specimens at design bitumen content. Mix Use compaction to a set density procedure.
sufficient material for triplicate specimens and for duplicate
Maximum (voids free) Density (MD) determination. Condition mix Workability Index optional.
for 1 h at 150°C. Check gyratory angle and compact specimens to
Workability Index procedure is given in Section 8.7.
5% air voids. Put aside uncompacted mix for MD (AS 2891.7.1).
Record ram displacement as indicated in the Workability Index
procedure. Calculate Workability Index

2-3 Measure bulk density of uncut, compacted specimens according to AS 2891.9.2 is preferred for mixes with small (<3mm) surface
AS 2891.9. and MD (AS 2891.7.1). Calculate air void contents of voids and AS2891.9.3 is preferred for mixes with large (>3mm)
triplicate (AS 2891.8). Check air void content at design binder surface voids.
content is 5 ± 0.5%. If not, check results and remanufacture
samples as necessary.

2-4 Measure Resilient Modulus according to AS 2891.13.1. Standard resilient modulus conditions are 5% voids and 25°C.

2-5 On the same specimens as 2-4, perform the Dynamic Creep Test Standard creep conditions are 5% voids and 50°C.
(AS 2891.12.1).

2-6 Check that the values of creep and modulus at the design binder May need extra testing to indicate sensitivity to binder content
content meets any specified requirements for climate and traffic. If and/or air voids
not return to start of 1-1

2-7 Optional moisture sensitivity testing (2.7 - 2.12). Manufacture six AS 2891.9.2 is preferred for mixes with small (<3mm) surface
specimens at design bitumen content. Condition mix for 1 h at 150° voids and AS2891.9.3 is preferred for mixes with large (>3mm)
C. Compact specimens to obtain a void content of 8% Measure surface voids.
bulk density ( AS 2891.9) and calculate air voids.

2-8 Using the pat dry density procedure (AS 2891.9.2 determine AST02 – Austroads test method to determine stripping potential,
density, voids and volume for each specimen. available on the Austroads web site
(www.austroads.com.au/aprg).

Austroads 2004

— 19 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

LEVEL 2 (continued)

No Action Comment

2-9 Split samples into two groups such that the mean air void content of Group A comprise the "dry state" samples and storage at
the two groups is approximately equal. Store group A at room room temperature allows them to dry out after density testing
temperature until ready for testing

2-10 Partially saturate the Group B specimens in water at 25°C for 10 Freeze thaw cycle optional but recommended where
minutes in a vacuum desiccator then density test and determine pavement temperatures can be less than 0°C
percent saturation. Condition for 18 hours at 60°C in a water bath
then return to water bath at 25°C and density test.

2-11 Determine tensile strength of both group A and group B specimens Marshall loading equipment may be suitable
using tensile loading machine. Calculate strength ratio of two sets
of specimens.

2-12 Visually inspect fractured faces and determine percent of fractured Calculation procedure given in Austroads Test Method
faces in both sets of specimens AST02, available on the Austroads web site
(www.austroads.com.au/aprg).

2-13 Optional fatigue testing (2.13 - 2.19). Manufacture two slabs of Procedures given in Austroads Test Methods AST03 &
compacted mix 300 mm square and 75 mm deep at design bitumen AST05, available on the Austroads web site
content. Condition loose mix for 1h at 150°C. Compact the slabs to (www.austroads.com.au/aprg)..
achieve an air void content of 5±0.5%.

2-14 Cut and trim 3 beams 400 x 50 x 63.5 mm. from each slab.

2-15 Measure bulk density of specimens according to AS 2891.9. AS 2891.9.2 is preferred for mixes with small (<3mm) surface
voids and AS2891.9.3 is preferred for mixes with large
(>3mm) surface voids.

2-16 Calculate air void content of each specimen (AS 2891.8) and
determine air voids. If air void content is not 5±0.5%,
remanufacture and retest.

2-17 Test beams at 20°C and 10 Hz haversine loading in triplicate at 400 Testing at other strain levels can lead to a more complete
µε understanding of the mix behaviour.

2-18 Report cycles to failure at 1,000,000 cycles and slope of line. Failure is defined as 50% loss of initial stiffness or percentage
of initial stiffness at one million cycles.

Austroads 2004

— 20 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

LEVEL 3

No Action Comment

3-1 Check that air void content at 250 cycles determination was carried out The air void content of duplicate samples with the design air
in step 1-7. void content compacted for 250 cycles should be greater than
a specified minimum value. This check should have been
performed in step 1-7.

3-2 Manufacture three test specimens of compacted mix 300 mm square Laboratory compaction equipment or wheelpath roller can be
and 50 or 75 mm deep (14 mm and less nominal size is 50 mm deep used if conforming to AST05. Air void content commonly
and > 14 mm is 75 mm deep) at design bitumen content. Condition specified is 5.0%.
loose mix for 1h at 150°C. Compact the slabs to achieve within 0.5%
of the specified air void content.

3-3 Measure compacted asphalt density according to 2891.9.2. Determine Bulk density can be determined by water immersion of whole
air void content according to AS 2891.8. test specimen..

3-4 Test specimens at 60°C in wheel tracking machine and measure wheel Procedure given in Austroads Test Method AST01 available
tracking rate. If mean result is greater than specification value then on the Austroads web site (www.austroads.com.au/aprg).
alter composition and start again at Level 1.

3.8 Additional Information on the Use of RAP


The mixing process for incorporating RAP into asphalt mixes in batching plants involves heat transfer
from superheated aggregates. Practical considerations generally limit the amount of RAP that can be
transferred by this method to about 30% of the total mix. The manufacturing process for drum mixing
plants requires shielding or separation of the RAP from direct exposure to the burner flame. A number of
modified drum mixing plants have been developed and more detail is given in the “Asphalt Guide”
(Austroads 2002x).
RAP mixes are classified according to the percentage of RAP (by mass) in the mix. Since RAP includes
binder, a mix made using 20% RAP (which has, say, 5% binder content and thus 95% mineral aggregate
content) will have 19% by mass of the mineral aggregate in the total mix contributed by the RAP.
Some RAP may have a high percentage of material passing the 75um sieve and this may make it difficult
to match the target grading curve. To overcome this problem it may be necessary to screen some of the
fines out of the RAP or reduce the percentage of RAP in the mix. If screening of the mix is required to
meet the grading for mix design purposes, the plant for producing the asphalt must have the capability of
producing the same result.
If a specification requires that only a part of the binder in the RAP is to be considered as part of the mix
binder then all binder calculations have to allow for the reduced binder contribution from the RAP.
If a specification contains a limit on recovered binder viscosity, the use of RAP, especially when added at
rates higher than 15%, may lead to a recovered binder viscosity in excess of that specified. This can be
prevented by using a lower grade of virgin binder or adding a RAP rejuvenator to the fresh binder. A
guide to the calculation of required rejuvenator viscosities and percentages is given in the Austroads
Publication “Framework Specifications for Asphalt Recycling” (Austroads 2000x).

Austroads 2004

— 21 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

3.9 Improving Mix Performance


At some stage in the design process, the designer may become aware that the mix is deficient in one or more
performance areas. In this sub-section, some advice is given on how such a deficiency may be addressed by
changes in mix composition. It must be remembered, however, that a change in composition to improve one
property may have a detrimental effect on other properties. The mix designer must use his or her best
endeavours to reach an optimum solution.
Air void content is an important mix design parameter. In particular, very heavily trafficked mixes should
not be below a specified voids value (commonly 3%) after 250 Gyropac cycles (see Section 3.6, Stage 10).
Generally a designer will aim to produce a mix that achieves all the design parameters, including air voids, at
the most economical binder content. Grading combinations matching Table 3.2 provide a useful starting
point. Adjustments which may be made, in order to increase or decrease voids in the mineral aggregate and
hence the binder content required for the target air voids, include the following:
• Making the mix coarser and/or more gap graded. General target gradings (Table 3.2) are close to a
maximum density curve. Moving a portion of the grading either coarser or finer will generally increase
voids. Caution must be exercised, however, due to the effect on mix stiffness and surface texture.
• Changing the percentage of fines (material passing the 2.36 mm sieve) – effect as above.
• Increasing or decreasing filler content has a direct effect and decreases or increases the voids
respectively.
• Changing particle shape, particularly of the fine aggregate component. Use of smooth, rounded particles
increases workability (the mix is easier to compact) and thus reduces voids. Note that this may decrease
mix stiffness.
• Increasing the natural sand content may increase voids due to void spaces occurring between sand grains.
Deformation resistance A lack of deformation resistance will lead to rutting. Deformation resistance can
be improved by:
• selecting a larger nominal size mix,
• using an angular or textured aggregate,
• using a stiffer binder or a binder modified to increase the elastic strain component of the total strain,
• adopting a coarser grading (e.g.. n = 0.6 in eqn (3.2)),
• reducing air voids but not below 3%, and
• increasing filler content.
Each of these actions, however, will have an impact on other characteristics. For example, using more
angular and textured aggregate will reduce workability, and increasing filler content can produce a mastic
which lacks flexibility thereby reducing fatigue resistance.
Fatigue Resistance is improved by:
• using binders with elastic properties,
• increasing binder content, and
• reducing air voids, but not below 3%,
but the latter two measures will reduce deformation resistance. The high binder content (HBAC) mixes
which are used as the lower layer in the base course of modified full depth asphalt pavements as a fatigue
layer have poor deformation resistance. As a result these pavements should incorporate a minimum of 125
mm of dense graded asphalt over the HBAC layer to prevent rutting (see Table 2.4) and the binder content
should not exceed 1% above normal mix requirements. Crocodile cracking may be due to lack of fatigue
resistance.
RUTTING AND CROCODILE CRACKING PHOTOS HERE

Austroads 2004

— 22 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Durability is improved by:


• reducing air voids,
• using softer grade binders, and
• increasing the binder film thickness.
A reduction in air voids can be achieved by increasing the proportion of rounded particles at the expense of
crushed particles, but this would also reduce the deformation resistance which could be an important
consideration in other than light duty pavements.
The use of a softer grade of binder can improve durability but will invariably reduce the rutting resistance of
the mix.
RAVELLING PHOTO HERE
The binder film index for a given binder content is increased by adopting a coarse grading, thus reducing
total particle surface area. This action, however, can result in an increase in the voids in mineral aggregate
and, for a given binder content, an increase in air voids. A lack of durability may be evidenced by ravelling.
Skid resistance can be improved by:
• selecting a larger nominal size mix,
• using a coarse grading,
• using angular rough aggregate, and
• using aggregate which has a high resistance to polishing.
The use of a larger mix and a coarser grading also reduces spray generation but will increase road/tyre noise.
Therefore, it will depend on the particular application whether skid resistance or noise generation is more
important – e.g. on local roads in urban areas where traffic speeds are low, the reduction of road/tyre noise is
to be preferred even at the expense of a lower skid resistance.
Workability, which is the ease with which the mix can be spread and compacted, can be improved by:
• increasing voids in the mineral aggregate,
• using higher binder content,
• using softer binder,
• reduction in filler content, and
• using more rounded aggregate.
The use of higher binder content, a softer binder and more rounded aggregate will all tend to increase the
potential for rutting.
Resistance to moisture induced damage can be improved by:
• incorporating hydrated lime in the filler as 1% to 2% of the total mix,
• reducing permeability,
• inclusion of an adhesion agent,
• using an aggregate with a greater affinity for bitumen,
• use of clean aggregates,
• adequately drying aggregate,
• effectively mixing and coating the aggregates,
• adequate mixing times,

Austroads 2004

— 23 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

• appropriate binder/filler ratio,


• selection of compatible components,
• controlling the dosage of additives, and
• using harder grades of binders or polymers, etc.
In any dense graded asphalt the most positive method to prevent moisture damage is to minimise the amount
of water entering the mix. Some instances of stripping in dense graded asphalt bases or intermediate course
have been associated with a surfacing of open graded asphalt. Where open graded asphalt is used as the
surfacing it is essential that the road geometry provides free drainage of the surfacing to avoid excessive
amounts of water being trapped adjacent to the underlying surface. The underlying surface must also have a
low permeability. If there is any doubt at all, the underlying surface should be sealed prior to placing the
open graded asphalt.
Non-silicious aggregates (see Fig. 7.2) usually have a better affinity for bitumen, thus reducing the potential
for displacement of the binder film from the aggregate surfaces.
The addition of hydrated lime has been shown to reduce the potential for stripping, although it does not
entirely prevent it. The use of polymer modified binders has been successful in reducing the potential for
stripping in airfield pavements.

3.10 Design of a Series of Mixes for a Range of Applications

Principle
The procedures described apply to the design of a single mix for a specific application. The volumetric data
developed in Level 1 of the design procedure may be useful in developing a series of mixes, with different
binder contents and a single aggregate composition, which satisfy the design requirements for a range of
applications.
As an example, the laboratory data obtained during the design of a mix for medium level traffic could be
used to design a mix for a lightly trafficked street with no further laboratory testing being required (provided
the mix met the volumetric requirements). For other applications, the mix designer might wish to alter the
mix composition to optimise properties for the new application. In this case the Level 1 data might suggest a
suitable starting point for the new composition.
To design a range of mixes, Level 1 testing must be performed on single samples of conditioned mix
compacted for 10, 50, 80, 120 and 250 cycles for each of the selected binder contents to be trialled. Thus 5
samples are compacted for each binder content and are tested for density so that air void content can be
determined.

12

10 b - 0.5%

8
Air void b + 0.5% Trial binder
6 content (b)
content
(%) b + 1.0%
4

0
50
10 50 80100120 250 50
1000
Gyratory cycles

Fig. 3.9 — Gyratory compaction to determine a range of mixes to meet different conditions

Austroads 2004

— 24 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Relationships between mix types are shown diagrammatically in Figs 3.9 and 3.10. A trial binder content
was chosen based on previous experience (but could have been selected based on achieving 7.5 µm film
index) and samples at this and three other binder contents at 0.5% intervals were also produced and
compacted. The data points are shown in Fig. 3.9 along with the regression lines that were fitted to the data.
Fig. 3.10 is a slightly enlarged version of Fig. 3.9 with the data points removed. Also shown in Fig. 3.10 are
the various design air void contents at the specified number of gyratory cycles, designated as the design
nodes. It can be seen that none of the regression lines representing the four trial mixes passes directly
through any of the design nodes. In order to select a design binder content for either a Light, Medium,
Heavy or Very Heavy duty mix it is necessary to interpolate between the trial binder contents.

8 Trial binder
content (b)

7 b + 0.5%

6 b - 0.5% Commonly specified voids


Air void
content 5 Design voids VH traffic
(%) b + 1.0%
Design voids L, M, H traffic
4
Design voids MR
3 Medium traffic bitumen rich

2
50 80 120 250 50
10
50 100 1000
Gyratory cycles

Fig. 3.10 — Gyratory compaction showing design level nodes

Also shown in the example is the case of a type MR high bitumen base mix. In this case a binder content of
about 0.5% above the standard Type M mix is necessary. In practice, of course, not all the mix types
discussed would be required from any particular aggregate size. It should be noted that the binder content
relationships are indicative only, and will change if any of the component materials are changed.
For medium and heavily trafficked mixes, a design binder content obtained using the relationships illustrated
in Figs 3.9 and 3.10 would need to be verified by Level 2 and 3 mechanical testing of the proposed
composition.

Austroads 2004

— 25 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

3.11 Bibliography

To be added to the existing bibliography, where x will depend on the number of Austroads
publications cited in the next edition of the Guide.
Austroads (2000x). Framework Specifications for Asphalt Recycling. Report No. AP-T02/00. Austroads
Sydney.
Austroads (2002x). Asphalt Guide. Report No. AP-G66/02. Austroads Sydney.

Austroads 2004

— 26 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

3. CHANGES TO CHAPTER 7
A new section, numbered 7.5, is inserted in Chapter 7. The new old Section “7.5 Additives” now
becomes “7.6 Additives”. The new section 7.5 reads as follows
7.5 Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP)
When RAP is included in an asphalt mix it is assumed the original (RAP) asphalt was produced with good
quality aggregate and thus the physical properties of the RAP aggregate will be consistent with the
production of a sound asphalt.
The bitumen in the RAP will be oxidised to a significant degree which will give an increase in the
resultant asphalt binder viscosity depending on the hardness of the binder in the RAP and the percentage
RAP in the mix (see Section 3.4)
Since a contractor may source RAP from a number of sites, different batches, as received at the recycling
plant, might have widely varying binder and aggregate properties. To ensure the RAP used is
homogeneous, procedures must be developed for stockpiling and testing the RAP so the properties and
consistency of the material are known.
The mix design procedure requires that the grading and particle density of aggregates to be used in a mix
are known. In the case of RAP, this information is determined by removing the binder from the RAP
either by solvent extraction or using an ignition oven procedure, and then determining the grading. The
recovered aggregate must be separated into fine and coarse fractions for particle density determination.

4. REVISED CHAPTER 8.3 – MIXING


Section 8.3 is changed to read as follows:
8.3 Mixing
Mixing of the aggregates and binder is similar to the Marshall and Hubbard Field methods. The emphasis is
on achieving an even coating of the binder over all the aggregate particles. The mixing times suggested in
the standards are those that have been found in practice to achieve an even coating using a planetary style
mixer, though the standard does not preclude the use of other mixers.
Mixers that require longer than the 3 minute maximum mixing time to achieve an even binder coating on the
aggregate will cause additional oxidation of the binders above that considered normal in laboratory practice
and steps should be taken to speed up the mixing process or a new, more efficient mixer obtained. The rate
of oxidation of binders is greatest during mixing as fresh binder is constantly exposed to air and any extra
time above the 3 minute maximum may cause measurable changes in the properties of the mixes.
Some breakdown of the aggregate will occur during the mixing process. The amount of extra fines produced
will depend upon the size of the asphalt mix, quality of the aggregate and on the type of mixer bowl and
paddle. It is not necessary to measure the mixed grading for every mix produced but records should be kept
for generic mix types and aggregate sources.
The procedure known as “wetting of the mixing bowl and splitting equipment” is mandatory. This means
that a dummy mix is put through the mixing process before normal mixing is undertaken. The mixing bowl
and equipment are scraped to remove the bulk of the dummy mix, leaving a thin coating of binder and fine
particles on the bowl and mixing equipment. This will ensure that fines and binders from subsequent mixes
will not adhere to the mixing equipment. It is important that the binder used in the dummy mix is the same
as the binder used in subsequent mixes. This is particularly important when using modified binders.

Austroads 2004

— 27 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Raw Materials
Sufficient aggregate for one batch is split from the various bin fractions (to the nearest 5 g) according to the
mix design. Allowances should be made for moisture content when determining quantities for a mix design.
The aim is to produce a design grading based on dry aggregates masses. For mixes containing RAP,
allowances should also be made for the binder content in the RAP (see Chapter 3.4).
The quantity of binder should be sufficient for one asphalt batch. If a sub-sample of binder needs to be split
from a large quantity of binder then care should be taken to limit oxidation. Most binders become fluid at
less than 100°C (some PMBs may require a higher temperature) and a large sample of binder should be
warmed gently until it becomes fluid. Once the binder is fluid it should be stirred for about one or two
minutes to ensure that the mass is homogeneous. Sub-samples should be decanted and stored in closed tins
with a capacity that is not much greater than the volume required for a single mix. AS 2341.21, “Binder
Sample Preparation”, should be consulted as to the correct sampling procedures.
In practice, sub-samples of around 1 Litre in volume are often used. This will provide sufficient binder for
two dense graded asphalt mixes with a maximum particle size less than 20 mm, or one mix of a larger stone
mix or a binder-rich mix. Excess binder that has been heated to over 150°C should be discarded (and not
reheated and used at a later date).
PMBs may need to be heated to higher temperatures before becoming fluid. The supplier’s
recommendations should be consulted and should be noted on the report form.

Pre-mixing and Material Preparation


Individual aggregate fractions should be added to the mixer bowl and mixed for fifteen seconds to ensure
that the dry mineral components are thoroughly blended. The aggregate need not be heated prior to pre-
mixing. The aggregate is then placed in an oven and heated (a maximum temperature of 185°C is
recommended, but typically 175°C is sufficient).
A sample of binder is also placed in an oven and heated to a maximum temperature of 155°C. The quantity
of a binder sample should be sufficient for one or two asphalt batches that are to be made at the same time.
PMBs may require higher temperatures to allow mixing to take place. The supplier’s instructions should be
consulted. The practice of over-heating these binders should be avoided. Aggregates need not be heated
above 185°C for any binders. The binder temperature and the length of time that the binder is kept at an
elevated temperature must be controlled to ensure that the binder is not oxidised beyond normal
expectations. AS 2891.2.1 stipulates the maximum time that binders can be held at elevated temperatures.

Pre-mixing and Material Preparation for Mixes Containing RAP


The binder in RAP could be further oxidised if exposed in an oven at high temperature for an extended
period while being heated prior to laboratory mixing. For this reason, the fresh aggregates are heated to
a higher than normal temperature so that, during mixing, heat is transferred from them to the RAP. RAP
is heated at a lower temperature than would be used for fresh aggregate. The procedure is as follows.
Prior to mixing, the fresh aggregates are heated to a temperature up to 10oC higher than for a normal mix
but no higher than 185oC. RAP is spread to a depth of about 25mm thick on trays and placed in an oven
at 150oC for no more than 3 hours (this will require a separate oven). The fresh aggregates and RAP are
added to the mixer and mixed for about 15 seconds. The mixer is then stopped and the binder, prepared
as described in the previous section, is then added to the mix and mixed for a further 3 minutes.
RAP can contain a considerable amount of moisture and this must be allowed for when batching the mix.
Prior to weighing out material for mixing, a sample of RAP should be heated to drive off all moisture and
the water content of the RAP determined.

Mixing of Binder and Aggregates

Austroads 2004

— 28 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

Mixing of asphalt is similar to the procedures in the Marshall and Hubbard Field design methods. A
planetary-style mixer is recommended, with the emphasis during mixing being to ensure adequate coating of
the aggregate whilst maintaining the mix temperature. Provision of heating to the bowl during mixing is not
required and operators should not mix longer than is necessary. If the mix cools too much it will be difficult
for the mix to achieve a stable temperature equilibrium during the subsequent conditioning process. The
time required to complete the mixing process should be carefully controlled and the operator should work
quickly whilst maintaining safe and accurate work practices.
If a number of batches are to be prepared, then it is useful to have a separate mixing bowl for each mix. This
will ensure that the temperature of the mixing bowl is the same for each mix and will help to control the heat
loss (see previous comments on wetting of the mixing bowl in Section 8.3). If only a single mixing bowl is
used then it should be re-heated to 170–185ºC prior to the next mix.
The mixing bowls should have a thin film of binder and fine aggregate before wet mixing. This thin film is
the residual after mixing and scraping clean a dummy mix the same as the test mix. This is particularly
important when using ‘sticky’ binders such as some of the PMBs or when compacting open graded mixes at
130°C.
If the mixer used coats the aggregate in less than 3 minutes then a set time should be adopted for all mixes.
This ensures that all mixes produced by the mixer will have the same relative properties. For planetary
mixes it is advisable that 3 minutes be adopted as standard, provided that the aggregate is sufficiently coated.

Austroads 2004

— 29 —
Changes to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to Incorporate Recycled Asphalt

BIBLIOGRAPHY
APRG (2002). Selection and Design of Asphalt Mixes: Australian Provisional Guide. Austroads APRG
Report No. 18 Published May 1997, Updated July 1998, March 1999. Second edition December 2002.
ARRB Transport Research

Austroads 2004

— 30 —
INFORMATION RETRIEVAL

Austroads (2004). Variations to the Austroads Mix Design Procedure to


Incorporate Recycled Asphalt, A4, 38pp, Sydney, AP-R256/04

KEYWORDS: Recycled Asphalt Pavement, RAP, recycled asphalt, mix design

ABSTRACT:

The Austroads Guide to the Selection and Design of Asphalt Mixes does not address
the design of mixes containing Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP). The report
contains the additions and amendments which should be made to the next revision of
the Guide so that it will cover mixes which contain RAP.