Fatigue Evaluation of Warm-Mix Asphalt Mixtures

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    Temperatures used at pavement production plants have a hugeand direct impact on binder aging. Research over the past decadeshas shown that binder aging reflects on the fatigue cracking resis-tance of asphalt pavement mixes. WMA mixtures are produced andplaced by using temperatures 30F to 100F lower than those ofHMA mixtures. WMA production temperatures cause less binderoxidation. The effect of this phenomenon on the mixes fatigue crackresistance is still not well defined (3).

    Several tests are available to evaluate the fatigue characteristics ofasphalt mixtures. The cyclic, four-point bending beam tests have beenused over the years to test laboratory or field samples for the purposeof studying pavement fatigue cracking characteristics. Four-pointbending beam tests are performed by using large samples prepared inthe lab or on slabs trenched from the field (4, 5).

    A uniaxial, cyclic fatigue pushpull test can be performed oncylindrical asphalt samples, similar to samples used for dynamicmodulus testing, and they offer an easier alternative to the four-point bending beam test. Advantages of this type of testing over thecyclic, four-point bending beams are that samples can be easily pre-pared by using the Superpave gyratory compactor. Also, the testcan be easily performed by using the new asphalt mixture perfor-mance tester. Advanced mathematical theories and the viscoelasticcontinuum damage (VECD) approach can be easily used to analyzethe data (3, 6, 7 ).

    The objectives of this study were (a) to evaluate the impact of threeWMA technologies on the fatigue cracking resistance of asphalt mix-tures by using a uniaxial, cyclic, direct tension compression test and(b) to analyze the data by taking a VECD approach.


    To achieve the objectives of this study, an experimental plan wasdeveloped (Figure 1).

    WMA asphalt should have a strong impact on asphalt mixture per-formance because mixing and compaction temperatures are lowerthan conventional HMA temperatures. The binder is less aged; there-fore it is less oxidized. The proposed research evaluated the fatiguecracking resistance of WMA mixtures as compared with that of HMAmixtures by using a simplified VECD approach.

    Two of the mixtures used in the NCHRP Project 9-43 mix designexperiment were used in this study as control mixtures (3). A uni-axial, cyclic, direct tension compression fatigue test was performedon the two control mixtures, as well as on the control mixtures pro-duced, by using three WMA technologies: Advera, Evotherm 3G,and Sasobit. All mixtures were produced by using a PG 64-22 virginbinder. The dosage rate of the Advera was 0.25% by weight of the

    Fatigue Evaluation of Warm-Mix Asphalt MixturesUse of Uniaxial, Cyclic, Direct Tension Compression Test

    Mohamed Monir Haggag, Walaa S. Mogawer, and Ramon Bonaquist

    Warm-mix asphalt (WMA) is the generic term used to refer to a groupof technologies that are used to produce asphalt pavement mixtures attemperatures lower than those of traditional hot-mix asphalt (HMA).One of the potential benefits of WMA is that it provides better fatiguecracking characteristics than does HMA. The lower temperaturesshould reduce the aging of asphalt binders that occur during produc-tion. The reduced aging of asphalt binders should lead to improvedfatigue characteristics of asphalt mixtures. The research reported hereaddressed two main objectives. The first was to study the impacts ofthree WMA technologies on the fatigue cracking resistance of HMA byusing one asphalt binder and two aggregate sources. The fatigue char-acteristics were measured by using a uniaxial, cyclic, direct tension com-pression test. The second objective was to analyze the data produced bythe test by using the simplified viscoelastic continuum damage approachproposed in the NCHRP 9-43 Phase I report. Three WMA technologieswere used: Advera, Evotherm 3G, and Sasobit. All mixtures were pro-duced by using a PG 64-22 virgin binder. Data showed no significant dif-ference between HMA mixtures and WMA mixtures for each mix exceptfor the Advera.

    Warm-mix asphalt (WMA) refers to a group of technologies that isused to produce asphalt pavement mixes at temperatures lower thanthose of traditional hot-mix asphalt (HMA) (1). Many new tech-nologies are now in use (e.g., foaming, organic, and chemical WMAtechnologies) and more may be coming soon in the asphalt pave-ment market. European countries that have used WMA technolo-gies for a few years cite numerous economical, environmental,and potential mechanical advantages of the WMA over HMA andcold asphalt mixtures (2). In the United States, state agencies havefocused their efforts on the development of standard specificationsfor the use of WMA technologies. To assist in the endeavor, a stan-dard WMA mix design is needed. NCHRP has developed Project 9-43 to address the issue of having a standard mix design procedurefor WMA (3).

    M. M. Haggag, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Highway Sus-tainability Research Center, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, 151 Mar-tine Street, Room 131, Fall River, MA 02723. W. S. Mogawer, Department ofCivil and Environmental Engineering, Highway Sustainability Research Center,University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dart-mouth, MA 02747. R. Bonaquist, Advanced Asphalt Technologies, LLC, 108Powers Court, Suite 100, Sterling, VA 20166. Corresponding author: W. S.Mogawer, wmogawer@umassd.edu.

    Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board,No. 2208, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington,D.C., 2011, pp. 2632.DOI: 10.3141/2208-04

  • mixture. The remaining technologies were dosed by the weight ofbinder in the mixture. The Evotherm 3G dose was 0.5%, and forSasobit it was 1.5%.

    The control HMA mixtures were prepared at the recommendedviscosity-based mixing and compaction temperatures (320F and310F). WMA mixtures were prepared at the midpoint of the tem-peratures used in the mix design experiment of NCHRP Project 9-43 (250F and 240F). All produced samples were long-term,oven-aged, according to AASHTO R30, to simulate the effect oflong-term aging. Continuum damage theory was used to charac-terize the fatigue resistance of the eight mixtures. Analysis of vari-ance was used to decide whether or not there were significantperformance differences between the WMA and HMA mixtures.Table 1 is a summary of the two mixtures used in the proposedstudy.


    Data from the uniaxial, cyclic, direct tension compression fatiguetest were analyzed by using the concept of reduced cycles andeffective strain, which Christensen and Bonaquist developed (6).The main aim of the proposed approach was to get plots of theratio of damaged modulus to the undamaged modulus as a func-tion of the damage parameter S collapse by choosing the appro-priate value for the continuum damage constant . Reducedcycles could be calculated accurately and without the integrationprocesses that might be difficult for many practicing engineers. Itcan be shown theoretically that reduced cycles are equivalent to thecontinuum damage parameter S (3). Reduced cycles are defined byEquation 1:

    Haggag, Mogawer, and Bonaquist 27


    NR = reduced cycles;NR-ini = initial value of reduced cycles, prior to the selected

    loading period;N = actual loading cycles;fo = reference frequency (10 Hz suggested);f = actual test frequency;

    E*LVE = undamaged [linear viscoelastic (LVE)] dynamic mod-ulus under given conditions, lb/in.2;

    E*LVE/o = reference initial (LVE) dynamic modulus, lb/in2 (theLVE modulus at 20C is suggested);

    = continuum damage material constant with a typical valueof about 2.0;

    N N N ffE

    ER Ro



    = +










    21 1

    ( )



    1) No WMA (Control)2) 0.25% Advera3) 1.5% Sasobit4) 0.5% Evotherm 3G

    Warm MixAsphalt(WMA)


    9.5 mmMixtureDesign


    Ndesign = 75


    Ndesign = 100

    PG64-22Virgin Binder

    Fatigue TestUniaxial Cyclic DirectTension-Compression


    Data AnalysisSimplified ViscoelasticContinuum Damage -

    Reduced Cycles &Effective Strain

    Compare FatiguePerformance of WMA

    and HMA Mixtures

    FIGURE 1 Experimental plan.

    TABLE 1 Design Properties for Fatigue Mixtures

    Control ControlProperty Mixture 1 Mixture 2

    Mix number 4 6Design gyrations 75 100Aggregate water absorption (%) 1.6 1.3RAP No NoNMAS (mm) 9.5 9.5Aggregate source

    Coarse PA gravel VA diabaseFine PA limestone VA diabase

    PA gravel Natural sandRAP None None

    GradationSieve size (mm)

    12.5 100a 100a9.5 98a 98a4.75 63a 53a2.36 44a 40a1.18 32a 31a0.6 22a 22a0.3 12a 12a0.15 5a 7a0.075 3.0a 4.8a

    Aggregate property (%)FAA 43.5 48.3CAA 98/95b 100/100bFlat and elongated 7.4 7.6Sand equivalent 80.2 76.7

    Binder content (wt %) 6.3 5.7Effective binder content (wt %) 5.3 4.7Air voids (vol %) 4.3 3.7Voids in mineral aggregate (vol %) 16.3 15.1Effective binder content (vol %) 12.0 11.4Voids filled with asphalt (%) 73.6 75.5Dust-to-effective-asphalt ratio 0.6 1.0

    NOTE: PA = Pennsylvania, VA = Virginia, RAP = reclaimed asphalt pavement,NMAS = nominal maximum aggregate sizes, CAA = coarse aggregate angular-ity, FAA = fine aggregate angularity.aPercent passing sieve.bNumbers indicate that 98% (100%) of CAA has one or more fractured facesand 95% (100%) has two or more fractured faces.

  • E = effective applied strain level, applied strain minus theendurance limit strain;


    = reference effective strain level (0.0002 suggested); and= s