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Investigation of Gyratory Compaction used for Asphalt Mix Design

Danish Road Institute Report 95 1999

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Road Directorate Danish Road Institute Elisagaardsvej 5 P.O. Box 235 DK-4000 Roskilde Denmark Telephone: +45 46 30 70 00 Telefax: +45 46 30 71 05

Title: Author: Photo: Dated: Copyright: Published by: ISBN: ISSN:

Investigation of Gyratory Compaction used for Asphalt Mix Design Jrn Raaberg Jrn Raaberg December 1999 Road Directorate, All rights reserved Road Directorate, Danish Road Institute 87-90145-57-7 0909-1386

Investigation of Gyratoty Compaction used for Asphalt Mix Design

Jrn Raaberg

Danish Road Institute Report 95 1999

Contents
Preface .......................................................................................................................... 4 Abstract ........................................................................................................................ 5 1. Introduction ............................................................................................................. 6 1.1 Specimen preparation of plane sections............................................................... 7 1.2 Procedures for image analysis ............................................................................. 7 2. Test series. Examination of specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor, binder course material, Superfos................................................................................ 9 2.1 Specimens ............................................................................................................ 9 2.2 Results and discussion ....................................................................................... 10 3. Second test series. Examination of specimens produced by gyratory compaction, open-graded asphalt concrete, and binder course material ............. 13 3.1 Results and discussion ....................................................................................... 13 4. Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 15 References ................................................................................................................... 16

Preface
This report contains one paper written for the 7th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials which took place at the Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands from June 29 to July 2, 1999. Since the start of these Euroseminars on Microscopy many different subjects have been discussed. One of the themes in 1999 was on road marking materials including asphalt.

Abstract
In Denmark, as in many other countries, the Marshall method has been used for many years to determine the mix design of asphalt concrete. However, the general opinion is that with the Marshall method and similar mix design methods test specimens are obtained which do not correspond to the asphalt concrete found in the pavement. This difference is documented in an investigation of asphalt plane sections from various laboratory tests and drilled cores from the road, carried out by the Danish Road Institute. In the American research project SHRP, examination of several methods of laboratory compaction and mix design of asphaltic materials took place. One of these methods which now has been accepted as the standard method in USA is gyratory compaction. The Danish Road Institute took part in the SHRP project, and investigated specimens compacted by different methods by image analysis of plane sections. In Denmark, the Gyratory Compactor is also becoming standard laboratory equipment. Most road laboratories, including the Danish Road Institute, have acquired the equipment. The method has now been tested under laboratory conditions in various countries, including Denmark, and results similar to other laboratories have been recorded. A Round Robin Test, in which creep tests made on gyratory specimens as well as drilled cores from a test stretch were compared, was started by the Danish company Superfos with participation from the Danish Road Institute. The results show a big difference between the two types of compaction. The Danish Road Institute has further performed investigations of plane sections and image analysis of test specimens from the two types of compaction. The results show, in agreement with earlier reports, substantial differences between the two types. The investigations have only been undertaken on one type of asphalt concrete material, and at present examinations of other material types are being carried out. These tests are expected to be completed by the end of 1998.

1. Introduction
It is generally agreed that applying the Marshall method and other similar laboratory methods does not lead to compaction levels which are comparable to that which takes place during the construction of asphalt concrete road pavements. This applies in particular for types of asphalt concrete with a large proportion of aggregates, such as stone mastic asphalt, open-graded asphalt concrete, and binder course material, which are used in Denmark. In connection with the SHRP project [1, 2], the Danish Road Institute carried out a comparison of laboratory specimens and cores from pavements with regard to voids distribution, determined by means of plane sections. The investigation showed that there was poor correlation between laboratory tests and cored specimens from road pavements. There was also a tendency for inhomogeneity in the specimens produced by the Gyratory Compactor, where some specimens showed a larger number of voids at the edge of the specimen. This applied at the top and bottom of the specimen and also along the sides. Since it is apparent that the Gyratory Compactor is being used widely by asphalt contractors, also in Denmark, a similar examination has been made in cooperation with Superfos Construction a/s, where it was decided to examine a binder layer material, in which specimens produced by gyratory compaction to various densities (number of gyrations) as well as drilled cores from a test stretch with the same material should be compared. The material which has been examined in this first test series has been produced in connection with an extensive investigation of the Nottingham Asphalt Tester (NAT) for creep tests, where creep of specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor and cores have been tested. The result of these creep tests showed that there were significant differences between the two types of test specimens. This present investigation will attempt to determine whether it is possible by means of plane sections to establish the cause of the differences observed in the Superfos Construction trials. In order to obtain a better basis on which to evaluate the results, specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor of two other materials (an open-graded asphalt concrete, and another binder course material) have been produced in a second test series during the summer 1998 at the Danish Road Institute's asphalt laboratory in connection with specimen control. Cores from construction works with open-graded asphalt concrete are available, and these have also been investigated by means of plane sections. In the second test series, an attempt was made to ensure that the density of the completed specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor should correspond to the compaction achieved during road construction.

1.1 Specimen preparation of plane sections


Specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor are all 15 centimetre in diameter and approximately 12 cm in height. Normally plane sections are made on cores that are 10 cm in diameter. Vertical plane sections have been prepared from all specimens (see Figure 1). In addition, plane sections were cut from two specimens in the horizontal plane. The surface of the plane section is impregnated with fluorescent epoxy, which fills the voids and any other pores in the asphaltic material. Before an image analysis is conducted, porous aggregates are marked with a black pen. This is done so that porous aggregates are not included in the voids analysis.

Figure 1. Divided specimen.

1.2 Procedures for image analysis


During automatic image analysis of the specimens in this investigation it was decided to make a comparison of the different specimens based on data from voids determinations. When measuring the relatively large specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor, a subdivision of the specimen has been made (see Figure 2) in order to show the different degrees of density achieved by compaction in a Gyratory Compactor within the same specimen. In those cases where the specimen is taken from a drilled core, no subdivision of the specimen for image analysis has been made.

Figure 2. Illustration of the division into sections of a gyrated specimen.

2. Test series. Examination of specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor, binder course material, Superfos
The test specimens are taken, as mentioned previously, from another project, which Superfos Construction a/s reported internally [3]. This report describes an investigation, where the results from creep tests on specimens prepared in the laboratory have been compared to specimens drilled from roads. During the construction of a test area, specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor were prepared with the following number of gyrations: 16, 21, 28 and 40. Since the levels of compaction on the completed road surface was known, it was possible to use those specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor which had compaction values closest to those cores sampled from roads. A comparison of the values of stiffness and creep measured showed that there was a factor 2 difference in data from specimens prepared in the laboratory and road pavement specimens.
Table 1. Data from measurements of stiffness and creep [3].

No. of gyrations Void percentage Stiffness, DD213, MPa Creep, FAS method 468-7, Microstrain

Specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor 28 21 16 2.8% 3.4% 4.3% 5200 6.3 5400 6.9 5100 6.9

Cores 3.8% 2600 10.9

2.1 Specimens
In the NAT tester, test specimens were used with a height of 6 cm. Thus the first specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor that were examined by means of plane sections had this dimension. The specimens were cut in such a manner that only the central, inner 6 cm of the gyrated specimen was used. This was the standard procedure carried out for all specimens after gyration. As excess asphaltic materials were availble, three extra specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor were prepared for plane sections with 16, 21 and 28 gyrations. Table 2 shows which specimens were used in this examination, as well as the identification numbers of each individual specimen. Together with the specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor from the second series, three cores from the test pavement were delivered. The two specimens PT 98083 and PT 98084 were included in the tests mentioned above. These specimens have been tested in the Nottingham Asphalt Tester (NAT) by Superfos Construction a/s.
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Table 2. Overview of specimens which were a part of the first test series.

Laboratory number

Type of specimens

No. of gyrations for specimens produced in the Gyratory Compactor 40 28 21 16

30* 31* 32* 33* 34* PT 98024 PT 98025 PT 98026 PT 98027 PT 98028 PT 98029 PT 98083 *** PT 98084 ***

Gyrated ** Gyrated ** Gyrated ** Gyrated ** Core Core Core Core Gyrated Gyrated Gyrated Core Gyrated **

16 21 28

* These specimens are from the first series ** The gyrated specimen was cut to 6 cm *** These specimens have been tested in the NAT tester

2.2 Results and discussion


In most cases, two samples were cut from each specimen produced in the Gyratory Compactor. The result of the comparison between the voids contents determined by plane section and the calculated voids contents based on the material composition for the first series are shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Comparison of voids determined on plane sections and calculated voids, vol-%.

Voids determined by plane section Laboratory no. 30* 31* 32* 33* 34 (core) Subdivision 1 0.5 0.7 1.5 3.1 3.7 Subdivision 2 0.1 0.9 1.8 3.8 4.3 mean 0.3 0.8 1.7 3.5 4.0

Calculated voids (vol-%) 2.6 3.3 4.1 5.6 3.6

* The specimen produced by gyratory compaction was cut to 6 cm.

Table 3 shows that gyratory compaction specimens have voids contents that are lower than that determined by calculation. The calculated values of voids (on an entire specimen) were determined on the basis of densities which were available from the gyratory tests and data from production control.

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The result of the air voids contentdetermination on the three extra samples are shown in Table 4. Since only one half of each of the specimens has been used for plane sections, it was possible to determine the density of the remainder of the specimen by immersion in water. This was done by cutting the specimen produced by gyratory compaction in a corresponding manner to that used for measurement with image analysis (see Figure 1) for the three additional specimens produced by gyratory compaction by Superfos. The results from this determination and the voids contents found by means of image analysis can be seen in Table 4.
Table 4. Comparison of voids determined on plane sections and calculated voids, vol-%.

Laboratory no. PT 98024 PT 98025 PT 98026 PT 98083 PT 98027

Specimen

PT 98028

PT 98029

PT 98084

Core Core Core Core, after NAT Mean of top and base Middle 6 cm Central 6 x 10 cm Mean of top and base Middle 6 cm Central 6 x 10 cm Mean of top and base Middle 6 cm Central 6 x 10 cm Gyrated, after NAT

Voids determined by means of plane section 1.9 4.9 5.0 3.4 5.3 3.3 0.5 * 3.5 1.3 0.4 * 3.6 1.1 0.4 * 0.6

Voids calculated (volume-%) 3.2 4.9 5.7 5.5 4.2 5.2 2.9 4.7 3.1 -

* Measurement made on only one plane section

Gyrated sample, 12 x 15 cm

Core, 4 x 10 cm

Figure 3. An example of the distribution of voids in a gyrated specimen and a core.

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Figure 4a. Specimen no. 33 Vertical and horizontal plane.

Figure 4b. Specimen no. 30 Vertical and horizontal plane.

Vertical plane sections were made on all specimens and additionally plane sections in a horizontal plane were made from specimens no. 30 and 33, see Figure 4a and 4b. In order to obtain an impression of the value of the voids for the "area" which is put "under pressure" in the Swedish creep test, an image analysis of the specimens has been made in the central 6 x 10 cm (only as a single value). It can be seen from these results that the voids content in the central 6 x 10 cm is already very low after just 16 gyrations, and that even if the number of gyrations is increased, the voids content does not decrease. Investigation of plane sections on cores sampled from rutted wheelpaths has shown that there is a tendency for voids to congregate around the aggregates like beads on a string. This cannot be seen on cores cut from between the rutted wheelpaths on the corresponding road stretches (see Figure 5). A similar tendency is found with cores that have been tested in the NAT tester.

Figure 5. Cores from rutted wheelpath on left and between wheelpath on right.

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3. Second test series. Examination of specimens produced by gyratory compaction, open-graded asphalt concrete, and binder course material
Examination of the first test series is based on only one material. In order to be able to evaluate the usefulness of specimens produced by gyratory compaction, an examination of other asphaltic materials was started. These materials have been taken from random sampling of construction works, which the Danish Road Institute carries out on behalf of the Danish Road Directorate. The random sampling is based on specimens taken from asphalt works and cores drilled from the road. The specimens produced by gyratory compaction are compacted to a density corresponding to that achieved on the road (mean of 12 cores).
Table 5. Specimens examined in the second series.

Laboratory no. PT 98077 PT 98078 PT 98079 PT 98080 PT 98081

Material type ) Open ) graded ) asphalt ) concrete Binder course

Type of specimen Gyrated Gyrated Gyrated Gyrated Gyrated

Number of gyrations 36 42 48 200 31

The specimens made from open graded asphalt concrete were produced with the number of gyrations shown in Table 5, where it was expected that the specimen gyrated 42 times would correspond to the level of compaction found on the road. As regards the binder course, 31 gyrations were expected to correspond to the level of compaction found on the road.

3.1 Results and discussion


In order to obtain a basis for comparison with the cores from the road stretch, where the open graded asphalt concrete material was laid, an attempt was made to obtain the same level of compaction in the Gyratory Compactor as that obtained in the road construction. Specimens were also produced which were given six additional gyrations and six fewer gyrations. The densities obtained for the individual specimens can be seen in Table 6.
Table 6. Density of open graded asphalt concrete gyrated.

Laboratory no. PT 98077 PT 98078 PT 98079

Material type

Number of gyrations 36 42 48

Target density g/cm

) Open graded ) asphalt ) concrete

2.471

Achieved density g/cm 2.477 2.475 2.486


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As can be seen from the results shown above, it was not possible to obtain the expected increase in density by means of additional gyrations. This could be due to problems in determining the density of open-graded pavements, which is determined geometrically in Denmark. A further analysis of the composition of the open graded asphalt concrete material indicated a very atypical sieving curve. The voids content present in this material corresponds to that normally found in a drainage asphalt.
Table 7. Determination of voids content determined from the plane sections of the second series of specimens prepared by gyratory compaction.

Laboratory no. PT 98077 PT 98078 PT 98079 PT 98080 PT 98081 "Whole" specimen Central 6 x 10 cm "Whole" specimen Central 6 x 10 cm "Whole" specimen Central 6 x 10 cm "Whole" specimen Central 6 x 10 cm "Whole" specimen Middle 6 x 10 cm

Voids content determined by means of plane sections 17.2 13.9 15.2 13.1 15.8 13.8 12.4 9.0 1.3 0.3

Table 7 shows that for the open graded asphalt concrete it is still possible for the central 6 x 10 cm to be compacted additionally, since the voids content of the specimen after 48 gyrations is 13.8 vol-% and 9.0 vol-% after 200 gyrations. This material was, as mentioned earlier, atypical. The voids content which was calculated during construction was typically between 15 and 18 vol-%. Normally the voids content for this type of material would be between 9 and 12 vol-%. As regards the binder course material (PT 98081), it can be seen that even after 31 gyrations a very dense structure was produced. This result corresponds to the results found in the first test series.

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4. Conclusion
It can be seen from Figure 3 that the voids in a specimen produced by gyratory compaction are not distributed uniformly. A comparison of Figure 3 and Figure 4, which are plane sections made by horizontal cutting of a specimen (not vertical as would be normal), shows that the voids in the specimen are mainly found along the outer walls. Preparation of specimens in the laboratory (Marshall specimens, gyrated specimens) have always been problematic, especially when used to derive conclusions on how the material behaves during and after construction in a road pavement. The Gyratory Compactor can give information about the behaviour of asphaltic material during the construction phase. However, the results from this investigation show that results obtained from specimens produced by gyratory compaction must be used with extreme care. It is necessary to note that specimens produced by gyratory compaction have a tendency to reach full compaction at the centre of the specimen after only a few gyrations. All specimens have been produced at a gyratory angle of 1.25, as proposed by SHRP. It is not yet known whether the gyratory angle specified by the CEN-norm will lead to the same conclusion. Use of plane sections for examining asphaltic materials has once again shown that this procedure is essential when the voids contents in asphaltic specimens are investigated. When using normal procedures for voids determination only an average value is obtained, whereas with plane section analysis, as described in this paper, it is possible to examine the relevant part of the asphaltic specimens.

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References
[1] Eriksen, K., Wegan, V., Krarup, J., Air void content and other air void characteristics of asphalt concrete by image analysis. Contract No.: SHRP-88-AIIR-13, Phase 2. [2] Eriksen, K., Air void characteristics in asphalt-concrete samples from the compaction study, Contract No.: SHRP-88-AIIR-13, Phase 3a. [3] Thau, M., Assessment of the Repeated Load Axial Test for Evaluation of Resistance to Permanent Deformations in Bituminous Mixes. Technical Report #D3, Superfos Construction a/s.

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Rapporter/Reports
Nr./No r/Year

70/92

Katalog over belgningsskader - vejledning i visuelt eftersyn (Jan M. Jansen, Arne Rosenkvist) Ubundne brelag af knust tegl Vejledning - Leveringsbetingelse - Almindelig arbejdsbeskrivelse (Flemming Berg, Ole Milvang-Jensen, Niels Moltved) Vejledning for typegodkendelse af fugtisolerings materialer m.m. til betonbroer (Vibeke Wegan m. fl.) Guidelines for type approval of waterproofing materials for concrete bridges (Vibeke Wegan et al.) Vibrationsforsg -Prvningsmetode (Ole Milvang-Jensen) Crushed Asphalt as Unbound Roadbase - Guidelines - Material Specifications - General Construction Specifications (Flemming Berg, Ole Milvang-Jensen, Niels Moltved) Levetid af overfladebehandlinger - 108 udvalgte strkninger (Carsten Bredahl Nielsen) Renset jords anvendelighed ved vejbygning og andre anlgsforml (Ole Milvang-Jensen, Sren Skovsende) Bundsikringslag af forbrndingsslagge (Knud A. Pihl, Ole Milvang-Jensen) Experiences in Using the Profilograph, a LaserBased Equipment for ProfilometricMeasurements of Pavement Surfaces. (Bjarne Schmidt, Annette Taudorf) Vedligeholdelsesmetoder og asfaltslidlag Hldv. 119, Skovvejen (Carsten Bredal Nielsen) Betonstrkningen lby - Ringsted Status efter 20 rs driftsperiode (Finn Thgersen) Friction Test Comparative testing with 3 different equiments carried out during the summer 1996 (Bent Lund) Eighth International Conference on Asphalt Pavements. Seattle USA, August 10-14, 1997. Papers. (H.J. Ertman Larsen, Per Ullidtz, Susanne Baltzer, Lynne H. Irwin.)

84/97

TRB Annual Meeting 1997 DRI Paper Presentation at Session 13 Pavement Instrumentation, Part 1. (Robin A. Macdonald, Wei Zhang) Subgrade Performance Study Part I: Materials, Construction and Instrumentation (Robin Macdonald, Susanne Baltzer) Fifth International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads and Airfields Trondheim, July 6 - 8, 1998, Papers (Robin Macdonald, Wei Zhang, Susanne Baltzer, P e r Ullidtz, Jesper L. Lund) Pavements Subgrade Performance Study Part II: Modeling Pavement Response and Predicting Pavement Performance (Wei Zhang, Per Ullidtz, Robin Macdonald) Road Unevenness Paper presented at the 1998 FISITA World Automobile Congress, Paris (Bjarne Schmidt) Development of improved mechanistic deterioration models for flexible pavements (Hans Ertman Larsen, Per Ullidtz) (Electronic edition) Friktionsmlinger Sammenlignende mlinger mellem ROAR og Stradograf (Bjarne Schmidt) Grundere til broisolering - typegodkendelse - materialevalg (Jeanne Rosenberg) The Structure of Polymer Modified Binders and Corresponding Asphalt Mixtures (Vibeke Wegan, Bernard Brle) Piarc World Road Association International Experiment to Harmonise Longotudial and Transverse Profile Measurement and Reporting Procedures, Draft Report (Bjarne Schmidt, Jim Wambold, Akira Kawamura, Guy Descornet) (Electronic edition) Evolution and Harmonization of Evenness Evaluation Techniques (Bjarne Schmidt) (Electronic edition) Investigation of Gyratory Compaction used for Asphalt Mix Design (Jrn Raaberg) (Electronic edition)

71/93

85/97

86/97

72/93

73/94

87/98

74/94

88/98

75/94

89/99

76/95

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78/96 79/96

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