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Evaluation of Warm Mix Asphalt Mixtures Containing

Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement through Mechanical

Performance Tests and an Acoustic Emission Approach
Brian Hill, A.M.ASCE 1; Behzad Behnia 2; William G. Buttlar, M.ASCE 3; and Henrique Reis 4
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Abstract: Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and warm mix asphalt (WMA) have become the primary methods for enhancing sustain-
ability in the asphalt industry in recent years. To further enhance sustainability benefits, asphalt producers have begun using RAP and WMA
in combination. Research to date has focused on evaluating WMA-RAP mixtures in terms of moisture sensitivity and permanent deformation
characteristics as measured in laboratory performance tests. In the present paper, the authors investigate a set of WMA mixtures that
encompass a variety of variables, including four WMA additives (Evotherm 3G, Rediset LQ, Sasobit, and Advera) and three RAP contents
(0, 15, and 45%). A common belief among practitioners is that the reduced aging in the asphalt binder associated with lower production
temperatures in WMA mixtures leaves additional headroom for the incorporation of higher amounts of RAP, which is generally a stiffer, more
brittle material. To fully characterize the performance of WMA-RAP mixtures, the authors evaluated the low-temperature, cracking behavior
of these mixtures in conjunction with moisture and rutting resistance characterization. They achieved the low temperature testing of WMA-
RAP mixtures through the disk-shaped compact tension [DC(T)], indirect tension (IDT) creep compliance, and acoustic emission (AE) tests.
Test results showed that chemical additives improved moisture susceptibility according to the AASHTO T 283 standard test and fracture and
bulk stress relaxation characteristics using the DC(T) and IDT tests, respectively. The organic Fischer-Tropsch wax-modified WMA mixtures
performed the best among the WMA mixtures in terms of rutting resistance. The introduction of RAP led to the increased resistance to
permanent deformation and moisture damage. Conversely, RAP reduced thermal cracking resistance according to the low-temperature per-
formance tests in both HMA and WMA. The authors observed the same trend in AE test results as WMA-RAP mixtures exhibited warmer
embrittlement temperatures as compared with control mixtures and are therefore expected to be more prone to thermal cracking. On the
basis of these findings, thermal cracking resistance remains an issue to be considered in WMA mixtures containing RAP. Additionally,
performance testing has shown to be a valuable tool for the evaluation of RAP and WMA mix designs to avoid performance issues in
the field. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0000757. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
CE Database subject headings: Asphalt pavements; Mixtures; Temperature effects; Cracking; Acoustic techniques.
Author keywords: Warm mix asphalt (WMA); Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP); Low temperature cracking; WMA chemical additives;
Fracture energy; Acoustic emissions; Embrittlement temperature.

Introduction contribute to the sustainability movement through the use of

recycled materials and more environmentally friendly production
Environmental experts define sustainability as meeting the needs of processes. In the asphalt paving community, the most commonly
the present without depleting the resources required by future gen- employed sustainability practices involve the addition of increas-
erations (World Commission on Environment and Development ingly greater amounts of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and
1987). Civil engineering infrastructure materials can significantly the use of warm mix asphalt (WMA).
RAP is the primary recycled product of asphalt concrete pave-
Research Assistant, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, ments. According to Collins and Ciesielski (1994), asphalt concrete
Univ. of Illinois, 205 N. Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801 (correspond- removal leads to a production of more than 100 t of RAP per year in
ing author). E-mail: the United States. The use of RAP leads to several advantages in-
Research Assistant, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, cluding reduced material costs, energy savings, and increased rut-
Univ. of Illinois, 205 N. Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. E-mail:
ting resistance. Chiu et al. (2008) determined through cost analyses
Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of that 23% of energy savings occurred with the use of RAP. In terms
Illinois, 205 N. Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. E-mail: buttlar@ of performance, RAP can improve rutting resistance through in- creased asphalt binder stiffness. Oxidative hardening significantly
Professor, Dept. of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, increases asphalt binder stiffness during pavement service life,
Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, which can provide rutting resistance when RAP is incorporated into
IL 61801. E-mail:
a new asphalt paving mixture (Aurangzeb et al. 2011).
Note. This manuscript was submitted on July 5, 2012; approved on
December 7, 2012; published online on December 10, 2012. Discussion
Performance issues may arise with the use of higher amounts
period open until May 1, 2014; separate discussions must be submitted of RAP in the area of pavement durability. Xiao et al. (2007) de-
for individual papers. This paper is part of the Journal of Materials in termined that the introduction of as little as 15% of RAP signifi-
Civil Engineering, Vol. 25, No. 12, December 1, 2013. © ASCE, ISSN cantly increased mixture stiffness, which opened the door for
0899-1561/2013/12-1887-1897/$25.00. premature development of various forms of pavement cracking.


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

Behnia et al. (2011) reported a reduced cracking resistance in per- As stated previously, WMA and RAP have the potential to per-
formance grade (PG) 58–28 mixtures containing up to 50% RAP form well in combination and to actualize the two-pronged sustain-
through disk-shaped compact tension [DC(T)], indirect tensile ability benefits. Research to date, such as Doyle et al. (2011),
(IDT) creep compliance, and acoustic emissions (AE) tests at primarily focused on the moisture and rutting resistance aspects
low temperatures. The increased stiffness associated with RAP of WMA-RAP mixture performance. Their study suggested that
may lead to the selection of a more costly softer asphalt binder moisture and rutting resistance could be improved through the com-
grade and/or may limit the amount of RAP that can be used in bination of WMA and RAP. However, the low-temperature perfor-
a given mixture. A current school of thought in the asphalt industry mance of WMA-RAP mixtures remained in question. Therefore, this
is that the reduced aging in the asphalt binder associated with lower paper will introduce new findings with respect to low-temperature
production temperatures in WMA mixtures allows for the incorpo- characteristics of WMA-RAP mixtures, while considering rut-
ration of higher amounts of RAP (Prowell and Hurley 2007). In ting and moisture resistance to evaluate the overall durability of
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essence, the stiffer RAP binder can be counterbalanced by virtue WMA-RAP mixtures.
of the less-aged binder, resulting from the WMA production pro- For this paper, the authors used four WMA additives, including
cess, which reduces mixture production and laydown temperatures one additive from each WMA group, and three different RAP levels
and hence oxidative hardening and volatilization. to evaluate WMA-RAP mixtures in comparison to control HMA
WMA represents a growing alternative to conventional hot-mix mixtures through advanced asphalt mixture tests. These tests
asphalt (HMA). This technology is produced at temperatures of ap- included the DC(T); IDT creep compliance; AE (to evaluate
proximately 25–30°C less than HMA due to chemical composition cracking resistance); Hamburg wheel-tracking; and AASHTO T
changes during the mixing process (D’Angelo et al. 2008). At least 283 (AASHTO 2007) (to evaluate rutting and moisture sensitivity,
20 WMA additives and processes exist on the market today, and respectively) tests.
these include foaming additives and processes, organic additives,
and chemical additives. The foaming group uses water to foam
the asphalt binder prior to or during the mixing process. The foam- Materials
ing processes subcategory uses water injection systems to foam the
asphalt binder, and the additives subcategory includes synthetic The author’s primary objective was to evaluate the combined ef-
zeolites such as Advera and Aspha-min. Synthetic zeolites are met- fects of WMA additives and RAP on the low-temperature proper-
ties of asphalt mixtures. An additional objective was to compare the
allic aluminosilicates, which contain approximately 20% water by
rutting resistance with the moisture sensitivity of WMA-RAP mix-
weight in their microstructure (Prowell and Hurley 2007). At ap-
tures and control HMA mixtures to fully characterize WMA-RAP
proximately 100°C, the zeolite degrades and releases the entrapped
mixture durability properties. The authors used at least one additive
water. According to Prowell and Hurley (2005a), foaming additives
from each of the WMA categories, namely: Sasobit (F-T wax),
may have moisture sensitivity issues on the basis of laboratory
Advera (Zeolite), Evotherm 3G (Chemical-1), and Rediset LQ
evaluation. Organic additives generally include paraffin waxes,
(Chemical-2). Sasobit is a paraffin wax product of the Fischer-
montan waxes, and fatty acid amides. This group of WMA addi-
Tropsch process (Sasol International 2010). Sasobit was added
tives stiffens the asphalt binder as shown by Prowell and Hurley
at a rate of 3.0% by weight of the asphalt binder. Advera is a foam-
(2005b), who determined that the addition of 2.5% Sasobit led
ing additive synthetic zeolite, which was added at a rate of 0.25%
to a PG 58–28 asphalt binder behaving as a PG 64–22 asphalt by weight of the mixture. Evotherm 3G and Rediset LQ are liquid
binder. Consequently, organic additives may reduce thermal crack- chemical additives added at a rate of 0.50 and 0.75% by weight of
ing resistance for a given binder in a given climate. The chemical the asphalt binder, respectively.
additive category includes liquid and solid chemical packages The authors used PG 64–22 as the base asphalt binder for this
added to the asphalt binder prior to entering the mixing drum. paper. This neat asphalt binder is commonly used across Illinois
Liquid chemical additives generally act as emulsifying agents and much of the United States in applications with low to moderate
and contain amine groups that lead to improved thermal cracking traffic levels. The authors sampled aggregates from a local central
and moisture resistance, respectively. Illinois hot-mix asphalt producer, Open Roads Paving, LLC in
Several environmental advantages occur with the use of WMA Champaign, IL. The sampled aggregates include CM16 (9.5 mm
such as energy savings and emissions reductions. According to the nominal maximum size) coarse aggregate; FM20 (manufactured)
Prowell and Hurley (2007), WMA can reduce fuel consumption by and FM02 (natural) sand; and a limestone-based mineral filler.
as much as 10–35%, as fuel usage may decrease by as much as 3% The CM16 and FM20 stockpiles consisted of dolomitic limestone.
for each 6°C drop in mixing temperature. European and Canadian The authors fractionated the virgin aggregate prior to mixture pro-
researchers have determined that a 15–70% reduction in SOx , NOx , duction to reduce the variability caused by material sampling. They
CO2 , and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) emissions are gen- sampled RAP from a stockpile of material reclaimed through mill-
erally realized with the use of WMA (D’Angelo et al. 2008). ing of the surface of I-72 in central Illinois and fractionated through
Potential disadvantages of WMA include increased rutting, a 9.5 mm (3=8 in:) screening deck. Table 1 shows the postextrac-
moisture sensitivity, and a lack of long-term field performance re- tion RAP gradation with the estimated RAP asphalt content, effec-
sults. In the case of the chemical and foaming groups, mixture stiff- tive and bulk specific gravity (Gse and Gsb , respectively), and
ness may be reduced such that rutting resistance can be problematic maximum theoretical specific gravity (Gmm ). The authors verified
according to Prowell and Hurley (2005b, 2006). In contrast, or- all specific gravities, asphalt content estimations, and RAP grada-
ganic additives may increase stiffness such that pavement cracking tions with the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT), Bureau of
potential increases. The lack of long-term WMA performance data Materials and Physical Research Laboratory, located in Springfield,
in the field of practice also affects WMA use in the United States; Illinois. They used AASHTO TP 2 to extract the asphalt binder to
the technology has only been in place for approximately 8 years. As measure the RAP asphalt content and used the Gse to indirectly
a result, laboratory performance tests continue to fulfill a critical measure Gsb .
role in the design and deployment of existing and emerging The authors chose optimum asphalt contents based on
WMA technologies. Superpave mixture design. To determine the HMA mixing and


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

Table 1. Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement Gradation and Selected Volumetric a maximum deviation between curves of 1.5%. The 15 and 45%
Properties RAP mixtures contained slightly more material passing the #200
Sieve Reclaimed asphalt Reclaimed asphalt sieve than the virgin mixture, due to the relatively high content
(mm) pavement gradation pavement properties of RAP material passing the #200 sieve.
25.0 100 Table 2 summarizes mixture volumetric properties. Similar
19.0 100 voids in the mineral aggregate (VMA) and voids filled with asphalt
12.5 100 Reclaimed asphalt pavement Gsb (VFA) levels were achieved for the three mix types (i.e., three RAP
9.5 99.3 2.641 levels). The 15 and 45% RAP mixtures contained virgin asphalt
4.75 73.8 Asphalt concrete content (%) contents of 5.9 and 3.9% and asphalt binder replacement percent-
2.36 50.5 5.50 ages of 11.9 and 37.9%, respectively.
1.18 35.5 Reclaimed asphalt pavement Gmm
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0.60 25.8 2.492

0.30 18.1
0.15 13.8 Experimental Methods
0.075 11.2
Thermal Cracking Evaluation
To characterize the cracking behavior of WMA-RAP mixtures, the
compaction temperatures, which were found to be 160 and 150°C, authors performed a suite of fracture, creep, and AE tests. Gener-
respectively, they followed the Asphalt Institute Superpave mix de- ally, temperature-induced transverse (or thermal cracking) in
sign method for selecting mixing and compacting temperatures on asphalt pavement is thought to predominantly occur in a mode
the basis of asphalt binder viscosity (Roberts et al. 1996). They did I-opening manner. This is supported by field observations, where
not use separate WMA mixture designs for this paper. They took evidence of fracture mode-mixity (curvilinear crack trajectory) is
this approach to compare WMA and HMA mixtures with equiva- fairly minimal. In other words, thermal cracks are generally found
lent aggregate skeletal structures. They selected the WMA mixing to propagate perpendicular to the direction of traffic and vertically
and compaction temperatures to comply with manufacturer recom- through the pavement depth. Because thermal cracks are easier
mendations. Consequently, they selected the mixing and compact- to handle from an experimental and theoretical standpoint as
ing temperatures of 135 and 125°C, respectively. They chose the compared with traffic-induced fatigue cracks or reflective cracks,
number of gyrations to be 70, which meets the IDOT standard the authors directly addressed them with the mode I-type, low-
for medium-to-low volume roads receiving a 20 year traffic inten- temperature tests selected for this paper. However, it is likely that
sity of 3 to 10 million equivalent single axle loads (ESALs). Addi- the mixture characteristics that promote higher resistance to thermal
tionally, all mixtures met the 9.5 mm nominal maximum aggregate cracking (e.g., higher binder content and reduced binder aging) will
size (NMAS) surface mixture gradation requirements designated also tend to reduce other forms of pavement cracking. Wagoner
by Superpave. The authors included RAP contents of 0, 15, and et al. (2005) determined that the most viable test configuration
45% to evaluate the interaction of WMA additives and RAP. They available for asphalt mixture mode I fracture was the DC(T) geom-
chose a 15% RAP content to correspond to the maximum allowable etry. This configuration, adjusted from ASTM E399 (ASTM 2012)
RAP content for Illinois surface mixtures (Illinois Dept. of Trans- for metals, contains a sufficiently large fractured surface area
portation 2011). They selected the 45% RAP mixture to evaluate to reduce test variation and is easily fabricated from field cores
the characteristics of a high RAP content mixture containing WMA or laboratory-produced gyratory specimens. Furthermore, studies
additives. such as Dave et al. (2008) demonstrated that the DC(T) test can
Fig. 1 displays gradation plots for 0% RAP (the virgin), 15% accurately capture the thermal cracking potential of asphalt con-
RAP, and 45% RAP mixtures. The outer lines represent the Super- crete mixtures. In 2007, ASTM specified the DC(T) test as ASTM
pave control points for 9.5 mm NMAS mixtures. As shown in D7313 (ASTM 2007).
Fig. 1, the gradations are approximately similar at all points, with The DC(T) test evaluates the fracture energy associated with
propagating a crack perpendicular to the applied load through
the material. Fracture energy can be calculated by measuring the
100 area under the load-crack mouth opening displacement (CMOD)
90 gauge curve, as shown in Fig. 2, and normalizing it by the fractured
surface area. The authors tested all specimens at −12°C, which
corresponded to the ASTM D7313 (ASTM 2007) recommendation
for PG 64–22 asphalt binders. Furthermore, the authors ran all tests
Percent passing (%)


at a CMOD opening rate of 1.0 mm=min.


40 Table 2. Mixture Volumetric Properties

30 Total Effective
Virgin asphalt Air asphalt
20 concrete voids VMA VFA concrete Dust
15% RAP
10 Mix type (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) proportion
45% RAP
Virgin 6.70 4.0 15.3 73.7 4.9 1.2
0 0.075 1.18 4.75 9.5 12.5 19.0 15% reclaimed 6.70 4.0 15.5 74.4 5.0 1.3
Sieve opening (mm) asphalt pavement
45% reclaimed 6.30 4.0 15.3 73.3 4.9 1.4
Fig. 1. WMA-RAP mixture gradations asphalt pavement


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.



Load (kN)




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0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Crack mouth opening displacement (mm)
Fig. 3. Nucleation, propagation, and detection of AE waves
Fig. 2. Typical load-CMOD plot

The authors employed the AE technique to obtain a relative

The authors employed the IDT creep test to evaluate the creep comparison of the expected low temperature cracking threshold
compliance characteristics of the WMA-RAP and HMA mixtures. of WMA mixtures containing RAP materials. They prepared mix-
According to Buttlar and Roque (1994), this test can be used ture specimens of a 150-mm-diameter semicircular shape with
to accurately predict the low-temperature behavior of asphalt 50 mm thickness for AE testing. They selected this geometry to
concrete. This study complied with the AASHTO T 322 procedure be able to reuse specimens previously tested in the IDT and/or
of using three replicates per mixture tested for 1,000 s. In this case, DC(T) test. They positioned AE samples on a steel block in the
Buttlar and Roque loaded specimens by using a step-type creep cooling chamber as shown in Fig. 4. They conducted AE tests
load at 0, −12, and −24°C. They measured the horizontal and ver- in a polystyrene box containing dry ice as the coolant. They used
tical displacements at the center of each side of a given specimen by wideband AE sensors (Digital Wave, Model B1025) with a nominal
using highly sensitive extensometers (e.g., Epsilon model 3910). frequency range of 20 kHz to 1.5 MHz to monitor and record
Then, they calculated creep compliance by using Eq. (1) acoustic activities of the sample during the test. They used high-
vacuum grease to couple the AE sensors to the test sample. They
ΔX × Davg × tavg preamplified AE signals 20dB by using broad-band preamplifiers
DðtÞ ¼ × Cc ð1Þ to reduce extraneous noise. They further amplified the signals to
Pavg × L
21 dB (for a total of 41 dB) and filtered the signals by using a
They produced creep compliance master curves by using the prin- 20 kHz high-pass, double-pole filter using the fracture wave detec-
ciple of time-temperature superposition. They fit the data to the tor (FWD) signal condition unit. Then, they digitized the signals by
power-law model shown in the following equation: using a 16-bit analog to digital converter (ICS 645B-8) using a sam-
pling frequency of 2 MHz and a length of 2,048 points per channel
DðtÞ ¼ D0 þ D1 tm ð2Þ per acquisition trigger. They stored the outputs for later processing
by using digital wave software (Wave-Explorer TM V7.2.6). They
They used a least-squares fitting method to determine the param- continuously recorded the sample temperature by using a K-type
eters D0 , D1 , and m. The m-value relates to the stress relaxation and thermocouple placed on the specimen surface. Fig. 5 shows a typ-
creep deformation rate of viscoelastic materials. Typically, larger ical temperature versus time cooling plot. The average cooling rate
relative m-values correspond to more compliant and relaxant as- was around 0.8°C=min.
phalt mixtures, which are more resistant to thermal cracking.
An acoustic emission (AE) is defined as a spontaneous release
Moisture Sensitivity Evaluation
of localized strain energy in a stressed material in the form of tran-
sient stress waves. As a recognized nondestructive testing (NDT) The authors performed moisture sensitivity analyses by using the
method, AE has been proven to be a powerful tool for examining AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO 2007) procedure. This test, which is
the behavior of materials deforming under stress. The AE method the final step of the level I Superpave Mix Design method, consists
has application wherever the stresses in a material stimulate the of conditioning, freezing, thawing, and testing stages. In the
release of energy as a detectable indication of the possible failure. conditioning phase, the authors vacuum saturated half of all the
Transient elastic AE waves result from sudden internal microdis- specimens with water to a degree of saturation between 70 and
placements in the stressed material. AE waves from a growing flaw 80%, using a vacuum pressure no less than 260 mmHg. During
travel within the material and are detected by sensitive surface- the freezing and thawing stages, the previously conditioned
mounted piezoelectric sensors. Fig. 3 schematically illustrates specimens were placed in a freezer for 16 hours at −18°C and
crack nucleation and propagation and corresponding AE wave subsequently thawed for 24 hours at 60°C. Afterwards, the condi-
transmission and detection for material under stress. AE testing tioned and unconditioned specimens were brought to 25°C prior to
can provide comprehensive information on the nucleation of a flaw measuring their indirect tensile strengths. The authors calculated
in a stressed component and can also provide information pertain- the quotient of the average indirect tensile strengths of the condi-
ing to the initiation and propagation of a crack as a component is tioned to unconditioned specimens to determine the tensile strength
subjected to stress. This technique has been extensively applied for ratio, or TSR parameter. Based on AASHTO T-283 (AASHTO
condition assessment and damage detection in many materials such 2007), TSR values greater than 80% are acceptable, although other
as steel, concrete, and wood. thresholds are sometimes used by certain agencies. Finally, a visual


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

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(a) (b)


Fig. 4. AE testing: (a) set-up; (b) testing specimen; (c) typical temperature versus time cooling plot

100% rating between 0 (not stripped) and 5 (completely stripped) is given

Control Advera Sasobit Evotherm Rediset LQ
following procedures outlined in AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO
2007). The authors conducted the required indirect tensile strength
testing at a rate of 50 mm=min on six total gyratory specimens
compacted to 95.0 mm and 7.0% air voids for each WMA and
HMA mixture. Per AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO 2007), they used
Tensile strength ratio (%)

curved loading heads of 19-mm width.

Rutting Resistance Evaluation
The authors used the Hamburg wheel-tracking test to evaluate the
permanent deformation characteristics of the HMA and WMA mix-
tures investigated. The Hamburg test, specified in AASHTO T 324
50% (AASHTO 2011), is conducted in a water immersed state at 50°C to
induce both permanent deformation and moisture damage. A steel
wheel applies a load of approximately 702.8 N (158 lbs) of force to
40% each specimen and external linear variable differential transducers
Virgin 15% RAP 45% RAP (LVDT) measure the rut depths at regular intervals during each pass
of the wheel. PG 64–22 mixtures are considered satisfactory in
Fig. 5. Tensile strength ratio results
terms of permanent deformation resistance if they can withstand


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

10,000 wheel passes prior to reaching a 12.5 mm rut depth to to meet the 80% minimum set in AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO
conform with the Texas Dept. of Transportation standard AASHTO 2007), which would call for antistripping agents or hydrated lime
T 324 (AASHTO 2011). The presence of stripping can be validated to be added to the mixtures. However, for this paper, the authors
by visually examining the tested material. Finally, the maximum rut chose not to add these moisture resisting additives to avoid inter-
depth is defined as the rut depth present at the end of the test. action effects with WMA additives.
The authors cut gyratory specimens at a height of 130 mm in The addition of RAP into the 15 and 45% WMA-RAP and
half and sawed along one edge to produce a flat face to produce a HMA mixtures did not affect the rankings of the TSR results.
geometry suitable for the Hamburg test, using the cylindrical geom- For all three RAP contents, chemical additive modified mixtures
etry option. They adjusted the heights of the two sides of each gy- performed the best, followed by the control HMA, F-T wax addi-
ratory specimen to reach equal heights to avoid dynamic loading. tive, and Zeolite foaming additive modified mixtures. The consis-
They conducted all Hamburg tests until they either reached 20,000 tency of the rankings showed that the interaction of RAP and
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passes or induced a rut depth of 20.0 mm. Finally, they compacted WMA additives did not improve or detrimentally affect the mois-
all specimens to approximately 7.0% air voids to comply with ture resistance of mixtures characterized by using the AASHTO T
AASHTO T 324 (AASHTO 2011) standards and tested four 283 (AASHTO 2007) protocol.
replicates per mixture. The addition of RAP increased both conditioned and uncondi-
tioned indirect tensile strengths in all cases except for the 15% RAP
Advera WMA mixture. This finding agreed with the findings re-
Results and Discussion ported by Li et al. (2004) and Doyle et al. (2011), where tensile
strength was found to increase with increasing RAP content. Doyle
Moisture Resistance Results et al.’s study (2011) suggested that the mixing of virgin and RAP
binder occurs, at least to some degree, even at reduced production
Fig. 5 and Table 3 present the AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO 2007) temperatures in the presence of WMA additives.
results. The virgin mixture TSR results showed that the Chemical-2 As shown in Table 3, tensile strength ratio was found to increase
and Chemical-1 additive mixtures performed approximately 13 and with the addition of RAP. The TSR results for RAP mixtures
28% better than the control HMA mixture, respectively, in terms of differed from the Li et al. report (2004) as they found the inclusion
tensile strength ratio (TSR). The authors anticipated these results of RAP reduced tensile strength ratios. However, similar to the
due to the inherent antistripping capabilities of these chemical Doyle et al. study (2011), for this paper, the authors found the hard-
additives. The Zeolite additive reduced TSR moisture resistance ened asphalt binder films coupled with the fact that the RAP ag-
by 23% in comparison with the control HMA mixture. This result gregate to be of higher quality than the virgin aggregate and likely
agreed with the foaming additive moisture resistance results found led to the observed increase in TSR with increasing RAP content.
by Prowell and Hurley (2005a) and could be due to the additional
moisture released into the asphalt concrete during mixing. This
moisture likely has the potential to disturb and subsequently Hamburg Wheel-Tracking Test Results
weaken the interface between the asphalt binder and aggregate. Figs. 6 and 7 show the permanent deformation results via the
Similar to Zeolite mixtures, F-T wax-modified virgin WMA mix- Hamburg test. The error bars represent the high and low rut depths
tures reduced TSR moisture resistance. This result agreed with found using the Hamburg test. The Sasobit WMA mixture per-
those found by Kanitpong et al. (2008) in which the employment formed approximately 12% better than the control HMA mixture
of an organic additive and reduced production temperatures led to in terms of total number of passes reached prior to reaching the
reduced moisture resistance. Reduced aggregate coating by the 12.5 mm of rut depth. These results agree with those reported
modified asphalt binder may have led to a reduced capability to by Gandhi (2008). The chemical and zeolite foaming additives re-
resist moisture damage. In all, four of the five virgin mixtures failed duced the maximum number of wheel passes to reach 12.5 mm of
rutting in the Hamburg device by 40 and 38%, respectively. These

Table 3. AASHTO T 283 Results

Tensile Control
Wheel passes prior to reaching max. rut depth

Conditioned Unconditioned strength Visual 18000 Sasobit

Mix type strength (kPa) strength (kPa) ratio (%) rating Advera
16000 Evotherm
Rediset LQ
Control 483.3 726.0 67 5
Zeolite 443.3 859.8 52 5 12000
F-T wax 519.9 857.0 61 5
Chemical-1 635.7 743.9 85 3 10000
Chemical-2 680.5 902.5 75 3
15% reclaimed asphalt pavement mixtures
Control 869.4 999.1 87 3 6000
Zeolite 570.9 845.3 68 5
F-T wax 648.8 873.6 74 4 4000
Chemical-1 716.4 758.4 94 2
45% reclaimed asphalt pavement mixtures
Control 1,030.1 1,354.8 76 4 0
Zeolite 812.2 1,152.1 70 4 Virgin 15% RAP 45% RAP
F-T wax 917.0 1,232.1 74 4
Chemical-1 1,052.1 1,218.3 86 3 Fig. 6. Hamburg test results


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

10 450 Control Advera Evotherm Sasobit Rediset LQ

Rut depth at 10,000 wheel passes (mm)

Avg. CMOD fracture energy (J/m2)

7 350


4 250
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1 150
Virgin 15% RAP 45% RAP
Control Advera Sasobit Evotherm Fig. 8. Average DC(T) CMOD fracture energy
Fig. 7. 45% RAP mixture rut depth at 10,000 wheel passes
In the virgin mixtures, the chemical WMA mixtures exhibited
slightly greater fracture energy, approximately 7%, as compared
results agreed with the virgin mixtures evaluated in Doyle et al. with the control HMA mixture. Higher fracture energy is desirable
(2011) and Prowell and Hurley (2005b) and likely occurred be- from the standpoint of resisting thermal, block, and reflective
cause chemical additives potentially emulsify the asphalt binder cracking. In contrast, the F-T wax and Zeolite WMA additives
to soften it while foaming additives potentially reduce the adhesive had a slight adverse effect on the mixture fracture energy as these
characteristics between the asphalt binder and aggregate. mixtures exhibited fracture energies 11 and 12% lower than the
In the 15% RAP mixtures, the number of wheel passes reached control HMA, respectively. Among the five WMA and HMA virgin
prior to the 12.5 mm rut depth increased for all WMA and HMA mixtures tested, the F-T wax WMA mixture exhibited the steepest
mixtures. Similar to the AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO 2007) results, postpeak softening response in its load versus the CMOD curve.
the authors concluded that the virgin and RAP asphalt binder Previously published simulation studies have demonstrated that
mixing occurred to a degree that led to increased rutting resistance steep postpeak softening behavior leads to a more brittle fracture
in the mixtures. The increased rutting resistance of 15% RAP mix- with a higher propensity for crack propagation (Dave et al. 2010).
tures as compared with the virgin mixtures agreed with the results The 15% RAP mixtures decreased fracture energies as com-
found by Doyle et al. (2011). In terms of rankings, the Zeolite and pared to the virgin mixtures. This result agreed with Behnia et al.
Chemical-1 WMA mixtures remained the same as the virgin set, (2011), where the DC(T) fracture energy decreased with the addi-
whereas the control HMA proved to exhibit greater rutting resis- tion of RAP for the PG 58–28 mixtures blended with several RAP
tance than the F-T wax WMA mixture. sources obtained from Illinois HMA contractors. The 15% RAP
The 45% RAP mixtures exhibited the most rut resistance among HMA mixture performed the best among the 15% RAP mixtures
all three data sets. Each of the WMA and HMA mixtures in the tested. Thus, perhaps unexpectedly, fracture energy (and hence
45% RAP group met the 10,000 pass AASHTO T-324 (AASHTO thermal cracking resistance) was not aided by the fact that the
2011) minimum requirement. Similar to the 15% RAP mixtures, WMA mixtures were produced at significantly lower production
the increased rutting resistance of the 45% RAP mixtures as com- temperatures than the reference HMA mix.
pared with the 15% RAP mixtures seemed to indicate that at least The 45% RAP fracture results further demonstrated that in-
partial mixing of the RAP and virgin asphalt binders occurred. As creased RAP content led to decreased fracture resistance. This
shown in Fig. 7, the control HMA mixture exhibited a lower than result differed from Doyle et al. (2011). The 45% RAP mixtures
average rut depth at 10,000 passes as compared with the F-T wax exhibited significantly higher COV as compared to the 0 and
WMA mixture. The rankings of the Zeolite and Chemical-1 WMA 15% RAP mixtures. The authors hypothesize that this increased
mixtures reversed in the 45% RAP data set. variability could manifest itself in a greater likelihood for poor
In general, increasing the RAP content improved the rutting re- field-performance in some sections and also in difficulties in
sistance in all WMA and HMA mixtures. The interaction of RAP mixture production control, especially in meeting end-result or
and WMA additives did not seem to significantly alter the rankings performance-related specifications. However, they acknowledge
of the mixtures. The chemical and foaming zeolite additive WMA that the behavior of field produced mixtures with high RAP content
mixtures displayed the greatest potential for rutting at each of the could vary significantly from that which is characterized in labo-
RAP levels. In addition, the organic F-T wax additive WMA mix- ratory prepared specimens.
tures performed similarly to the control HMA mixtures due to the The DC(T) fracture results for WMA-RAP and HMA mixtures
stiffening effect of this additive. provided several key observations although the results were not
statistically different. First, the DC(T) test displayed that mixture
fracture resistance could be sensitive to the WMA additive used.
DC(T) Fracture Results
Thus, a case can be made for the importance of a low-temperature
Fig. 8 displays the DC(T) fracture test results. The error bars performance test, such as the DC(T) fracture energy test. Secondly,
represent the high and low fracture energies produced via the irrespective of WMA additives used or reduced production temper-
DC(T) test among the three replicates tested per set. atures, increasingly greater RAP contents likely lead to increased


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

thermal cracking potential. Consequently, the addition of a softer the greatest creep compliance as compared with the other virgin
virgin asphalt binder grade may remain the only option to combat mixtures. In addition, the virgin Chemical-1 WMA mixture pro-
thermal cracking in high RAP mixtures as WMA employment did duced the greatest m-value, which indicates the greatest capacity
not significantly improve the fracture resistance of RAP mixtures. for stress relaxation. The control HMA, Zeolite, and F-T wax mix-
Advances in asphalt mix plant design might also aid in the produc- tures displayed similar creep compliance master curves. The F-T
tion of WMA-RAP mixtures with improved low-temperature prop- wax WMA mixture exhibited the lowest m-value and thus the low-
erties, but again, performance tests such as the DC(T) can be used est stress relaxation potential among the virgin mixtures tested.
to assess such technologies. Among the three RAP levels investigated, the virgin mixtures dis-
played the greatest sensitivity to WMA additives in terms of creep
IDT Creep Compliance Results In the 15% RAP data set, RAP addition at this level was found to
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Mixture low-temperature creep compliance data can be used to reduce the m-value computed from all WMA and HMA mixture
assess the ability of a mixture to resist thermal stress buildup upon master curves. These results agreed with those found by Behnia
cooling during a critical low-temperature event. Higher compliance et al. (2011) and showed that the presence of RAP led to a reduced
and higher slope at longer loading times (or m-value) are both capacity for stress relaxation in the case of a thermal event. The m-
desirable from a standpoint of minimizing stress development value rankings remained the same for HMA and WMA mixtures in
and maximizing stress relaxation upon cooling under restrained this data set, which suggests that RAP interaction with WMA ad-
conditions. Fig. 9 shows the creep compliance master curve results ditives did not improve or reduce creep behavior. The 15% RAP-
produced in the Superpave IDT test. Similar to the DC(T) fracture WMA mixtures were slightly more compliant and therefore better
test, the chemical-modified virgin WMA mixtures displayed the able to relax stress than the control HMA mixture. This result dif-
most desirable low-temperature creep performance in terms of fered from the fracture test results and likely led to the conclusion

1.0E+00 1.0E+00
HMA HMA Tref = -24º C
Tref = -24º C
Advera Advera
Evotherm Evotherm
Sasobit Sasobit
Creep compliance (1/GPa)

Rediset LQ
Creep compliance (1/GPa)

1.0E-01 1.0E-01

1.0E-02 1.0E-02
1.0E+00 1.0E+01 1.0E+02 1.0E+03 1.0E+04 1.0E+05 1.0E+06 1.0E+07 1.0E+00 1.0E+01 1.0E+02 1.0E+03 1.0E+04 1.0E+05 1.0E+06 1.0E+07
(a) Reduced time (s) (b) Reduced time (s)

HMA Tref = -24º C
Creep compliance (1/GPa)


1.0E+00 1.0E+01 1.0E+02 1.0E+03 1.0E+04 1.0E+05 1.0E+06 1.0E+07
(c) Reduced time (s)

Fig. 9. Fitted creep compliance master curves: (a) virgin mixture; (b) 15% RAP mixture; (c) 45% RAP mixture


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

that although the fracture energy may not be enhanced by WMA recorded AE event counts, test temperatures, and computed AE en-
technologies, these technologies may improve the bulk material re- ergy. Fig. 10 shows a typical plot of event counts and AE energy
laxation capabilities during a cooling event. Modeling and field tri- versus temperature. Temperatures corresponding to two character-
als will be needed to fully evaluate the relative cracking behavior of istic AE events were determined: (1) the embrittlement temperature
these mixes, i.e., to determine if the compliance benefit would out- (TEMB ) and (2) the maximum energy event temperature (TMAX ).
weigh the fracture energy reduction for a given climate and pave- Embrittlement temperature is the temperature corresponding to
ment structure. the event when the first major energy event occurs, as shown in
The 45% RAP WMA and HMA mixtures displayed further Fig. 10. The authors hypothesize that the embrittlement tempera-
stress relaxation losses due to the presence of RAP. In all 45% ture is the onset of the thermally-induced, microcracking damage in
RAP mixtures, m-values decreased, which further agreed with the mixture, and it represents a fundamental material state that is
the results found by Behnia et al. (2011). The presence of a high independent of material constraint, sample size (as long as a statisti-
Downloaded from by National Institute Technology - Silchar on 08/03/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

RAP content narrowed the differences in the creep compliance and cally representative volume or larger is used), and sample shape
m-values among the 45% RAP-WMA and HMA mixtures, which (Behnia et al. 2010, 2011; Dave et al. 2011). The temperature at
naturally followed because of the high percentage of this common which a maximum acoustic energy release occurred, TMAX , was
ingredient among the mixtures. Finally, WMA mixtures continued highly repeatable between test replicates. Similar to embrittlement
to display slightly better performance as compared to the control temperature, this quantity is considered to be an intrinsic fracture
HMA mixture. In addition, the m-value rankings remained the property of the material.
same as the other two RAP data sets in this paper. Fig. 11 summarizes AE test results of WMA mixtures with 0,
The IDT creep compliance data in this paper provided the fol- 15, and 45% RAP. The results are an average of at least four test
lowing three key findings: replicates for each material, and COV values in the range of 5 to
1. WMA technologies affected the creep compliance character- 10% were fairly typical. Comparing TEMB of WMA mixtures
istics of virgin asphalt mixtures; therefore, additives and pro- containing different RAP amounts reveals the effect of the presence
cesses should be considered carefully in terms of their effect of RAP on low temperature cracking performance of the mixtures.
upon stress relaxation characteristics in colder climates or The authors observed that the embrittlement temperature of WMA
where rapid temperature changes exist; mixtures occurred at warmer temperatures as the RAP content in-
2. the use of WMA slightly improved the stress relaxation char- creased. This could be attributed to the aged-hardened binder in the
acteristics of RAP mixtures, whereas fracture energy did not RAP, which contributed to more brittle behavior. A comparison of
improve with the presence of WMA additives; and AE test results of different additives indicates that among all uti-
3. although RAP-WMA mixtures performed slightly better than lized additives, F-T wax exhibited the most significant increase in
the control HMA-RAP mixture, increased RAP contents led to TEMB as compared with others. For WMA mixtures with 45% RAP,
significantly reduced stress relaxation capabilities in both the there was not much difference between TEMB of the control HMA
WMA and HMA mixtures. mixture, Zeolite, and Chemical-1 mixtures. As evidenced in the DC
(T) and IDT tests, this could be attributed to the fact that as the RAP
content increased, the RAP began to dominate the overall material
AE Test Results
behavior. This would explain the lack of significant distinction be-
The authors evaluated AE activity of WMA mixture samples sub- tween the TEMB of mixtures with 45% RAP amounts. AE results
jected to thermal loading (rapid temperature decrease) by analyzing of WMA mixtures showed that the TMAX values for control

Fig. 10. Typical plot of event count and AE energy versus temperature


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

Downloaded from by National Institute Technology - Silchar on 08/03/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Fig. 11. TEMB and TMAX of WMA mixtures, determined using AE technique: (a) virgin; (b) 15% RAP; (c) 45% RAP

mixtures were close to their virgin binder low-temperature PG AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO 2007) results mirror trends in
grades. Behnia et al. (2011) previously reported this in their study the field. In addition, the chemical additive modified WMA
on low-temperature performance of RAP mixtures. The authors of mixtures performed best among the WMA mixtures in terms
this paper also observed that unlike TEMB , the TMAX of mixtures of moisture resistance because of the inherent antistripping cap-
was not significantly affected by RAP content or type of additive. abilities of these chemical additives.
More work is needed, including numerical simulation of the AE • Rutting resistance increased with increasing RAP contents in
test, to obtain a more fundamental understanding of the damage/ all mixtures. The F-T wax-modified WMA mixtures performed
cracking behavior leading to AE events, especially at the thresholds the best among the WMA mixtures with regard to rutting resis-
of TMAX and TEMB . tance due to the stiffening characteristics of this particular
organic additive.
• DC(T) fracture energy results for the virgin mixtures displayed a
sensitivity to the WMA additives. The chemical additives im-
This paper investigated the low-temperature durability of the proved the fracture resistance of WMA mixtures as compared
WMA-and HMA-RAP mixtures through the use of advanced as- with the control HMA mixture. Therefore, careful consideration
phalt mixture performance tests. The research presented in this pa- of WMA additive options should be made prior to use in the
per focused on the low-temperature performance of these mixtures field to avoid thermal cracking.
using the DC(T), IDT creep compliance, and AE tests. In addition, • The inclusion of RAP led to reduced DC(T) fracture energy
the authors addressed durability concerns, such as moisture and and IDT creep compliance. These results showed that the pre-
permanent deformation sensitivity, through the AASHTO T 283 sence of RAP at low temperatures may lead to increased thermal
(AASHTO 2007) and Hamburg tests, respectively. cracking potential irrespective of the WMA additive employed.
On the basis of the results obtained through this experimental • Acoustic emission results were sensitive to RAP content and to
investigation, the authors conclude the following in regards to the the additive type used in the WMA mixtures tested. The higher
behavior of the WMA-RAP mixtures investigated: the RAP content, the higher (i.e., the warmer) the TEMB of the
• Increased RAP contents led to increased resistance to moisture mixture. In addition, TMAX of control mixtures were close to
based on the AASHTO T 283 (AASHTO 2007) test results. their virgin binder low-temperature PG grades.
Therefore, the use of quality RAP material may be advanta- • The overall trends of TEMB of WMA mixtures were consistent
geous to avoid moisture damage with the assumption that the with the results observed for fracture energy and creep


J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 2013.25:1887-1897.

compliance. This provides more confidence in the use of the acoustic emission approach.” NDE/NDT for Highways and Bridges:
TEMB quantity as a screening tool to quickly assess the cracking Structural Materials Technology (SMT), New York.
resistance of asphalt mixtures, including those containing RAP Behnia, B., Dave, E. V., Ahmed, S., Buttlar, W. G., and Reis, H. (2011).
and/or WMA. “Effects of recycled asphalt pavement amounts on low-temperature
cracking performance of asphalt mixtures using acoustic emissions.”
• Advanced mechanical and AE tests such as those presented in
Transp. Res. Rec., 2208(1), 64–71.
this paper may be useful in validating WMA-RAP mixture de- Buttlar, W. G., and Roque, R. (1994). “Development and evaluation of the stra-
signs for important paving projects, particularly until more long- tegic highway research program measurement and analysis system for indi-
term field-performance test results are available. In fact, even rect tensile testing at low temperatures.” Transp. Res. Rec., 1454, 163–171.
when long-term field-performance tests are available, these tests Chiu, C., Hsu, T., and Yang, W. (2008). “Life cycle assessment on using
may continue to serve the asphalt industry for high-profile pro- recycled materials for rehabilitating asphalt pavements.” Resour.
jects, because a near infinite combination of WMA additives, Conserv. Recycl., 52(3), 545–556.
Collins, R. J., and Ciesielski, S. K. (1994). “Recycling and use of waste
Downloaded from by National Institute Technology - Silchar on 08/03/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

RAP sources, climates, pavement structures, and production/

construction variables potentially make each paving project materials and by-products in highway construction.” NCHRP Synthesis
unique. 199, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, (NCHRP),
Washington, DC.
D’Angelo, J., et al. (2008). “Warm-mix asphalt: European practice.” Rep. No.
Acknowledgments FHWA-PL-08-007, Federal Highway Association, Washington, DC.
Dave, E. V., Ahmed, A., Buttlar, W. G., Bausano, J., and Lynn, T. (2010).
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the “Investigation of strain tolerant mixture reflective crack relief systems:
An integrated approach.” J. Assoc. Asphalt Paving Technol., 79, 119–156.
sponsor, O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), throughout the
Dave, E. V., Behnia, B., Ahmed, S., Buttlar, W. G., and Reis, H. (2011).
course of this paper, and for the guidance provided by Mr. Ross “Low temperature fracture evaluation of asphalt mixtures using
Anderson of Bowman, Barrett, and Associates. In addition, the mechanical testing and acoustic emissions techniques.” J. Assoc.
National Cooperative Highway Research Program – Ideas Deser- Asphalt Paving Technol., 80, 193–226.
ving Exploratory Analysis (NCHRP-IDEA) program supported Dave, E. V., Braham, A. F., Buttlar, W. G., Paulino, G. H., and Zofka, A.
this paper under project #144, “An Acoustic Emission Based Test (2008). “Integration of laboratory testing, field performance data, and
to Determine Asphalt Binder and Mixture Embrittlement Tempera- numerical simulations for the study of low-temperature cracking.”
ture.” The authors would also like to acknowledge the assistance Proc., 6th RILEM Int. Conf. on Cracking in Pavements, Taylor and
of Mr. Nathan Kebede and Mr. Salman Hakimzadeh of the Univ. Francis, Chicago, 369–378.
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The views and opinions ex- Doyle, J. D., Mejias-Santiago, M., Brown, E. R., and Howard, I. L. (2011).
“Performance of high RAP-WMA surface mixtures.” J. Assoc. Asphalt
pressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily
Pav. Technol., 80, 419–458.
reflect the views and opinions of the sponsor. Gandhi, T. (2008). “Effects of warm asphalt additives on asphalt binder and
mixture properties.” Doctoral thesis, Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC.
Illinois Dept. of Transportation. (2011). “Specification review.” Chapter 2,
Notation Hot mix asphalt level III technician course, Lakeland College, Mattoon,
IL, 9–84.
The following symbols are used in this paper: Kanitpong, K., Nam, K., Martono, W., and Bahia, H. (2008). “Evaluation
Cc = correction factor to account for 3D stress and strain fields of a warm-mix asphalt additive.” Construct. Mater., 161(1), 1–8.
as a function of specimen aspect ratio (t=D) and Poisson’s Li, X., Clyne, T. R., and Marasteanu, M. O. (2004). “Recycled asphalt
ratio (Buttlar and Roque 1994); pavement (RAP) effects on binder and mixture quality.” Rep.
DðtÞ = creep compliance at time t; No. MN/RC-2005-02, Minnesota Dept. of Transportation, Research
Davg = average diameter of all replicates; Services Section, St. Paul, MN.
L = gauge length; Prowell, B., and Hurley, G. C. (2005a). “Evaluation of aspha-min zeolite
Pavg = average applied creep load; for use in warm mix asphalt.” NCAT Rep. 05–04, National Center for
Asphalt Technology, Auburn, AL.
tavg = average thickness of all replicates; and
Prowell, B., and Hurley, G. C. (2005b). “Evaluation of sasobit for use in
ΔX = trimmed mean of the normalized horizontal deflections at warm mix asphalt.” NCAT Rep. 05–06, National Center for Asphalt
time t. Technology, Auburn, AL.
Prowell, B., and Hurley, G. C. (2006). “Evaluation of evotherm for use in
warm mix asphalt.” NCAT Rep. 06–02, National Center for Asphalt
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