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(2) good light reflectance properties, particularly
The formulation of dense bituminous concrete type mixes when wet; and
by the conventional procedures of using modified 'max- (3) good resistance to wear.
imum density' aggregate gradings and empirical
laboratory compaction and mechanical testing pro- Bitumen of petroleum origin has generally been
cedures (such as those of the Marshall method) is out- used as the binder and, although it is an
lined. The advantages and limitations of such procedures economically viable adhesive for large-scale use in
are indicated, particularly in relation to the degree of
paving materials, it suffers from the disadvantage
compaction which is obtained in the mix at laydown and in
service. The design of porous 'friction' courses with deep
that its deformation behaviour is very dependent on
macrotexture for improved skid resistance at high vehicle temperature and its tensile breaking strength is low.
speed is also discussed. More basic design procedures This, and the availability of locally-produced ag-
founded on service requirements and the packing proper- gregates, impose important limitations on the
ties, shape and surface texture of available mineral ag- design of the bitumen-mineral aggregate composite
gregates are then considered and progress by the and the composition finally selected is often a com-
Australian Road Research Board in this direction indi- promise between the various requirements listed
cated. above.
Developments in the laboratory design of the
INTRODUCTION composite have generally followed developments in
the understanding of the packing properties of
Thin layers of bituminous plant mix have been used mineral aggregates, and the development of
for many years in Australia for the surfacing of pave- laboratory compaction procedures which bear
ments and, more recently, greater depths have been some relation to the compaction obtained at
laydown and in the pavement after trafficking.
laid to form part of the load spreading structure.
Because of the important requirements of
In this paper attention is directed to the design
durability and air and water impermeability, attention
of the mix composition (aggregate grading and ag-
has been directed mainly to dense composites, and
gregate, filler and binder proportions) and it is
the design of these will be considered first.
assumed that the quality of the mix constituents is
acceptable. Design of the mix composition (and, to a
certain extent, the acceptable quality of the consti-
tuents) depends not only on the situation of the DESIGN OF CONTINUOUSLY GRADED
material in the pavement but also on the climatic DENSE MIXES
conditions and the expected traffic at the site.
The general requirements of the material are: Laboratory design of continuously graded dense
(a) ability to resist shoving in hot weather under the plant mix has been based on the work of Fuller and
imposed traffic; Thompson (1907) who determined, by experiment,
relationships between the particle size distribution
(b) durability; (PSD) of mineral aggregates and their packing pro-
(c) air and water impermeability (with the exception perties. In order to obtain a high density of packing,
of porous 'friction' courses on the surface); and they found that the PSD should conform to the rela-
(d) ability to follow small movements in the pave- tionship
ment without cracking (flexibility).
M2 [d2
Special requirements of the surface course are:
M1 d1
(1) good skid resistance characteristics when wet;

Paper presented to the Symposium and Workshop on

where M, and M, are the percentages of aggregate
Design and Construction of Bituminous Concrete Pave- passing sieves with openings d, and d, respectively
ments for Roads and Airfields, November 9-10. and n has a value between 0.4 and 0.6.

32 AUSTRALIAN ROAD RESEARCH, Vol 8, No. 2, June 1978


Having obtained a 'near maximum' density PSD, THE MARSHALL METHOD

the next consideration has been the partial filling of This method was developed by the U.S. Corps of
the voids in this packed aggregate with bitumen. Engineers who chose a testing machine and method
The volume/mass relationship of a typical com- of design conceived by Bruce Marshall of the
pacted continuously graded dense plant mix is Mississippi State Highway Department (McFadden
shown in Fig. 1. The voids in the mineral aggregate and Ricketts 1948).
(VMA) should not be completely filled with bitumen;
otherwise, the compacted mix becomes unstable The essential features of the testing procedure
and is easily sheared when warm. are shown in Fig. 3. Trial mixes covering a range of
bitumen contents are impact compacted in a mould
— A air voids 4.0% Yo by mass with a standard hammer. Usually, 50 hammer blows
VM on the two opposing faces of the cylindrical speci-
(17.7 °/D 6.0 men are specified but, for surface courses for sites
where there is a large number of heavy vehicles with
high tyre pressures, 75 hammer blows on each face
might be used.


34.6 Specimen compressed

at 51 mm/min at 60 C
Impact by Marshall
hammer (4.54 kg falling
1:::\ , Specimen
Maximum load -,_ 102 mm dia through 457 mm).
(stability) and defor- x 64 mm high Number of blows
mation at maximum •._ normally 50 or 75 on
load (flow value) each face
4-- 7.4 determined

Fig. 1 — Volume/mass relationship for a typical compacted MODIFIED HUBBARD-FIELD

bituminous concrete

Specimen extruded at Tamping with finishing

a rate of 61 mm/min at
60C. Maximum force
Il 47_,.__A Specimen
compressive load of
45 kN for two
Given an acceptable aggregate grading and determined -- It 152 mm dia minutes

volumetric proportions of aggregate, bitumen and ' 1,4 x 76 mm high

air voids, the next design step has been to assess

the resistance of the compacted mix to shearing
(shoving). Various mechanical tests were
Fig. 3 —Common mechanical tests for bituminous mixtures
developed to do this and those of Marshall (McFad-
den and Ricketts 1948) and Hubbard and Field
(1935) are the most familiar.
The air void content of the cylinders is deter-
A flow chart of the entire design procedure is mined by weighing them in air and in water (waxed
shown in Fig. 2. There are no established tests for specimens are sometimes used) and then determin-
assessing the workability, compactibility and resis- ing their solid density by breaking them up (after
tance to segregation of the different particle sizes warming) and finding the weight of water displaced
when handled and these important characteristics by the disintegrated mix. The VMA is the fractional
are assessed subjectively during the laboratory volume of the cylinder occupied by air and bitumen.
handling and later in trial mixes. Both the Hubbard-
Field method and the Marshall method are used in Resistance to shoving when warm is determined
Australia, but the latter is more popular. by heating the cylinders to 60°C in a water bath and
then compressing them diametrically at a constant
SELECT speed. The maximum force developed during com-
pression (Marshall Stability) and the movement to
reach this maximum force (Marshall Flow) are
GRADING Typical test results for a series of mixtures are
shown in Fig. 4. As the bitumen content increases,
OF TRIAL MIXES Marshall Stability and density pass through a max-
BITUMEN CONTENTS imum. Marshall Flow and the percentage of the VMA
filled with bitumen increases and the air voids

Examples of specification by the Marshall

VMA AND STABILITY design procedure are given in Table I (airfield sur-
WARM facings) and Table II (road surfacings) (NAASRA
1978). In both cases there is a requirement of
ACCEPT minimum stability, maximum flow and a range of air
void content with an absolute minimum of air voids
of 3 or 4 per cent. Both specifications also control
Fig. 2 — Design flow chart the fraction of the VMA filled with bitumen.

AUSTRALIAN ROAD RESEARCH, Vol. 8, No. 2, June 1978


10 8 From test data such as that shown in Fig.4 a

bitumen content is chosen such that the require-

FLOWVA LUE(60 C )-mm

ments of a specification are met. This is usually
STAB ILITY(60 C) - k N

9 6
0 done by taking the following bitumen contents and

calculating their mean:

8 4 (a) mean for limits of percentage of air voids;

(b) maximum stability;
(c) maximum density; and
7 2
(d) mean of limits for per cent voids filled (if used).
a b
6 0
5 6 7 5 6 7 The essential features of this method are shown in
Fig. 3. Mix compaction is by tamping, followed by
compression and the cylindrical specimen at 60°C
2.48 6
is then extruded axially through a ring at a constant
speed. The maximum force (stability) developed
9 during extrusion is measured. Like the Marshall pro-

f(\ -o
cedure, design criteria are based on specification of
a minimum stability, range of air void content and
range of VMA filled with bitumen.

5 6 7 5 6 7
Marshall Design Criteria
BINDER CONTENT - Modified from U.S. Corps of Engineers Specification
per cent
Traffic Tyre Pressure (kPa) Up to 700 In excess
of 700
Specimen Compaction (blows each end) 50 75
• 90
t— cc Test Property and Type of Mix Min. Max. Min. Max.
O 0
w z Stability (kN)
cr E 80 Bituminous concrete surface course 2.2 8.0
Binder or basecourse 2.2 8.0
Flow (mm)
O 0 70 Bituminous concrete surface course 3.0 4.0
w 5 6 7
Binder or basecourse 5.0 4.0
I— U- Air Voids (°o)
2 per cent
Bituminous concrete surface course 4 7 4 7
0 Binder or basecourse 4 10 4 10
0- Voids Binder Filled (°o)
Bituminous concrete surface course 65 80 65 80
Fig. 4 — Typical Marshall testing results Binder or basecourse 60 80 60 80

Marshall Design Criteria
(50 Blow Cornpactive Effort)
Maximum Size
of Aggregate
(mm) 7 10 13 20

Property Min. Max. Min. Max. Min. Max. Min. Max.

(DRN) 5.5 6.5 6.5 6.5

Flow (mm) 2.0 3.5 2.0 3.5 2.0 3.5 2.0 3.5

Air Voids
( Vol.)
(a) Wearing
Course 4 7 4 7 4 7 4 7

(b) Inter-
mediate or
basecourse 3 6 3 6 3 6 3 6

Voids in
( Vol.) 18 17 16 15

34 AUSTRALIAN ROAD RESEARCH, Vol 8, No. 2, June 1978


THE LIMITATIONS OF THE MARSHALL- Two other factors militate against the general
use of the Marshall-type mix design. Firstly, the
TYPE DESIGN PROCEDURES macrotexture of a wearing course is too shallow for
good (high speed) skid resistance and light reflec-
Despite the fact that the laboratory compaction is tance properties when wet. Secondly, the relatively
very different from the compaction the material low bitumen content of the mixes (low average bitu-
receives at laydown and under traffic, and that the men film thickness) makes them less flexible and
mechanical testing bears little relation to traffic
less resistant to fatigue than other compositions.
stressing in service, the Marshall-type design has
proved very useful in practice. Pavement construc-
tion and maintenance authorities have, in general,
only used it as a basis for a final design; modifying DENSE GAP-GRADED MATERIALS
the aggregate grading and volumetric proportions
of the constituents to suit locally available aggreg- The first dense plant mix materials to be used exten-
ates and pavement conditions. An example of such sively were the stone filled sheet asphalts of which
modification was described in a recent paper by the 'Hot Rolled Asphalt' (HRA), now used for many
Phillips and Bethune (1976) which outlines the years in U.K., is an example (British Standards In-
evolution of the Marshall design for use on main stitution 1973). An HRA surface course is essen-
roads in the State of Victoria. tially a mortar of fine aggregate (`sharp natural
sand), inert filler (material passing the 75 um sieve)
Apart from the limitation of dealing only with and a hard bitumen which is extended with 30 to 35
dense, continuously graded mixtures, mixes per cent of coarse aggregate. A typical composition
designed by the Marshall-type method are very de- for a surface course to be laid 40 mm thick (and
pendent on very good compaction at laydown or chipped after spreading to produce an acceptable
compaction by traffic afterwards to attain the design
surface macrotexture) is as follows.
air voids. If this degree of compaction is not at-
Per cent
tained, the hardening of the bitumen in the layer is Mass
relatively rapid and it becomes inflexible and prone
Coarse aggregate i10-14 mm size) :3 o
to cracking.
Fine sand (90 passing the 1 18 mm sieve) 53
Filler (ground limestone) 9
8.0 Bitumen ('50 pen 1

10 50 Suitable fine aggregates and compositions for this

material were found by trial-and-error and no
laboratory design procedure was involved.
AIR This type of material is known, however. to be
more durable and more flexible than the con-
(0/0 VOL.) 4—DESIGN
tinuously graded Marshall-type design and is more
easily compacted to its final density at laydown. The
SLOW LANE I FAST LANE concern was that the empirical compositions found
shoulder edge median edge to be satisfactory for U.K. conditions would have
poor resistance to shoving in hotter climates.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
—*TRANSVERSE POSITION (m) The fine aggregate is the major aggregate com-
ponent and has an important influence on the
Fig. 5 — Compaction of bituminous concrete by traffic `stability' when warm, so its PSD, particle shape and
particle surface texture are important. Brien (1 972)
Fig. 5 shows the compaction condition across a proposed a simple flow test to assess these proper-
wearing course after three years of traffic (Oliver ties and used rutting in a wheel tracking machine,
1976a ). The mix was a 10 mm nominal size Marshall such as that shown in Fig. 6, to assess resistance to
design laid to an average thickness of 24 mm on one shoving. He also established an approximate rela-
carriageway of the dual-carriageway road. This car- tionship between wheel tracking at 60°C and
riageway is currently carrying about 13 000 Marshall Stiffness (Marshall Stability/Marshall
veh/day (7 per cent heavy vehicles). The slow lane Flow).
has been evenly compacted to about 1 per cent air
voids above the design value, but there is an area •—chart recorder
between the wheel tracks of the fast lane where
compaction is only at the 8.5 per cent air voids
level. As might be expected, compaction of the
material near the edges of the carriageway is very displacement displacement
poor. transducer
The effect of this differential compaction on
bitumen hardening is indicated by the numbers
above the arrows in Fig. 5. These are the number of
times the viscosity of the bitumen at laydown has in- moving 46, :prn z:7- 6 457.11
,2 1 0 load
creased during the three years. Further traffic com- platform
paction, particularly in the areas where there are specimen 300 x 300 x 25 rnr
high air voids and hardened bitumen, is unlikely. Fig. 6 —The wheel tracking test

AUSTRALIAN ROAD RESEARCH, Vol. 8, No. 2, June 1978

Marais (1974) confirmed the work of Brien and With the high bitumen content recommended,
proposed the following Marshall design criteria (75 careful control of mixing temperature is required to
blows compaction) for gap-graded wearing courses avoid drainage of the mix during handling, and 1 per
to be used in hot climates. cent of hydrated lime should be included in the filler
fraction to reduce the tendency of the bitumen to
Min. Max. strip from the aggregate by water and traffic action.
Marshall stiffness at 60°C (MN .rn) 1.5 Neither Marshall testing procedures nor wheel
Marshall stability at 60°C (kN) 125 tracking tests are suitable for assessing the resis-
Air voids 1 Vol ) 2.0 tance of these mixes to shoving when warm. Both
procedures have indicated low stability where ser-
Marais has also proposed that the average film vice performance has been satisfactory. A good key
thickness of the bitumen in the mix should not be between the friction course and the substrate is im-
less than 6.0 µm (calculated for the various grad- portant to prevent 'sliding'. The water immersion
ings and bitumen contents by using the surface area wheel tracking test (United Kingdom 1962) should
factors recommended by the Asphalt Institute be suitable for assessing the resistance of the com-
(1963) ) and that the filler/bitumen ratio by mass pacted mix to stripping, but this method does not
should not be less than one. Mixes based on these appear to be suitable for dense materials. Air void
design criteria and using selected fine aggregates content of the field-compacted material is prefera-
are now used for surfacing main roads in South bly determined by mensuration of cores together
Africa. with 'solid' density measurements.
POROUS FRICTION COURSES FOR SURFACING HIGH- A porous friction course laid on the Southern
Cross Drive freeway in Sydney in 1969 (Department
As already mentioned, Marshall-type mix designs of Main Roads, N.S.W. 1970) is still in satisfactory
give a very shallow surface macrotexture and are condition, although the voids in it have been par-
not ideal for the surfacing of high-speed roads and tially filled with detritus. The design experience of
airfield runways because their skid resistance at the Country Roads Board (CRB), Victoria with this
high speed when wet is relatively poor. A deep type of surfacing is described in a recent paper by
macrotexture and, preferably, a porous composite is Currie and Bethune (1976).
desirable so that water can be expelled readily from LEES' WORK ON THE PACKING PROPERTIES OF
beneath the vehicle tyre and drained away quickly AGGREGATES
from the top of the surfacing to reduce ponding.
Improvement in design methods can come from a
Open-graded mixes are being successfully used better understanding of the packing properties of
for this type of surfacing and currently the design (coated) aggregates and finding laboratory test pro-
approach to them is mainly empirical. They can be cedures which imitate the compaction a mix
expected to be less durable than dense composites receives at laydown and subsequently under traffic.
and, because of their porosity, should be laid on an Lees (1970) has proposed a new method for
impervious substrate. designing maximum density aggregate gradings and
a critical assessment of this method has been given
A design procedure has been proposed which is by Dickinson and Oliver (1976). The method is
based on measurement of the void content of the based on laboratory compaction of dry aggregate
(dry) coarse aggregate (10 to 2.36 mm) after
laboratory compaction by vibration (Smith, Rice and
Spelman 1974). These voids are partially filled with
bitumen (about 6 per cent by mass of the mix) and
with the fine aggregate and filler (not more than 15 /
per cent by mass of the total aggregate) such that at 80
least 15 per cent air voids remain. The fine aggreg-

ate and filler play an important 'chocking' role for the

coarse aggregate and should be continuously
graded. The volume/mass relationship for the 7
various constituents of a typical porous friction zz
course is shown in Fig. 7. Lees z/

air voids 17% %by mass Fuller

VMA 29%
/ y(itr$7/1?/0/ / • 6
Total vol. 1\\ t
• 80 6.7 13.2
% 0.075 0.15
0.30 0.60
I I 1

•) 10.5
A.S. SIEVE SIZE ( m m )

\ .
"r1 a!g e a e 70 •":„.„...- 3.5 2 3 4

filler 3% SIEVE OPENING (Log( m)

Fig. 7 — Volume/mass relationship of a typical porous friction Fig. 8 — Comparison of maximum density gradings from Lees'
course procedure and 'Fuller' curve

36 AUSTRALIAN ROAD RESEARCH, Vol 8, No. 2, June 1978


fractions under vibration and the calculation pro- The effect of the number of passes of the roller
cedures proposed only apply to 'one size' fractions. on the degree of compaction of a Marshall designed
The method, however, can be used by matching dense, continuously graded wearing course
combinations of industrial fractions to gradings material 25 mm thick is shown in Fig. 10. Six passes
calculated from data on one-sized fractions or by were needed to attain construction compaction (10
determining the maximum density of successive per cent air voids) and 44 passes to attain the com-
two-component combinations of fractions by ex- paction after three years of traffic (6.5 per cent air
periment. voids). These two degrees of compaction are cur-
rently being used to assess the compactibility of
trial mix designs.
A comparison of a Lees' maximum density grad-
ing (40 mm nominal size) with a Fuller grading (n =
0.5) is shown in Fig. 8. Although the two gradings 12
achieve approximately the same density, the Lees' 0
design contains more of the finer sizes and, when 10 construction
coated with bitumen, is much less prone to segrega- 4-
tion than the Fuller grading. a)
Lees' procedures are more general than the 0 three years under traffic
Marshall-type method and could be applied to gap-
graded materials and porous friction courses. They 0
can also be used to find the maximum density com-
L.. 4
binations which can be synthesised from a limited
choice of industrial fractions. His experimental
method for measuring the compaction of a mixture of
dry aggregates suffers, however, from the disadvan-
T1 •
2 4 8 16 32 64
tage that the degree of compaction obtained is Number of roller passes (log scale]
significantly less than that produced when the ag- Laboratory Roller Compaction
gregates are coated with bitumen and compacted
under service conditions. The Australian Road Fig. 10 — Australian Road Research Board laboratory rolling
to obtain construction and 'after traffic' compaction
Research Board (ARRB) is currently investigating
vibration compaction procedures done in the pre- Apart from assessing compactibility, the pro-
sence of either water or light oil. cedure produces a slab large enough to carry out
duplicate wheel tracking tests in order to assess
ARRB LABORATORY MIX COMPACTION PROCEDURES resistance to shoving when warm and also measure-
ments of surface macrotexture. Slabs 75 mm thick
In an attempt to imitate service compaction condi- have been manufactured with 40 mm nominal size
tions more closely, ARRB has developed a compac- designs.
tion procedure using a footpath (vibrating) roller on
a layer of mix 600 mm square (Oliver 1976b ). The
procedure is shown diagrammatically in Fig. 9. CONCLUSIONS
Different thicknesses can be compacted by inser-
tion of aluminium spacer plates into the mould and This outline of current plant mix design procedures
the uppermost plate is heated electrically to main- and of new developments has indicated that the es-
tain mix temperature. sentially static position after the establishment of
the Marshall-type design at the end of the Second
World War is now changing. This has been brought
footpath, vibrating roller
about by the following factors:
(a) the realisation that Marshall-type designs do not
always produce durable and flexible surfacings;
(b) the need for a deep macrotexture on the surface
specimen 600 x 600 x 25 mm of high-speed roads and runways;
heated spacer (c) the realisation that a mix must be designed for
Al spacer
plate the anticipated trafficking and that degree of
plates compaction and compactibility of a design are
steel mould important considerations; and
(d) a method for assessing the compactibility of
Fig. 9 — Australian Road Research Board compaction method designs needs to be developed.

REFERENCES BRIEN, D. (1972). A design method for gap graded asphaltic mixes. Roads Road Constr. May,
pp. 140-45.
BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION (1973). Specifications for Rolled Asphalt (Hot Process) for
Roads and Other Paved Areas. British Standard 594.
CURRIE, D.T. and BETHUNE, J.D. (1976). Design and use of open-graded friction course asphalt for
road surfacing. Proc. 8th ARRB Conf. 8(4), Session 17, pp. 1-7.
DEPARTMENT OF MAIN ROADS, N.S.W. (1970). Deep asphalt pavement on Southern Cross Drive.
Main Roads. September, p. 8.

AUSTRALIAN ROAD RESEARCH, Vol. 8, No. 2, June 1978 37


DICKINSON, E.J. and OLIVER, J.W.H. (1976). An assessment of Lees' procedures for designing
maximum density aggregate gradings. Aust. Rd Res. 6(1), pp. 12-21.
FULLER, W.B. and THOMPSON, S.E. (1907). The laws of proportioning concrete. Trans. Am. Soc.
Civ. Eng. 59, pp. 67-172.
HUBBARD, P. and FIELD, F.C. (1935). The rational design of asphalt paving mixtures. Asphalt Inst.
Res. Series 1.
LEES, G. (1970). The rational design of aggregate gradings for dense asphaltic compositions.
Proc. Assoc. Asphalt Paving Technol. 39, pp. 60-90.
MARAIS, C.P. (1974). Tentative mix design criteria for gap graded bituminous surfacings. Transp.
Res. Rec. No. 515, pp. 132-45.
McFADDEN, G. and RICKETTS, W.C. (1948). Design and field control of asphalt paving mixtures for
military installations. Proc. Assoc. Asphalt Paving Technol., 17, pp. 93-113.
Practice of Bituminous Surfacing. Vol. 2 'Plant Mix Work'. Section 3.
OLIVER, J.W.H. (1976a ). Traffic compaction of bituminous concrete: An initial survey. Australian
Road Research Board. Internal Report, AIR 178-6.
(1976b ). Design of bituminous plant mixes. Progress Report. Australian Road Research
Board. Internal Report, AIR 178-3.
PHILLIPS, B.L. and BETHUNE, J.D. (1976). Design and use of asphalt mixes. Proc. 8th ARRB Conf.
8(4), Session 16, pp. 11-17.
SMITH, R.W., RICE, J.M. and SPELMAN, S.R. (1974). Design of open graded asphalt friction
courses. Report No. FHWA-RD-74-2. Fed. Highw. Admin. Offices of Res. and Devt, Washington
THE ASPHALT INSTITUTE (1963). Mix Design Methods for Asphalt Concrete and Other Hot-Mix
Types. Asphalt Institute Manual Series 2.
RESEARCH LABORATORY (1962). Immersion Trafficking Tests — Bituminous Materials in
Road Construction. Chapter 5, pp. 80-1. (HMSO: London.)

After graduating from Oxford in 1941, Dr

Dickinson joined the staff of the Road
Research Laboratory, U.K. In 1951, he moved
to the newly formed Bituminous Binder
Research Unit, CS1R, South Africa. Following
three years as Technical Officer with the Bri-
tish Road Tar Association, he returned to
South Africa to take charge of the Bituminous
Division of the National Institute for Road
Research. He spent three years with Burt,
E.J. Dickinson Boulton and Hayward Ltd in London before
M.A.. B.Sc.(Oxon). joining the staff of the ARRB in 1964.
C.Chem., F.R.I.C. Throughout his career he has been concerned
with research on bituminous paving materials
and its application and has published many
papers particularly on the properties of paving
tars and bitumens. He is currently group
leader of the bituminous surfacing research
work being done by the Board.

This paper is presented with the permission of the Executive Director of the Australian Road
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Research Board, Dr M.G. Lay. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Australian Road Research Board.