The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 041 [Completed (IDEA)]

Duomorph Asphalt Rheology Tester
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project refined and tested a portable Duomorph Asphalt Rheology Tester (DART) developed in an earlier IDEA project (NCHRP-IDEA 17). The device tests rheological properties of asphalt for pavement construction. The Duomorph is a piezoelectric sensor that can be embedded in a viscoelastic material to determine the modulus and phase angle of the material, the same data required for the Superpave binder grading. A testing program demonstrated that DART provided good stiffness values that compared favorably with dynamic shear rheometer and bending beam test data over the range of temperature of interest. The equipment’s data repeatability was better than that of the dynamic shear rheometer. The phase angle data was, however, inconsistent. To address this inconsistency, an analytical scheme based on viscoelastic properties and a 3-dimensional finite element analysis was developed. The results show that the analytical approach can model the DART behavior precisely. The system was automated for data collection and reduction capabilities.
The DART has the potential to provide a portable field device that can be used at a plant or refinery to verify the more extensive laboratory testing program used for material certification. It can be used on modified asphalts with particulate matter such as crumb rubber modified binders. It can be used at the plant to test asphalt that has been blended with a polymer to verify the blending process. It can be used on material sampled directly from a tanker to verify that the material is the same as what was specified. This ability to provide a rapid indication of product acceptability before use could result in significant savings by avoiding using materials that later are proven to be unacceptable. This use as a fingerprinting tool for monitoring material variability using the same material properties that are determined in the full grading acceptance scheme provides a unified process in a real-time format not previously possible. Contacts with equipment manufacturer to integrate the field unit are being pursued. Implementation of the system will require a commercial prototype and field trials.  The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2001-101279).

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