The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 144 [Completed (IDEA)]

An Acoustic Emission-Based Test to Determine Asphalt Binder and Mixture Embrittlement Temperature
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project developed an acoustic emission-based test method for characterizing the embrittlement temperature of asphalt binders and mixtures. An acoustic emission based measurement system complete with signal processing and data analysis algorithms along with a compact and low maintenance thermoelectric-based cooling device was developed. Test results on asphalt concrete mixtures were very promising; microcracking of the asphalt mastic was easily detectable with the new method and highly correlated to binder test results. Testing of samples from the MnRoad Program also showed a good correlation between acoustic emission-based mixture embrittlement temperature and low temperature binder grade mixture fracture energy obtained from the Disk-shaped Compact Tension test, and field performance. The developed acoustic emission system was also successfully used to detect the presence and the effect of recycled asphalt pavement  in asphalt mixtures. Further validation of the new testing system with field specimens was completed, including specimens obtained from the Asphalt Institute (airfield pavement durability study) and Michigan Technological University. Strong correlations between the results of acoustic emission tests and industry standard low temperature binder tests were obtained. The researcher is working with a local company, TE Technologies, Inc., to commercialize the IDEA product. The product to yield significant payoff for both up-stream and down-stream suppliers and producers for material formulation, material compatibility assessment, design, assessment of designs, quality assurance of binders and mixtures, optimization of mixtures using recycled asphalt pavement and assessment of pavement condition and scheduling of preventive maintenance and rehabilitation treatments. The contractor's final report is available.

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