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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 51-07 [New]

Practices for Assessing and Mitigating the Moisture Susceptibility of Asphalt Pavements
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Fiscal Year: 2019

Preliminary Scope
 
Moisture-induced damage of asphalt pavements is a national problem; millions of dollars are spent each year on maintenance of flexible pavements. In general, moisture damage involves physical, chemical, mechanical, and thermodynamic processes, all occurring within the asphalt mixture at different magnitudes and rates. Some of the mechanisms of moisture damage include adhesion failure between asphalt and aggregate, cohesion failure within the asphalt binder, emulsification of the asphalt, freezing of entrapped water, and cohesion degradation within the aggregate.
 
Different agencies and research groups are continually searching for test methods that can be used to predict potential moisture damage in asphalt pavements. Most of the adopted test methods by state departments of transportation (DOT) focus on testing asphalt mixtures and the adhesive bond between the aggregate and the asphalt binders. Agencies are also looking into other practices to help assess moisture damage such as the MIST device, surface free energy analyses, and asphalt chemical analyses.
 
The objective of this synthesis topic is to document current practices and guidelines used by DOTs to assess the potential for moisture-induced damage in asphalt pavements. The study will focus on the asphalt mix design. The synthesis will also identify techniques and methods that agencies have used prevent or mitigate moisture-induced damage.
 
Information will be gathered through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Knowledge gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.
 
Information Sources:
  • Anderson, D., Youtcheff, J., & Zupanick, M. (2000). Asphalt Binders. TRB Committee on Characteristics of Bituminous Materials, TRB Millennium Paper Series.
  • Kim, Y. R., Ban, H., & Pinto, I. (2009). Moisture Sensitivity of Hot-mix Asphalt (HMA) Mixtures in Nebraska: Phase II. Nebraska Department of Roads.
  • Solaimanian, M., Harvey, J., Tahmoressi, M., & Tandon, V. (2003). Test methods to predict moisture sensitivity of hot-mix asphalt pavements. In Moisture Sensitivity of Asphalt Pavements-A National Seminar.
  • D'angelo, J., & Anderson, R. M. (2003). Material production, mix design, and pavement design effects on moisture damage. In Moisture Sensitivity of Asphalt Pavements-a National Seminar.
  • Wei, J., Dong, F., Li, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2014). Relationship analysis between surface free energy and chemical composition of asphalt binder. Construction and Building Materials, 71, 116-123.
  • Caro, S., and Rivera, C. (2017). “Moisture damage RNS: facing new challenges,” Presented at the TRB AFK 40 Committee Meeting, 2017 TRB Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. January 7-12, 2017.

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