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.
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