The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 224 [Active (IDEA)]

Development of an Automated and Rapid Conditioning and Testing Device for Cracking and Rutting

  Project Data
Funds: $135,000
Staff Responsibility: Inam Jawed
Research Agency: Texas Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Fujie Zhou
Effective Date: 1/1/2021
Fiscal Year: 2020

This project will develop an Automated and Rapid Conditioning and Testing (Auto-RCT) device for cracking and rutting for use in designing durable mixes and ensuring high quality mixes during plant production. Work in Stage 1 will focus on developing the Auto-RCT device and validating through laboratory and field trials. The device will have five critical units: (i) Rapid specimen cooling/air void measurement/conditioning unit, (ii) Automation arm unit to perform all necessary operations, (iii) Automated inter-changing unit between cracking and rutting tests, (iv) Intelligent data processing and reporting unit, and (v) Automated specimen disposal. A prototype will be built and laboratory evaluated. The evaluation will focus on: (i) unit functions, (ii) cooling/conditioning time, and (iii) test results. A minimum of 10 different asphalt mixes will be used in laboratory evaluation. The Auto-RCT prototype will be tried at an asphalt plant, and, based on trial results, will be refined and its design finalized. Work in Stage 2 will focus on developing a draft test procedure, standardizing hardware and software of the device, and establishing an implementation plan. Final drawings of the device will be completed, and data analysis algorithms developed to calculate cracking and rutting parameters. An implementation plan will be developed working with Texas, Maine, Ohio, and Virginia DOTs. 

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