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Undergraduate Asphalt Testing Laboratory

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.593.1 - 3.593.11

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Paper Authors

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Vito A. Guido

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Jameel Ahmad

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

UNDERGRADUATE ASPHALT TESTING LABORATORY Vito A. Guido, Jameel Ahmad The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art


In 1987, Congress launched a five-year $150 million research program to improve the performance and durability of roads in the United States. The Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) was organized to develop performance-based asphalt specifications to directly relate laboratory analysis with field performance.

One of SHRP's products was the SUperior PERforming asphalt PAVEment (Superpave) system. This system is a big step forward in asphalt technology since it offers a change from using empirical properties in mixture design to performance based specifications of asphalt materials. It provides road engineers with the tools to design roads that will perform better under extreme temperatures and heavy traffic loads. Three elements make up the system: x Performance Graded (PG) Asphalt Binder Specification x Volumetric Mix Design and Analysis System, and x Mix analysis tests and a performance prediction system that includes computer software, weather database, and environmental models.

The PG Asphalt Binder Specification incorporates new and adopted test procedures to measure the physical properties over the complete range of the binder service life. The test procedures evaluate the ability of the binder to do its part in preventing the three critical distresses of asphalt pavements: permanent deformation (rutting), low-temperature cracking, and fatigue cracking.

Three adopted test procedures are used to prepare binders for properties testing: x Rolling thin film oven test x Pressure aging test, and x Rotational viscosity test.

The new test procedures used to measure the properties of Superpave binders are: x Dynamic shear test x Bending beam test, and x Direct tension test.

The Cooper Union School of Engineering has purchased all the equipment necessary to perform these tests, establishing a Superpave Asphalt Binder Laboratory.

Guido, V. A., & Ahmad, J. (1998, June), Undergraduate Asphalt Testing Laboratory Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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