Effects of laboratory mixing methods and RAP materials on performance of hot recycled asphalt mixtures

Nguyen, Viet Hung (2009) Effects of laboratory mixing methods and RAP materials on performance of hot recycled asphalt mixtures. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

The primary work reported in this thesis is concerned mainly with the effects of different mixing methods and RAP materials on homogeneity and mechanical properties of hot recycled asphalt mixtures. The recycled asphalt mixture conforms to the requirement of BS 4987-1 (2005) for dense bitumen macadam size 10 mm (DBM 10 mm). The proportion of RAP in the recycled mixture is 40%. RAP materials are artificially aged and processed in the laboratory to prevent the variability of RAP gradation, bitumen content, and the origin. Laboratory RAP is also used to assure that every single RAP particle is an agglomerate of RAP aggregate and binder.

The mixing procedures include Black Rock (BR), Complete Blending (CB), the SHRP procedure, and a newly developed field simulation method (FS). The primary difference between these methods is the mixing mechanism. The BR case implies the situation in which there is completely no interaction between RAP and virgin binder. On the contrary, RAP and virgin binder are fully interacted in the CB case. The mixing procedures for BR and CB cases conform to those for conventional asphalt mixtures. However, the bitumen for BR case is pure virgin bitumen. In addition, the bitumen for CB is the blend between RAP and virgin binder. The RAP/virgin binder proportion is 4/6. In the SHRP method, RAP is preheated at 110oC for two hours before being mixed with virgin aggregate and binder for 2 minutes at 130oC. In the FS method on the contrary, the mixing procedure duplicates what occurs in the asphalt mixing plant. RAP is mixed with superheated virgin aggregate (215oC) for different durations before this combination is blended with virgin bitumen for 2 minutes at 130oC. The RAP/superheated virgin aggregate mixing duration starts from short mixing time where RAP still exists at approximately original size and gradually increases until the change in RAP lump size is insignificant. Depending on the size of RAP used, RAP/superheated virgin aggregate mixing duration varies from 1 to 8 minutes.

The homogeneity of hot recycled asphalt mixture is examined by using virgin binder with a different colour from that of RAP binder. The colour of virgin binder is obtained by mixing clear binder (Shell Mexphalt C 160/220 Pen) with iron oxide pigment. The proportion of pigment is 10% by weight of the binder making this binder red. The use of virgin binder with different colour from that of RAP binder helps to clearly differentiate the locations of RAP and virgin materials. Surfaces of slices cut from compacted recycled specimens are photographed by digital camera. The analysis of these surfaces in vertical order allows the locations of RAP material to be qualitatively identified in a 3D manner.

Stiffness modulus values of samples for homogeneity assessment are also determined by indirect tensile stiffness test. The stiffness test is carried out in four directions along the circumference of each specimen with 45o angular increments. The experimental results show that the stiffness measurement in four directions can indicate the heterogeneity of recycled mixture. The variation in stiffness values in different measured directions will be substantial for heterogeneous mixtures and minor in the case where recycled mixtures are homogeneous. The results indicate there are mutual relations between mixing effort, homogeneity, and stiffness values of recycled asphalt mixtures. The longer mixing time will enhance the homogeneity and reduce the variation in stiffness values of recycled mixture. In addition, as more RAP and virgin binder are incorporated, the stiffness values of recycled mixture generally increase once the mixing time is extended.

As the clear binder is dyed red by 10% by weight of iron oxide, the proportion of the pigment certainly alters the flow characteristic of binder. This might affect the mixing process and rejuvenating effect between virgin and aged binder. Therefore, the effects of mixing methods and RAP sizes on mechanical performance of hot recycled asphalt mixtures are further investigated using normal straight run bitumen 160/220 Pen as virgin binder. The assessment indicators include stiffness modulus, resistance to fatigue damage, and resistance to permanent deformation.

The experimental results indicate that the conventional laboratory mixing method (SHRP) tends to overestimate the mechanical properties of recycled asphalt mixture. The long RAP preheating time that never exists in the industry coincidentally enhances the reaction between RAP and virgin binder. The long RAP preheating time also slightly alters the properties of RAP binder.

For the FS method, the increase in mixing duration significantly improves the homogeneity level of recycled mixtures. The homogeneity level is also substantially affected by the size of RAP material. For the same mixing effort, the mixtures comprised of small RAP are generally more homogeneous than those made from larger RAP. The more homogeneous the mixture, the more interaction between RAP and virgin binder. Therefore, recycled mixtures become stiffer and have better resistance to permanent deformation and fatigue failure. A slightly linear increase in stiffness can result in an exponential increase in fatigue life of the recycled mixture.

The mechanical properties including stiffness modulus, resistance to fatigue damage, and resistance to permanent deformation of hot recycled asphalt mixtures are not similar to those of the BR or CB mixtures, even at the favourable condition where RAP is preheated for 2 hours at 110oC in the SHRP method and 8 minutes mixing duration in the FS method. This implies that RAP does not act as Black Rock. In addition, the assumption that RAP and virgin binder are fully blended also never exists in the recycled asphalt production process.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Airey, G.D.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), recycled, asphalt, mixtures, mechanical properties, homogeneity
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Civil Engineering
ID Code:863
Deposited By:Mr Viet Hung Nguyen
Deposited On:05 Jul 2010 13:12
Last Modified:05 Jul 2010 13:12

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