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Civil Engineering Department

College of Engineering

__________________________________ Highway Engineering II CIV 467

Lecture 3A_ Pavement Materials
Kwasi Agyeman Boakye (

Components of Pavement

The various components of a road pavement can be categorized as; Subgrade, subbase, base, wearing course, embankment, shoulder (treated/untreated) etc.

Pavement Material

Different materials are used in different types of pavements; Soil Aggregates (natural or artificial) Bitumen, tar, emulsion, cutbacks Modified Bituminous Binders (polymer and rubber) Bituminous mixes Cement Cement Concrete (plain, reinforced, pre-stressed) Stabilised materials Recycled materials Geo-textiles or geo-membranes.

Pavement Material Study


It is important to study pavement materials to understand the behaviour of the materials individually and in combination with other materials. The studies help characterise materials into ; Classifications or Grading Obtain necessary inputs for design of new structure (pavement) Obtain inputs regarding the condition of the materials in an existing pavement Ensuring proper quality during construction Pavement materials are evaluated by; Conducting laboratory experiments on representative samples By field evaluation By estimation A few parameters that characterise the use of materials should also be considered. Some include; Loads ;Stationary/moving, heavy/light, application mode ( normal and shear impact) Climatic Conditions: Temperature, rainfall and moisture Weathering Action: Wetting/drying, chemical action, freeze - thaw

Material Properties and Behaviour


The properties of materials considered for pavement design should be relevant to the design approach adopted. Their properties should also reflect the performance of the pavement structure. Fundamental material behaviour is usually characterised in terms of ; Stress- strain relationship Ability of the material to recover after release of load Time dependency Temperature Dependency Example: Stress- Strain Diagram for a Selected Material


Linear Non- Linear Strain


Material Properties and Behaviour


Material Behaviour Recovery Materials which recover deformation instantaneously may be described as elastic material. Material which do not recover instantaneously are described as plastic material. However elastro-plastic material exist which show part elastic and part plastic behaviour. Material Behaviour Time Dependence Materials brought under constant stress, but does not undergo strain with time are described as Non-viscous material. However material which under constant stress, which undergo stress with time are described as viscous. Although the stress with time could be linear or non-linear.

Release of load deformation

time Stress=Constant

Viscous Non- viscous



Material Properties and Behaviour


Therefore material behaviour for pavements could be described as; Linear or non linear Elastic or plastic Viscous or Non-viscous Combination of the above terms


Soil is an accumulation or deposit of earth material, derived naturally from the disintegration of rocks or decay of vegetation, that can be excavated readily with power equipment in the field or disintegrated by gentle mechanical means in the laboratory. The supporting soil beneath pavement and its special under courses is called sub grade. Undisturbed soil beneath the pavement is called natural sub grade. Compacted sub grade is the soil compacted by controlled movement of heavy compactors. The desirable properties of sub grade soil as a highway material are; Stability Incompressibility Permanency of strength Minimum changes in volume and stability under adverse conditions of weather and ground water Good drainage, and Ease of compaction

Soil Types

Soils can be categorized into various forms as shown;

The AASHTO soil classification has been adopted for use in Ghana as Standard Test Method S10 of the "Standard Method of Test for Soils and Gravels Used in Pavement Works Gravel- 76.2 mm to 2.00 mm (No. 10) sieve. Coarse sand - 2.00 mm (No. 10) to 0.425 mm (No. 40) sieve. Fine sand - 0.425 mm (No. 40) to 0.150 mm (No. 100) sieve. Silts and clays - passing the 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve.

Test on Soils

Sub grade soil is an integral part of the road pavement structure as it provides the support to the pavement from beneath. The tests used to evaluate the strength properties of soils may be broadly divided into three groups: Shear tests: Usually carried out on relatively small soil samples in the laboratory. In order to find out the strength properties of soil, a number of representative samples from different locations are tested. Some of the commonly known shear tests are direct shear test, triaxial compression test, and unconfined compression test. Bearing tests: These are loading tests carried out on sub grade soils in-situ with a load bearing area. The results of the bearing tests are influenced by variations in the soil properties within the stressed soil mass underneath and hence the overall stability of the part of the soil mass stressed could be studied. Penetration tests: Maybe considered as small scale bearing tests in which the size of the loaded area is relatively much smaller and ratio of the penetration to the size of the loaded area is much greater than the ratios in bearing tests. The penetration tests are carried out in the field or in the laboratory.


Aggregate is a collective term for the mineral materials such as sand, gravel, and crushed stone that are used with a binding medium (such as water, bitumen, Portland cement, lime, etc.) to form compound materials (such as bituminous concrete and Portland cement concrete). By volume, aggregate generally accounts for 92 to 96 percent of Bituminous concrete and about 70 to 80 percent of Portland cement concrete. Aggregate is also used for base and sub-base courses for both flexible and rigid pavements. Aggregates can either be natural or manufactured. Natural aggregates are generally extracted from larger rock formations through an open excavation (quarry). Extracted rock is typically reduced to usable sizes by mechanical crushing. Manufactured aggregate is often a by-product of other manufacturing industries.


Desirable Properties of Aggregates


The aggregates used in top layers are subjected to (i) Stress action due to traffic wheel load, (ii) Wear and tear, (iii) Crushing. For a high quality pavement, the aggregates should possesse high resistance to crushing, and to withstand the stresses due to traffic wheel load.

Hardness: The aggregates used in the surface course are subjected to constant rubbing or
abrasion due to moving traffic. The aggregates should be hard enough to resist the abrasive action caused by the movements of traffic. The abrasive action is severe when steel tyred vehicles moves over the aggregates exposed at the top surface.

Toughness: Resistance of the aggregates to impact is termed as toughness. Aggregates used

in the pavement should be able to resist the effect caused by the jumping of the steel tyred wheels from one particle to another at different levels causes severe impact on the aggregates.


Desirable Properties of Aggregates


Shape of Aggregates: Aggregates which happen to fall in a particular size range may have
rounded, cubical, angular, flaky or elongated particles. It is evident that the flaky and elongated particles will have less strength and durability when compared with cubical, angular or rounded particles of the same aggregate. Hence too flaky and too much elongated aggregates should be avoided as far as possible.

Adhesion to Bitumen: The aggregates used in bituminous pavements should have less affinity
with water when compared with bituminous materials, otherwise the bituminous coating on the aggregate will be stripped of in presence of water.

Durability: The property of aggregates to withstand adverse action of weather is called soundness.
The aggregates are subjected to the physical and chemical action of rain and bottom water, impurities there-in and that of atmosphere, hence it is desirable that the road aggregates used in the construction should be sound enough to withstand the weathering action

Freedom from Deleterious Particles: Specifications for aggregates used in bituminous mixes
usually require the aggregates to be clean, tough and durable in nature and free from excess amount of flat or elongated pieces, dust, clay balls and other objectionable material. Similarly aggregates used in Portland cement concrete mixes must be clean and free from deleterious substances such as clay lumps, silt and other organic impurities.

Test on Aggregates

In order to decide the suitability of the aggregate for use in pavement construction, following tests are carried out: Crushing test Abrasion test Impact test Soundness test Shape test Specific gravity and water absorption test Bitumen adhesion test


Paving Binders

Different types of binders are used in pavement design, especially in flexible pavements. A few include; Bitumen, Tar, Cutback, Emulsion and Modified Binders. Concrete pavement may also have cement as a binder. Bitumen Vs Tar Bitumen and tar are two distinctively different materials of different origins and have different chemical and physical properties. Bitumen has a dark brown to black colour and occurs naturally or is produced by petroleum distillation. Tar on the other hand is obtained from destructive distillation of bituminous cool. Tar is highly temperature susceptible compared to bitumen and its health hazards impacts are more than bitumen.


Bituminous Binders

The adhesive and water proofing qualities of bitumen are known for a long time. Bitumen was used in ship building in Sumeria in 6000 B.C. Bitumen refers to the viscous liquid or solid consisting essentially of hydrocarbons and their derivates, soluble in carbon disulphide, substantially non-volatile, softens when heated and black or brown in colour. Americans usually refer to it as asphalt. Petroleum Bitumen is obtained by refining process of bitumen Natural Bitumen occurs as natural deposit (eg Lake Asphalt in Trinidad), rock asphalt Straight-run Bitumen is petroleum bitumen whose viscosity has not been adjusted by blending or by softening with cut-backs or other methods. Blown Bitumen is straight run bitumen further treated by blowing air through it while it is in hot condition. Gilsonite is a hard variety of naturally occuring bitumen which is often added to the soft ones to improve their consistency (black, brittle and hard). Asphalt is a mixture of bitumen and inert matter (aggregates) British term. Bituminous mix is a mixture of bitumen and inert matter (aggregates), BC (Bit. Concrete), DBM (Dense Bitumen Macadam, BM (Bitumen Macadam) etc

Bitumen from Petroleum Crude


Most of the bitumen currently used is obtained by refining crude oil. The crude oil compositions varies with source. Hence the quantity and quality of bitumen produced varies with source of crude. The residual bitumen content can vary from about 1% to 60% depending on the crude type. Paraffin crude yields waxy bitumen (eg. Crude found in the west coast of India, Bombay and Gujarat. Naphthenic crude yields mostly wax-free bitumen. Assam crude and Middle-East crude yield good bitumen. Refining of petroleum crude is done by fractional distillation. Thus by separating various crude fractions having different boiling point ranges. Since bitumen is made up of the highest boiling fractions, it is the residue in the distillation process. The fractional distillation process removes the different volatile materials in the crude oil at successively higher temperatures until the petroleum asphalt is obtained as residue. Steam or a vacuum is used to gradually increase the temperature. Steam distillation is a continuous flow process in which the crude petroleum is pumped through tube stills or stored in batches, and the temperature is increased gradually to facilitate the evaporation of different materials at different temperatures. Tube stills are more efficient than batches and are therefore preferred in modern refineries. 17

Bitumen from Petroleum Crude



Bitumen from Petroleum Crude


Immediately after increasing the temperature of the crude in the tube still, it is injected into a bubble tower which consists of a vertical cylinder into which are built several trays or platforms stacked one above the other. The first separation of materials occurs in this tower. The lighter fractions of the evaporated materials collect on the top tray, and the heavier fractions collect in successive trays, with the heaviest residue containing asphalt remaining at the bottom of the distillation tower. The products obtained during this first phase of separation are gasoline, kerosene distillate, diesel fuel, lubricating oils, and the heavy residual material that contains the asphalt.

The various fractions collected are stored and refined further into specific grades of petroleum products. Note that a desired consistency of residue can be obtained by continuing the distillation process. Attainment of the desired consistency is checked by measuring the temperature of the residue or by observing the character of the distillate.
The residue becomes harder the longer the distillation process is continued. Further processing of the heavy residue obtained after the first separation will give asphalt cement of different penetration gradesslow-curing and rapid-curing asphaltsdepending on the additional processing carried out. Emulsified asphalts also can be obtained 19