Sie sind auf Seite 1von 28

University of Garyounis

Faculty of Engineering
Civil Engineering Department

HIGHWAY & TRANSPORTATION LAB


CE335

REPORT:

Superpave Mix Design

NAME : JEBREEL OMAR ALSHUKRI.


ST NO : 13020

DATE : 20-12-2009
Superpave Overview
"Superpave" is an overarching term for the results of the asphalt research portion of the
1987 - 1993 Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). Superpave consists of (1) an
asphalt binder specification, (2) an HMA mix design method and (3) HMA tests and
performance prediction models. Each one of these components is referred to by the term
"Superpave". This section provides a brief overview and background of Superpave.

WSDOT Superpave Mix Design Process


The WSDOT process is quite similar to the Hveem method described in the Asphalt
Institute's Superpave Mix Design (SP-02), 3rd edition, however, there are some
differences. Some major points to note about the WSDOT method are:
• WSDOT is responsible for determining the optimum asphalt content and antistrip
percentage needed for the contractor-submitted mix design. The contractor
produces several trial blends then sends in his/her proposed aggregate blends
(three blends total - the proposed blend plus a coarse and a fine blend on either
side of the proposal) along with the proposed asphalt binder type and asphalt
content. WSDOT then runs the proposal through the mix design process. In
many states the individual contractors are responsible for their own mix design.
• When using the AASHTO tables for the various Superpave requirements (Tables
5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.10, 5.11), WSDOT uses a 15-year traffic loading instead of
the listed 20-year period because WSDOT typically designs overlays for a 15-
year design life. This difference does result in fewer design ESALs (because
WSDOT uses 5 fewer years) but usually does not result in a selected category
being different than if a 20-year traffic loading were used.
• An approved aggregate stockpile need not be tested for aggregate properties on
subsequent mix designs.
• WSDOT tests asphalt binder contents at the contractor's desired level and
typically at ± 0.5 percent.
• WSDOT makes separate Hveem samples and tests them for stability. This test is
not required in Superpave mix design and is only done for informational
purposes.
• WSDOT uses the modified Lottman test to determine the optimum amount
of antistripping asphalt binder modifier.
The following is a brief description of the WSDOT Superpave mix design process.

1. Aggregate Selection
The contractor who will be doing the paving sends WSDOT three trial aggregate blends
(typically a coarse, fine, and middle ground gradation) along with laboratory data for each
of these blends. The contractor indicates which of the gradations he/she would like to use
and designates a design asphalt content. The aggregate requirements for Superpave are
checked by the contractor during his/her trial blend process, then again by WSDOT during
the confirmation of the contractor's proposal. The coarse aggregate angularity
requirements are determined by the number of ESALs to which the roadway will be
subjected. Additionally:
• Unless the aggregate comes from a previously WSDOT-approved stockpile,
testing is done to confirm the aggregates meet WSDOT specifications. As of
2002 aggregate sources are approved for 5 years, although some sources have
not been switched over from the previous 10-year approval interval.
• Each of these trial blends must be within the Superpave gradation
requirements and preferably not pass through the restricted zone(although
WSDOT does accept a mix design that goes through the restricted zone if it
meets all other requirements).
• The bulk specific gravity (Gsb) of the coarse and fine aggregate is determined for
each stockpile. In this case, material retained on the 4.75 mm (No. 4) is
considered "coarse", while the rest is considered "fine".

Figure 1: Aggregate Samples Figure 2: Preparing the Graded Sample


2. Binder Selection
The contractor who will be doing the paving sends WSDOT the brand and type of binder and
antistrip modifier to be used. Actual asphalt binder samples are sent from the asphalt
producers whenever needed throughout the year. Producers typically send anywhere from
10 to 40 cans (see Figure 3) at a time (depending on the binder type - typically they send
fewer of the modified binders). The asphalt binder shall conform to AASHTO MP 1
requirements (Superpave PG binder system). WSDOT only allows one asphalt binder type
submission for Superpave jobs. WSDOT determines the asphalt binder's specific gravity for
use in the mix design process.
3. Sample Preparation
Typically, six initial samples are made: two at the design asphalt content, two at 0.5
percent below the design asphalt content and two at 0.5 percent above the design asphalt
content. These six samples are then cured and conditioned according to AASHTO PP 2 and
compacted in the Superpave gyratory compactor in accordance with AASHTO TP 4.
Additionally, three samples (one at each of the above asphalt contents) are made and
compacted in the California kneading compactor for use in stability tests.
• AASHTO PP 2: Mixture Conditioning of Hot Mix Asphalt
• AASHTO TP 4: Method for Preparing and Determining the Density of Hot Mix
Asphalt (HMA) Specimens by Means of the Superpave Gyratory Compactor
4. Stabilometer
The three Hveem-compacted samples are tested for stability. Because Superpave mix
designs do not have to pass stability requirements, these tests are done for informational
purposes only.

5. Density and Voids Analysis


First, bulk specific gravity (Gmb) is determined for each sample and the two results for each
asphalt content are averaged. Second, one sample from each asphalt content is broken
down for density and volumetric determinations to include theoretical maximum
density (abbreviated TMD or called "Rice" density after its originator, and often designated
Gmm), air voids, VMA and VFA. At this time the Gmm at Ninitial , Ndesign and Nmaximum are checked,
as well as the dust to asphalt ratio. The effective asphalt content (Pbe) and percent
absorbed asphalt content (Pba) are also checked.
6. Selection of Optimum Asphalt Binder Content
Using the data from the three asphalt contents, the optimum binder content is selected as
that which corresponds to 4.0 percent air voids (4.5 percent air voids for Superpave designs
that will be paid for based on volumetric properties). Usually, this asphalt content must be
interpolated between two of the sample asphalt contents. For example, a 5.0 percent
asphalt sample may have 4.8 percent air voids and a 5.5 percent asphalt sample may have
3.8 percent air voids. In this case the design asphalt content would be interpolated as 5.4
percent. This selected asphalt content must also meet VMA, VFA, density and dust-to-
asphalt requirements.
7. Determine the Amount of Antistripping Modifier
Six samples are mixed per binder type at the determined asphalt content (from step 6
above). Note that these samples are 100 mm (4 inch) diameter cylinders instead of the
usual Superpave 150 mm (6 inch) diameter cylinders. Two samples are kept as controls
and the other four samples contain varied amounts of an antistripping modifier. These
samples are then cured and compacted the same way as in the Hveem mix design
process. Next, all of the samples except one of the two that does not contain any
antistripping modifier are tested for bulk specific gravity (Gmb). The one that is not tested is
kept as an unconditioned sample. The remaining 5 samples are then subjected to
the modified Lottman test to determine moisture susceptibility. The minimum TSR is 0.80.
8. Ignition Furnace Calibration
Samples are then mixed at the design asphalt content and antistripping modifier amount for
use in determining an ignition furnace calibration factor. The ignition furnace is used to
determine field sample asphalt content during manufacturing/construction.
9. Mix Design Report
Finally, the recommended mix design is reported on a standard form that includes the
manufacturer's recommended mix and compaction temperatures. These reports are quite
valuable because they include the contractor's proposed JMF, the laboratory analysis
information from WSDOT and the recommendations for asphalt content and antistrip
amount for the particular JMF and aggregate source submitted.

Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP)


In 1987 the U.S. Congress established a 5-year, $150 million applied research program
aimed at improving the performance, durability, safety, and efficiency of the Nation’s
highway system. Called the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), this program was
officially authorized by the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Act of 1987 and
consisted of research concentrated in four key areas (FHWA, 1998):

• Asphalt. This area consists of research to develop a completely new approach to


HMA mix design.
• Concrete and structures. This area consists of research in the areas of mix
design and assessing, protecting and rehabilitating concrete pavements and
structures.

• Highway operations. This area consists of pavement preservation, work zone


safety and snow and ice control research.

• Pavement performance. This area consists of the Long Term Pavement


Performance Program (LTPP), a 20-year study of over 2,000 test sections of in-
service U.S. and Canadian pavements to improve guidelines for building and
maintaining pavements.
SHRP research activities were completed in 1992 and SHRP was closed down in 1993. To
date, SHRP has produced more than 100 new devices, tests and specifications and, perhaps
more importantly, has spawned a full-scale on-going implementation drive by such
organizations as the FHWA, AASHTO and TRB.
Now that this first SHRP effort has reached the implementation stage, Congress has
requested that the Transportation Research Board initiate a new process of setting priorities
and designing a program for another focused research and development effort. This new
study was initiated in 1999 and was completed in 2001 (TRB, 2001).

Superpave
The SHRP asphalt research program, the largest SHRP program at $53 million (FHWA,
1998), had three primary objectives (NECEPT, 2001):

• Investigate why some pavements perform well, while others do not.

• Develop tests and specifications for materials that will out-perform and outlast
the pavements being constructed today.

• Work with highway agencies and industry to have the new specifications put to
use.
The final product of this research program is a new system referred to as "Superpave",
which stands for SUperior PERforming Asphalt PAVEments. Superpave, in its final form
consists of three basic components:

1. An asphalt binder specification. This is the PG asphalt binder specification.


2. A design and analysis system based on the volumetric properties of the asphalt
mix. This is the Superpave mix design method.

3. Mix analysis tests and performance prediction models. This area is not yet
complete. Test development and evaluation is on-going as of 2001.
Each one of these components required new specifications and performance standards as
well as new testing methods and devices. As of late 2001, most states (48) have adopted
or will adopt the Superpave PG asphalt binder specification and 39 states either have
adopted or will adopt the Superpave mix design method (NHI, 2000).
One of the principal results from the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) was the
Superpave mix design method. The Superpave mix design method was designed to
replace the Hveem and Marshall methods. The volumetric analysis common to the Hveem
and Marshall methods provides the basis for the Superpave mix design method.
The Superpave system ties asphalt binder and aggregate selection into the mix design
process, and considers traffic and climate as well. The compaction devices from the Hveem
and Marshall procedures have been replaced by agyratory compactor and the compaction
effort in mix design is tied to expected traffic.
This section consists of a brief history of the Superpave mix design method followed by a
general outline of the actual method. This outline emphasizes general concepts and
rationale over specific procedures. Typical procedures are available in the following
documents:

• Roberts, F.L.; Kandhal, P.S.; Brown, E.R.; Lee, D.Y. and Kennedy,
T.W. (1996). Hot Mix Asphalt Materials, Mixture Design, and
Construction. National Asphalt Pavement Association Education
Foundation. Lanham, MD.

• Asphalt Institute. (2001). Superpave Mix Design. Superpave Series No. 2 (SP-
02). Asphalt Institute. Lexington, KY.

• American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials


(AASHTO). (2000 and 2001). AASHTO Provisional Standards. American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Washington, D.C.

1 History
Under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), an initiative was undertaken to
improve materials selection and mixture design by developing:

1. A new mix design method that accounts for traffic loading and environmental
conditions.

2. A new method of asphalt binder evaluation.

3. New methods of mixture analysis.


When SHRP was completed in 1993 it introduced these three developments and called them
the Superior Performing Asphalt Pavement System (Superpave). Although the new
methods of mixture performance testing have not yet been established, the mix design
method is well-established.

2 Procedure
The Superpave mix design method consists of 7 basic steps:

1. Aggregate selection.

2. Asphalt binder selection.

3. Sample preparation (including compaction).

4. Performance Tests.

5. Density and voids calculations.

6. Optimum asphalt binder content selection.

7. Moisture susceptibility evaluation.

2.1 Aggregate Selection


Superpave specifies aggregate in two ways. First, it places restrictions on aggregate
gradation by means of broad control points. Second, it places "consensus requirements"
on coarse and fine aggregate angularity, flat and elongated particles, and clay content.
Other aggregate criteria, which the Asphalt Institute (2001) calls "source properties"
(because they are considered to be source specific) such as L.A.
abrasion, soundnessand water absorption are used in Superpave but since they were
not modified by Superpave they are not discussed here.

WSDOT Superpave Aggregate Source Requirements

As of 2002, once aggregate source properties are tested and prove satisfactory, aggregate sources are
approved for 5 years.

Property Value

Los Angeles Abrasion (500 revolutions) 30% maximum

Degradation Factor

Wearing Course 30 minimum

Non-Wearing Course 20 minimum


2.1.1 Gradation and Size
Aggregate gradation influences such key HMA parameters
as stiffness, stability, durability, permeability, workability, fatigue resistance, frictional
resistance and resistance to moisture damage (Roberts et al., 1996). Additionally,
the maximum aggregate size can be influential in compaction andlift thickness
determination.

Gradation Specifications
Superpave mix design specifies aggregate gradation control points, through which
aggregate gradations must pass. These control points are very general and are a starting
point for a job mix formula.

Superpave Gradation Requirements


These tables (data taken from AASHTO MP 2, Standard Specification for Superpave
Volumetric Mix Design) show typical Superpave aggregate specifications for 37.5 mm (1.5
inch) down to 9.5 mm (0.375 inch) nominal aggregate sizes. Significant figures are the
same as those in AASHTO MP 2.
Table 1: 37.5 mm (1.5 inch) Nominal Size
Sieve Size Control Points Restricted Zone
(mm) (U.S.) Lower Upper Lower Upper
50 2 inch 100 - - -
37.5 1.5 inch 90 100 - -
25 1 inch - 90 - -
19 3/4 inch - - - -
12.5 1/2 inch - - - -
9.5 3/8 inch - - - -
4.75 No. 4 - - 34.7 34.7
2.36 No. 8 15 41 23.3 27.3
1.18 No. 16 - - 15.5 21.5
0.60 No. 30 - - 11.7 15.7
0.30 No. 50 - - 10.0 10.0
0.15 No. 100 - - - -
0.075 No. 200 0 6 - -

Table 2: 25 mm (1 inch) Nominal Size


Sieve Size Control Points Restricted Zone
(mm) (U.S.) Lower Upper Lower Upper
37.5 1.5 inch 100 - - -
25 1 inch 90 100 - -
19 3/4 inch - 90 - -
12.5 1/2 inch - - - -
9.5 3/8 inch - - - -
4.75 No. 4 - - 39.5 39.5
2.36 No. 8 19 45 26.8 30.8
1.18 No. 16 - - 18.1 24.1
0.60 No. 30 - - 13.6 17.6
0.30 No. 50 - - 11.4 11.4
0.15 No. 100 - - - -
0.075 No. 200 1 7 - -

Table 3: 19 mm (3/4 inch) Nominal Size


Sieve Size Control Points Restricted Zone
(mm) (U.S.) Lower Upper Lower Upper
25 1 inch 100 - - -
19 3/4 inch 90 100 - -
12.5 1/2 inch - 90 - -
9.5 3/8 inch - - - -
4.75 No. 4 - - - -
2.36 No. 8 23 49 34.6 34.6
1.18 No. 16 - - 22.3 28.3
0.60 No. 30 - - 16.7 20.7
0.30 No. 50 - - 13.7 13.7
0.15 No. 100 - - - -
0.075 No. 200 2 8 - -

Table 4: 12.5 mm (1/2 inch) Nominal Size


Sieve Size Control Points Restricted Zone
(mm) (U.S.) Lower Upper Lower Upper
19 3/4 inch 100 - - -
12.5 1/2 inch 90 100 - -
9.5 3/8 inch - 90 - -
4.75 No. 4 - - - -
2.36 No. 8 28 58 39.1 39.1
1.18 No. 16 - - 25.6 31.6
0.60 No. 30 - - 19.1 23.1
0.30 No. 50 - - 15.5 15.5
0.15 No. 100 - - - -
0.075 No. 200 2 10 - -
Table 5: 9.5 mm (3/8 inch) Nominal Size
Sieve Size Control Points Restricted Zone
(mm) (U.S.) Lower Upper Lower Upper
12.5 1/2 inch 100 - -
9.5 3/8 inch 90 100 - -
4.75 No. 4 - 90 - -
2.36 No. 8 32 67 47.2 47.2
1.18 No. 16 - - 31.6 37.6
0.60 No. 30 - - 23.5 27.5
0.30 No. 50 - - 18.7 18.7
0.15 No. 100 - - - -
0.075 No. 200 2 10 - -

WSDOT Superpave Gradation Requirements

WSDOT uses 9.5 mm (0.375 inch), 12.5 mm (0.5 inch), 19.0 mm (0.75 inch) and 25.0 mm (1 inch) Superpave
mixes. WSDOT gradation requirements are the same as the AASHTO requirements except that the upper and
lower control points on the 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve for the 9.5 mm (0.375 inch), 12.5 mm (0.5 inch) and 19.0
mm (0.75 inch) Superpave mixes are 2.0 and 7.0 percent respectively. The WSDOT upper and lower control
points on the 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve for the 25.0 mm (1 inch) mix are 1.0 and 7.0 respectively.

Aggregate Blending
It is rare to obtain a desired aggregate gradation from a single aggregate stockpile.
Therefore, Superpave mix designs usually draw upon several different aggregate stockpiles
and blend them together in a ratio that will produce an acceptable final blended gradation.
It is quite common to find a Superpave mix design that uses 3 or 4 different aggregate
stockpiles (see Figure 5.11).
Figure 5.11: Screen Shot from HMA View Showing a Typical Aggregate Blend from
4 Stockpiles
Typically, several aggregate blends are evaluated prior to performing a complete mix
design. Evaluations are done by preparing an HMA sample of each blend at the estimated
optimum asphalt binder content then compacting it. Results from this evaluation can show
whether or not a particular blend will meet minimum VMA requirements and Ninitial or
Nmax requirements.

HMA Weight-Volume Terms and Relationships


Basic HMA weight-volume relationships are important to understand for both mix design and
construction purposes. Fundamentally, mix design is meant to determine the volume of
asphalt binder and aggregates necessary to produce a mixture with the desired properties
(Roberts et al., 1996). However, since weight measurements are typically much easier,
they are typically taken then converted to volume by using specific gravities. The following
is a brief discussion of the more important volume properties of HMA.

In general, weight and volume terms are abbreviated as, Gxy,


where: x: b = binder

s = stone (i.e.,
aggregate)
m = mixture

y: b = bulk

e = effective
a = apparent
m = maximum

For example, Gmm = gravity, mixture, maximum = the maximum gravity of the mixture.
Other common abbreviations are:

VT Total volume of the compacted specimen WT = Total weight of the compacted specimen
=

Va Volume of air voids WD = Dry weight


=

Vb = Volume of asphalt binder WSSD = Saturated surface dry (SSD) weight

Vbe Volume of effective asphalt binder Wsub = Weight submerged in water


=

= Volume of absorbed asphalt binder Wb = Weight of the asphalt binder


Vba

Vagg = Volume of aggregate Wbe = Weight of effective asphalt binder

Veff = Effective volume of aggregate = (VT - VAC) Wba = Weight of absorbed asphalt binder

Wagg = Weight of aggregate

Gsa = Apparent specific gravity of the aggregate

Gb = Asphalt binder specific gravity Pb = Asphalt content by weight of mix (percent)

Gsb = Bulk specific gravity of the aggregate Ps = Aggregate content by weight of mix (percent)

Gse = Effective specific gravity of the aggregate = Percent air voids


Pa

Gmb = Bulk specific gravity of the compacted mixture

Gmm = Maximum theoretical specific gravity of the γW = Unit weight of water


mixture

Specific Gravities
Bulk Specific Gravity of the Compacted Asphalt Mixture (Gmb). The ratio of the mass
in air of a unit volume of a permeable material (including both permeable and impermeable
voids normal to the material) at a stated temperature to the mass in air (of equal density)
of an equal volume of gas-free distilled water at a stated temperature. This value is used to
determine weight per unit volume of the compacted mixture. It is very important to
measure Gmb as accurately as possible. Since it is used to convert weight measurements to
volumes, any small errors in Gmb will be reflected in significant volume errors, which may go
undetected.
The standard bulk specific gravity test is:
 AASHTO T 166: Bulk Specific Gravity of Compacted Bituminous Mixtures Using
Saturated Surface-Dry Specimens

Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity of Bituminous Paving Mixtures (Gmm). The


ratio of the mass of a given volume of voidless (Va = 0) HMA at a stated temperature
(usually 25 °C) to a mass of an equal volume of gas-free distilled water at the same
temperature. It is also called Rice Specific Gravity (after James Rice who developed the test
procedure). Multiplying Gmm by the unit weight of water gives Theoretical Maximum Density
(TMD).
The standard TMD test is:
 AASHTO T 209 and ASTM D 2041: Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity and
Density of Bituminous Paving Mixtures

Voids (expressed as percentages)


Air Voids (Va). The total volume of the small pockets of air between the coated aggregate
particles throughout a compacted paving mixture, expressed as a percent of the bulk
volume of the compacted paving mixture. The amount of air voids in a mixture is extremely
important and closely related to stability and durability. For typical dense-graded
mixes with 12.5 mm (0.5 inch) nominal maximum aggregate sizes air voids below about 3
percent result in an unstable mixture while air voids above about 8 percent result in a
water-permeable mixture.
Voids in the Mineral Aggregate (VMA). The volume of intergranular void space between
the aggregate particles of a compacted paving mixture that includes the air voids and the
effective asphalt content, expressed as a percent of the total volume of the specimen.
When VMA is too low, there is not enough room in the mixture to add sufficient asphalt
binder to adequately coat the individual aggregate particles. Also, mixes with a low VMA
are more sensitive to small changes in asphalt binder content. Excessive VMA will cause an
unacceptably low mixture stability (Roberts et al., 1996). Generally, a minimum VMA is
specified and a maximum VMA may or may not be specified.

Voids Filled with Asphalt (VFA). The portion of the voids in the mineral aggregate that
contain asphalt binder. This represents the volume of the effective asphalt content. It can
also be described as the percent of the volume of the VMA that is filled with asphalt
cement. VFA is inversely related to air voids: as air voids decrease, the VFA increases.

Other Definitions
Effective Asphalt Content (Pbe). The total asphalt binder content of the HMA less the
portion of asphalt binder that is lost by absorption into the aggregate.

Volume of Absorbed Asphalt (Vba). The volume of asphalt binder in the HMA that has
been absorbed into the pore structure of the aggregate. It is the volume of the asphalt
binder in the HMA that is not accounted for by the effective asphalt content.

Dust- to-Binder Ratio


In order to ensure the proper amount of material passing the 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve
(called "silt-clay" by AASHTO definition and "dust" by Superpave) in the mix, Superpave
specifies a range of dust-to-binder ratio by mass. The equation is:
where: P0.075 = mass of particles passing the 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve

Pbe = effective binder content = the total asphalt binder content of a paving
mixture less the portion of asphalt binder that is lost by absorption into the
aggregate particles.

Dust-to-binder ratio specifications are normally 0.6 - 1.2, but a ratio of up to 1.6 may be
used at an agency's discretion (AASHTO, 2001).

WSDOT Superpave Dust-to-Binder Requirements

The WSDOT Superpave dust-to-binder ratio must fall between 0.6 and 1.6.

2.1.2 Consensus Requirements


"Consensus requirements" came about because SHRP did not specifically address aggregate
properties and it was thought that there needed to be some guidance associated with the
Superpave mix design method. Therefore, an expert group was convened and they arrived
at a consensus on several aggregate property requirements - the "consensus
requirements". This group recommended minimum angularity, flat or elongated particle
and clay content requirements based on:

• The anticipated traffic loading. Desired aggregate properties are different


depending upon the amount of traffic loading. Traffic loading numbers are
based on the anticipated traffic level on the design lane over a 20-year
period regardless of actual roadwaydesign life (AASHTO, 2000b).

• Depth below the surface. Desired aggregate properties vary depending upon
their intended use as it relates to depth below the pavement surface.
These requirements are imposed on the final aggregate blend and not the individual
aggregate sources.

WSDOT Superpave Aggregate Consensus Requirements

WSDOT uses a 15-year traffic loading instead of the 20-year period listed in the consensus requirement
tables because WSDOT typically designs overlays for a 15-year design life.

Value
Property
Coarse Aggregate Angularity

< 10 million ESALs 90/-*

≥ 10 million ESALs -/90*

Fine Aggregate Angularity 45 minimum

Flat and Elongated Particles


10% maximum**
(5:1 ratio or greater)

Clay Content (Sand Equivalent) 37% minimum

*The first number is a minimum requirement for one or more fractured


faces and the second number is a minimum requirement for two or more
fractured faces.
**For > 0.3 million ESALs

Coarse Aggregate Angularity


Coarse aggregate angularity is important to mix design because smooth, rounded aggregate
particles do not interlock with one another nearly as well as angular particles. This lack of
interlock makes the resultant HMA more susceptible to rutting. Coarse aggregate
angularity can be determined by any number of test procedures that are designed to
determine the percentage of fractured faces. Table 5.5 lists Superpave requirements.
Table 5.5: Coarse Aggregate Angularity Requirements (from AASHTO, 2000b)
20-yr Traffic Loading Depth from Surface
(in millions of ESALs) ≤ 100 mm (4 inches) > 100 mm (4 inches)
< 0.3 55/- -/-
0.3 to < 3 75/- 50/-
3 to < 10 85/80 60/-
10 to < 30 95/90 80/75
≥ 30 100/100 100/100
Note: The first number is a minimum requirement for one or more fractured faces and the second number
is a minimum requirement for two or more fractured faces.

Fine Aggregate Angularity

Fine aggregate angularity is important to mix design for the same reasons as
coarse aggregate angularity - rut prevention. Fine aggregate angularity is
quantified by an indirect method often called the National Aggregate Association
(NAA) flow test. This test consists of pouring the fine aggregate into the top end of
a cylinder and determining the amount of voids. The more voids, the more angular
the aggregate. Voids are determined by the following equation:

where: V = volume of cylinder (mL)

W = weight of loose fine aggregate to fill the cylinder (g)

Gsb = bulk specific gravity of the fine aggregate

Table 5.6 shows the Superpave recommended fine aggregate angularity.

Table 5.6: Fine Aggregate Angularity Requirements (from AASHTO, 2000b)


20-yr Traffic Loading Depth from Surface
(in millions of ESALs) ≤ 100 mm (4 inches) > 100 mm (4 inches)
< 0.3 - -
0.3 to < 3 40
3 to < 10 40
10 to < 30 45
≥ 30 45
Numbers shown represent the minimum uncompacted void content as a percentage of the total
sample volume.

The standard test for fine aggregate angularity is:

• AASHTO T 304: Uncompacted Void Content of Fine Aggregate


Flat or Elongated Particles
An excessive amount of flat or elongated aggregate particles can be detrimental to HMA.
Flat/elongated particles tend to breakdown during compaction (giving a different gradation
than determined in mix design), decrease workability, and lie flat after compaction
(resulting in a mixture with low VMA) (Roberts et al., 1996). Flat or elongated particles are
typically identified using ASTM D 4791, Flat or Elongated Particles in Coarse Aggregate.
Table 5.7 shows the Superpave recommended flat or elongated particle requirements.
Figure 5.7: Flat or Elongated Particle Requirements (from AASHTO, 2000b)
Maximum Percentage of
20-yr Traffic Loading
Particles with
(in millions of ESALs)
Length/Thickness > 5
< 0.3 -
0.3 to < 3
3 to < 10
10
10 to < 30
≥ 30

Clay Content
The sand equivalent test measures the amount of clay content in an aggregate sample. If
clay content is too high, clay could preferentially adhere to the aggregate over the asphalt
binder. This leads to a poor aggregate-asphalt binder bonding and possible stripping. To
prevent excessive clay content, Superpave uses the sand equivalent test requirements of
Table 5.8.
Table 5.8: Sand Equivalent Requirements (from AASHTO, 2000b)
20-yr Traffic Loading Minimum Sand Equivalent
(in millions of ESALs) (%)
< 0.3
40
0.3 to < 3
3 to < 10
45
10 to < 30
≥ 30 50

2.2 Asphalt Binder Evaluation


Superpave uses its own asphalt binder selection process, which is, of course, tied to the
Superpave asphalt binder performance grading (PG) systemand its associated
specifications. Superpave PG asphalt binders are selected based on the expected pavement
temperature extremes in the area of their intended use. Superpave software (or a stand-
alone program such as LTPPBind) is used to calculate these extremes and select the
appropriate PG asphalt binder using one of the following three alternate methods (Roberts
et al., 1996):
1. Pavement temperature. The designer inputs the design pavement temperatures
directly.

2. Air temperature. The designer inputs the local air temperatures, then the
software converts them to pavement temperatures.

3. Geographic area. The designer simply inputs the project location (i.e. state,
county and city). From this, the software retrieves climate conditions from a
weather database and then converts air temperatures into pavement
temperatures.
Once the design pavement temperatures are determined they can be matched to an
appropriate PG asphalt binder.

WSDOT Asphalt Binder Specifications

WSDOT uses the Superpave asphalt binder performance grading system and specifications.
Therefore, asphalt binder must meet the requirements of AASHTO MP 1. WSDOT uses three baseline asphalt
binder performance grades based on geography. These baseline grades are typically used and then adjusted as
necessary.

Previously, WSDOT had used the aged residue (AR) viscosity grading. The commonly used grade in this old
system was AR-4000W.

2.2.1 Design Pavement Temperature


The Superpave mix design method determines both a high and a low design pavement
temperature. These temperatures are determined as follows:

• High pavement temperature - based on the 7-day average high air temperature
of the surrounding area.

• Low pavement temperature - based on the 1-day low air temperature of the
surrounding area.
Using these temperatures as a starting point, Superpave then applies a reliability concept to
determine the appropriate PG asphalt binder. PG asphalt binders are specified in 6°C
increments.

Reliability Concept in PG Asphalt Binder Selection


Reliability is defined as the percent probability in a single year that the actual temperature
(seven-day high or one-day low) will not exceed the corresponding design temperatures.
The animation below describes the basic process for selecting the pavement temperature
extremes for a PG asphalt binder. Note that pavement temperatures are more extreme
than air temperatures.

2.2.2 Design Pavement Temperature Adjustments


Design pavement temperature calculations are based on HMA pavements subjected to fast
moving traffic (Roberts et al., 1996). Specifically, theDynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR)
test is conducted at a rate of 10 radians per second, which corresponds to a traffic speed of
about 90 km/hr (55 mph) (Roberts et al., 1996). Pavements subject to significantly slower
(or stopped) traffic such as intersections, toll booth lines and bus stops should contain a
stiffer asphalt binder than that which would be used for fast-moving traffic. Superpave
allows the high temperature grade to be increased by one grade for slow transient loads and
by two grades for stationary loads. Additionally, the high temperature grade should be
increased by one grade for anticipated 20-year loading in excess of 30 million ESALs. For
pavements with multiple conditions that require grade increases only the largest grade
increase should be used. Therefore, for a pavement intended to experience slow loads (a
potential one grade increase) and greater than 30 million ESALs (a potential one grade
increase), the asphalt binder high temperature grade should be increased by only one
grade. Table 5.9 shows two examples of design high temperature adjustments - often
called "binder bumping".
Table 5.9: Examples of Design Pavement Temperature Adjustments
for Slow and Stationary Loads
Grade for Slow Grade for 20-yr ESALs
Original Grade Transient Loads Stationary Loads > 30 million
(increase 1 grade) (increase 2 grades) (increase 1 grade)

PG 58-22 PG 64-22 PG 70-22 PG 64-22

PG 70-22* PG 76-22 PG 82-22 PG 76-22

*the highest possible pavement temperature in North America is about 70°C but two more
high temperature grades were necessary to accommodate transient and stationary loads.

WSDOT Design Pavement Temperature Adjustments ("Binder Bumping")

WSDOT uses the following guidance when considering adjustments to the design high temperature of a PG asphalt binder
(sometimes referred to as "binder bumping"):

Adjustment to High Temperature


Situation
Grade

15-year design ESALs of 10 - 30 million Consider Increasing 1 Grade


15-year design ESALs ≥ 30 million Increase 1 Grade

Slow Traffic (10 - 45 mph) Increase 1 Grade

Standing Traffic (0 - 10 mph) Increase 2 Grades

Additionally, all mountain passes should use a base grade of PG 58-34.

2.3 Sample Preparation


The Superpave method, like other mix design methods, creates several trial aggregate-
asphalt binder blends, each with a different asphalt binder content. Then, by evaluating
each trial blend's performance, an optimum asphalt binder content can be selected. In
order for this concept to work, the trial blends must contain a range of asphalt contents
both above and below the optimum asphalt content. Therefore, the first step in sample
preparation is to estimate an optimum asphalt content. Trial blend asphalt contents are
then determined from this estimate.
The Superpave gyratory compactor (Figure 5.12) was developed to improve mix design's
ability to simulate actual field compaction particle orientation with laboratory equipment
(Roberts, 1996).
Each sample is heated to the anticipated mixing temperature, aged for a short time (up to 4
hours) and compacted with the gyratory compactor, a device that applies pressure to a
sample through a hydraulically or mechanically operated load. Mixing and compaction
temperatures are chosen according to asphalt binder properties so that compaction occurs
at the same viscosity level for different mixes. Key parameters of the gyratory compactor
are:

• Sample size = 150 mm (6-inch) diameter cylinder approximately 115 mm (4.5


inches) in height (corrections can be made for different sample heights). Nnote
that this sample size is larger than those used for
the Hveem and Marshall methods (see Figure 5.13).

• Load = Flat and circular with a diameter of 149.5 mm (5.89 inches)


corresponding to an area of 175.5 cm2 (27.24 in2)

• Compaction pressure = Typically 600 kPa (87 psi)

• Number of blows = varies

• Simulation method = The load is applied to the sample top and covers almost the
entire sample top area. The sample is inclined at 1.25°and rotates at 30
revolutions per minute as the load is continuously applied. This helps achieve a
sample particle orientation that is somewhat like that achieved in the field after
roller compaction.

Figure 4 (left): Gyratory Compactor


Figure 5 (below): Superpave Gyratory Compactor
Sample (left) vs. Hveem/Marshall Compactor Sample
(right)

The Superpave gyratory compactor establishes three different gyration numbers:

1. Ninitial. The number of gyrations used as a measure of mixture compactability


during construction. Mixes that compact too quickly (air voids at Ninitial are too
low) may be tender during construction and unstable when subjected to traffic.
Often, this is a good indication of aggregate quality - HMA with excess natural
sand will frequently fail the Ninitial requirement. A mixture designed for greater
than or equal to 3 million ESALs with 4 percent air voids at Ndesign should have at
least 11 percent air voids at Ninitial.

2. Ndesign. This is the design number of gyrations required to produce a sample with
the same density as that expected in the field after the indicated amount of
traffic. A mix with 4 percent air voids at Ndesign is desired in mix design.

3. Nmax. The number of gyrations required to produce a laboratory density that


should never be exceeded in the field. If the air voids at Nmax are too low, then
the field mixture may compact too much under traffic resulting in excessively low
air voids and potential rutting. The air void content at Nmax should never be
below 2 percent air voids.
Typically, samples are compacted to Ndesign to establish the optimum asphalt binder content
and then additional samples are compacted to Nmax as a check. Previously, samples were
compacted to Nmax and then Ninitial and Ndesign were back calculated. Table 5.10 lists the
specified number of gyrations for Ninitial, Ndesign and Nmax while Table 5.11 shows the required
densities as a percentage of theoretical maximum density (TMD) for Ninitial, Ndesign and
Nmax. Note that traffic loading numbers are based on the anticipated traffic level on
the design lane over a 20-year period regardless of actual roadway design
life (AASHTO, 2001).
Table 5.10: Number of Gyrations for Ninitial, Ndesign and Nmax (from AASHTO, 2001)
20-yr Traffic Loading Number of Gyrations
(in millions of
Ninitial Ndesign Nmax
ESALs)
< 0.3 6 50 75
0.3 to < 3 7 75 115
3 to < 10* 8 (7) 100 (75) 160 (115)
10 to < 30 8 100 160
≥ 30 9 125 205

* When the estimated 20-year design traffic loading is between 3 and < 10
million ESALs, the agency may, at its discretion, specify
Ninitial = 7, Ndesign = 75 and Nmax = 115.

WSDOT Superpave Gyration Requirements

WSDOT gyration requirements are the same as those shown in Table 5.10.
WSDOT does not use the discretionary values between < 3 and 10 million
ESALs.

Table 5.11: Required Densities for Ninitial, Ndesign and Nmax (from AASHTO, 2001)
20-yr Traffic Loading Required Density (as a percentage of TMD)
(in millions of
Ninitial Ndesign Nmax
ESALs)
< 0.3 ≤ 91.5
0.3 to < 3 ≤ 90.5
96.0 ≤ 98.0
3 to < 10
≤ 89.0
10 to < 30
≥ 30

WSDOT Superpave Density Requirements

WSDOT Superpave density requirements are the same as those shown


in Table 5.11 except that WSDOT uses a 15-year Traffic Loading
instead of a 20-year traffic loading.
The standard gyratory compactor sample preparation procedure is:

• AASHTO TP4: Preparing and Determining the Density of Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA)
Specimens by Means of the Superpave Gyratory Compactor

2.4 Performance Tests


The original intent of the Superpave mix design method was to subject the various trial mix
designs to a battery of performance tests akin to what the Hveem method does with the
stabilometer and cohesiometer, or the Marshall method does with the stability and flow
test. Currently, these performance tests, which constitute the mixture analysis portion of
Superpave, are still under development and review and have not yet been implemented.
The most likely performance test, called the Simple Performance Test (SPT) is a Confined
Dynamic Modulus Test.

2.5 Density and Voids Analysis


All mix design methods use density and voids to determine basic HMA physical
characteristics. Two different measures of densities are typically taken:

1. Bulk specific gravity (Gmb) - often called "bulk density"

2. Theoretical maximum density (TMD, Gmm)


These densities are then used to calculate the volumetric parameters of the HMA. Measured
void expressions are usually:

• Air voids (Va), sometimes called voids in the total mix (VTM)

• Voids in the mineral aggregate (VMA)

• Voids filled with asphalt (VFA)


Generally, these values must meet local or State criteria.
VMA and VFA must meet the values specified in Table 5.12. Note that traffic loading
numbers are based on the anticipated traffic level on the design lane over a 20-
year period regardless of actual roadway design life (AASHTO, 2000b).

Table 5.12: Minimum VMA Requirements and VFA Range Requirements (from
AASHTO, 2001)
Minimum VMA (percent)
20-yr Traffic Loading VFA Range
9.5 mm 12.5 mm 19.0 mm 25.0 mm 37.5 mm
(in millions of ESALs) (percent)
(0.375 inch) (0.5 inch) (0.75 inch) (1 inch) (1.5 inch)
< 0.3 15.0 14.0 13.0 12.0 11.0 70 - 80
0.3 to < 3 65 - 78
3 to < 10
10 to < 30 65 - 75
≥ 30

WSDOT Minimum VMA Requirements and VFA Range Requirements

19 mm
12.5 mm
9.5 mm (0.75
(0.5 inch)
(0.375 inch) inch) 25 mm (1.0 inch) Superpave
Superpav
Item Superpave Superp
e
ave
Ma Mi M Mi
Min. Max. Min. Max.
x. n. ax. n.
12.
14.0 13.
VMA 15.0% - - - 0 -
% 0%
%
VFA (based on 20-yr
traffic loading in
millions of ESALs)
< 0.3 70 80 70 80 70 80 67 80
0.3 to < 3 65 78 65 78 65 78 65 78
≥3 73 76 65 75 65 75 65 75

2.6 Selection of Optimum Asphalt Binder Content


The optimum asphalt binder content is selected as that asphalt binder content that results in
4 percent air voids at Ndesign. This asphalt content then must meet several other
requirements:

1. Air voids at Ninitial > 11 percent (for design ESALs ≥ 3 million). See Table 5.11 for
specifics.

2. Air voids at Nmax > 2 percent. See Table 5.11 for specifics.

3. VMA above the minimum listed in Table 5.8.

4. VFA within the range listed in Table 5.8.


If requirements 1,2 or 3 are not met the mixture needs to be redesigned. If requirement 4
is not met but close, then asphalt binder content can be slightly adjusted such that the air
void content remains near 4 percent but VFA is within limits. This is because VFA is a
somewhat redundant term since it is a function of air voids and VMA (Roberts et al., 1996).
The process is illustrated in Figure 5.14 (numbers are chosen based on 20-year traffic
loading of ≥ 3 million ESALs).
WSDOT Asphalt Binder Content Selection

In general, WSDOT selects the asphalt binder content that corresponds to 4 percent air voids and meets
minimum stability criteria.

2.7 Moisture Susceptibility Evaluation


Moisture susceptibility testing is the only performance testing incorporated in the Superpave
mix design procedure as of early 2002. The modified Lottman test is used for this purpose.
The typical moisture susceptibility test is:
• AASHTO T 283: Resistance of Compacted Bituminous Mixture to Moisture-
Induced Damage.

3 Summary
The Superpave mix design method was developed to address specific mix design issues with
the Hveem and Marshall methods. Superpave mix design is a rational method that accounts
for traffic loading and environmental conditions. Although not yet fully complete (the
performance tests have not been implemented), Superpave mix design produces quality
HMA mixtures. As of 2000, 39 states have adopted, or are planning to adopt, Superpave as
their mix design system (NHI, 2000).
The biggest differentiating aspects of the Superpave method are:

1. The use of formal aggregate evaluation procedures (consensus requirements).

2. The use of the PG asphalt binder grading system and its associated asphalt
binder selection system.

3. The use of the gyratory compactor to simulate field compaction.

4. Traffic loading and environmental considerations.

5. Its volumetric approach to mix design.


Even given its many differences when compared to the Hveem or Marshall methods,
Superpave still uses the same basic mix design steps and still strives for an optimum
asphalt binder content that results in 4 percent design air voids. Thus, the method is quite
different but the ultimate goals remain fairly consistent.