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Determination of in-field temperature variations in fresh HMA and

corresponding compaction temperatures

Article info Abstract


Article history: Hot mix asphalt (HMA) compacted at low temperatures develops many distresses due to high air
Received 4 October 2018 voids. Asphalt compaction operations in the field are mostly based on the experience of field staff.
Received in revised form 6 April 2019 Hence, independent of the actual temperature of the HMA. In this study, temperature variation in
Accepted 20April2019
hot mix asphalt (HMA) was investigated during paving operations at eight test locations in field.
Two most commonly used HMA layer thicknesses i.e. 5 cm and 8 cm were studied. Temperature of
Keywords: the fresh HMA layer was noted at the centre, surface and at the interface points by four node K-type
HMA compaction
Environmental factors
thermocouple assembly. The average laying temperature of the HMA for eight tests was calculated
Temperature differential as 136.92_C. Whereas, the average compaction start temperature for eight tests was noted as
Cessation temperature 127.81 _C which shows the critical temperature loss of 9.11 _C before the compaction starts. The
Traffic opening average compaction end temperature calculated was 62.89 _C which is below the common cut off
temperature of 80_C. Temperature difference between day and night tests was 10 _C which can be
attributed as the effect of sunlight. The results of this study can be helpful to the field staff in
decision making during paving operations.

Introduction
Asphalt is an expensive composite material used extensively for Moreover, the black HMA absorbs solar radiation and
the construction of pavements worldwide. The service life of atmospheric downwelling long-wave radiation which increases
pavement greatly depends on the construction methodology as its temperature [10]. Fig. 1.1 highlights the typical thermal cycle
well as on the materials used for construction. In recent years, of fresh HMA. Temperature transfer between HMA and
chemical and thermal properties of the bitumen have been underlying layer occurs through conduction, convection and
enhanced by the addition of various additives, mainly, crumb radiation emission process. Thus, three modes of heat transfer
rubber (CR) into virgin (base) asphalt binder [1]. Asphalt are important that influence the thermal behaviour of fresh HMA
Concrete prepared by the addition of rubber particles by dry i.e. (i) radiation emission from pavement to the surrounding
method (ARC) has also shown better results at high temperatures through convection, (ii) short-wave radiation absorption by the
due to high viscosity [2]. Similarly, addition of styrene– black pavement top (iii) transfer of heat through conduction from
butadiene–styrene (SBS), crumb rubber modifier and sulphur HMA to the underlying layers [11]. Several studies have been
into terminal blend (TB) hybrid asphalt binders have produced executed to explain the cooling behaviour of HMA during paving
great results in terms of high temperature properties and elastic and compaction process. Li et al. [12] developed model on three
behaviour of the HMA [3]. However, the use of high-quality main factors including, air temperature, solar radiation and
construction materials cannot guarantee durable pavements if ground temperature. They found that air temperature & Solar
we do not follow the proper construction procedure. During radiation have cumulative effects on pavement temperatures at
asphalt laying activity, compaction is started immediately after various depths. Islam et al. [13] developed pavement
asphalt is placed by paver machine. Compaction activity usually temperature prediction models using the pavement temperature
continues till the asphalt layer attains the target density. It is and solar radiation data for one year. The results of their study
important to complete the compaction process before the can be useful in determining the maximum, minimum and
temperature of hot mix asphalt (HMA) reaches a certain point average temperatures at any depth of HMA. Their regression
known as cessation temperature. Below cessation temperature, models can be used to analyse the stress-strain behaviour of
further density of asphalt cannot be achieved despite repetitive HMA. Wang et al. [14] used finite element modelling in
passes of rollers [4,5]. When hot mix asphalt (HMA) is placed in developing an algorithm of HMA under different sets of weather
field, it undergoes many thermal processes, subsequently, its condition. However, the results of their study haven not been
temperature fluctuates or varies [6]. At the pavement surface, validated with field results. In the past, several researchers have
heat flows from HMA to the surrounding air by means of worked on understanding the relationship between temperature
convection and to the atmosphere by long wave radiation [7–9]. of the HMA and its compatibility during paving operations. [15]
The process of radiation omission continues until there is a studied the effect of temperature loss in HMA on achievement of
temperature differential between HMA and surrounding air. the desired density and other mechanical properties. According
to their study, a 50_F loss in laydown temperature could result in to Marshal Compactors at different temperatures having
considerable loss in density of the compacted layer as percentage temperature
air voids increases in HMA when there is considerable lag range of 60–175 _C. It was observed that the air content
between laying time of asphalt and start time of compaction. Gao increased with decrease in temperature, but marshal stability
et al. [16] analysed the compaction behaviour of asphalt under
different temperatures in the laboratory. Dense graded asphalt
specimens having the same layer thickness were subjected