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Quality Control / Quality

Assurance (QC/QA)

Dr. W. K. Mampearachchi
Quality Control / Quality
Assurance (QC/QA)
• QC refers to those tests necessary to control
a product and to determine the quality of the
product being produced
• QC tests are performed by the contractor
• QA refers to those tests necessary to make a
decision on acceptance of a project
• QA tests are normally performed by the
Tests performed during
production and placement
• Aggregate gradation
• Asphalt Content
• Temperature
• Mixture properties of laboratory samples
• Theoretical Maximum Density
• In place Density
• Smoothness,
• Elevation
• Visual Inspection
Aggregate Gradation

• There are several important aggregate

properties – Visual inspection to ensure aggregate
is similar to the aggregate tested
• Aggregate gradation is a routing test during
• Samples are typically taken from stockpile,
cold feeder belts, hot bins and extracted
asphalt mixture
• Gradation of the asphalt mixture is important-
this is the end product
Sieve Analysis of the Aggregate
extracted from samples
Cracks in segregated Area
Typical Sample Locations

• Stockpile – sampled and tested during mix

design process
– New material added to the stockpile
– Should have the same gradation as
original within reasonable tolerance

Causes: changes at source, segregation

during hauling or stockpiling and sampling
and testing errors
Typical Sample Locations

• Cold Feeder Belt- Contain the combined


• Causes for Variability :

– variation in stockpile gradation,
– segregation of aggregate,
– improper loading of cold bins,
– improper setting of individual cold feed bins
– sampling and testing errors
Typical Sample Locations

• Hot Bins- Batch plants have hot bins

• Causes for Variability :

– Improper gradation fed from cold feeder
– Erratic feed from dust collector system,
– changing production rate (efficiency of
– Blinding screens
– Holes in screens or binwalls
– Sampling and testing errors
Typical Sample Locations

• Asphalt Mixture- Samples taken from loaded


• Causes for Variability :

– Incorrect hot bin gradation
– Incorrect proportion from hot bins
– Segregation of mixture
– Sampling and testing errors
Asphalt Content

• The asphalt content of a mixture is very

important to ensure satisfactory performance
• Low asphalt content – Not Durable
• High Asphalt content- Not Stable
• Asphalt content is determined by
– Solvent method (allow determination of
aggregate gradation)
– Ignition method
Asphalt Binder Analyzer

• Binder Extraction Method

– Centrifugal extractor (Solvent Based)
• Ignite Method
– Heat sample to 538ºC [1000ºF]
– Less than 30 minutes
Solvent Extraction
Sieve Analysis
Sieve Analysis of Bitumen Extracted
Asphalt Content

• Improper asphalt content

– Inaccurate aggregate scale/ Asphalt cement scale
– Leaking valve in asphalt content pot
– Segregation
– Sampling and testing errors
• When a sample of mixture is obtained with high
coarse aggregate content, the measured asphalt
content will be lower than the specied.

Field Management of Volumetric
• Significant difference exists between the
volumetric properties of laboratory designed
and plant produced asphalt mixtures

• Asphalt content and the % passing 0.075mm

significantly affecting the VMA and VTM
Construction- QC /QA

• The Temperature of the mixture during

production should be closely monitored
– Temperature must be just enough to
provide good coating
– When heated more than sufficient,
additional oxidation and loss of volatiles
– Compaction may also have to be delayed
Construction- QC /QA

• The Theoretical Maximum Density (TMD, Gmm)

should be measured daily basis
– Calculate voids in the mixtures
– Need to specify density in some cases
– TMD change indicates asphalt content,
aggregate gradation, specific gravity or
absorption of the aggreagte
Construction- QC /QA
• The In-place Density is required for satisfactory
– Two methods to test in-place density
• Nuclear gauges – QC mainly
• Core – QA mainly
– Cores are required for verifying the Nuclear
– Low density can be caused by inaccurate
reference density, improper gradation or asphalt
content, mixture temperature, layer thickness (too
thin –too quickly cool), improper rolling
techniques, inadequate rollers and error in
sampling and testing
Construction- QC /QA

• The Smoothnes of the road should be checked to

ensure satisfactory ride
– Many items cause roughness in a completed
• Underline material is too rough
• Excessive stops with pavers
• Rollers during placement
• Too many screed adjustments
– Smoothness can be checked with straight edge or
some other device.
Construction- QC /QA

• The designed Elevation should be maintained on the

finished surface
– Especially on large areas such as parking lot,
airfield pavement and multi lane roads
– It is necessary to ensure that bird baths do not
– This is normally controlled with string lines during
construction and verified after construction by
measuring elevations across the surface
Construction- QC /QA

• Visual Inspections are always necessary

during QC/QA evaluation of asphalt mixtures
– Test results can never identify all the
– Visual inspection can identify potential
trouble areas
Testing and Quality Control Charts

• Testing Frequency- Factors that may affect testing frequency include

the size of the project, importance of the project, variability of
Test Frequency
Stockpile gradation 1 per day
Cold feed gradation 1 per day
Hot Bin gradation 1 per day
Extracted asphalt content and 1 per day
Laboratory compacted samples 1sets per day
Theoretical Maximum Density 2 per day
Temperature Regularly throughout the day
Visual Inspection Regularly throughout the day
In-place density 6-10 per day
Smoothness Regularly throughout the day
Elevation After completion of lot
Quality Control Charts
Density 4 point
Test No Density, % TMD Running Average
1 93
2 94.5
3 92.1
4 95.1 93.7
5 93.3 93.8
6 94.2 93.7
7 93.5 94.0
8 91.6 93.2
9 92.5 93.0
10 93.7 92.8
11 94.2 93.0
12 92.2 93.2
13 91.5 92.9
14 95.6 93.4
15 93.2 93.1
16 94.1 93.6
17 92.3 93.8
18 91.7 92.8
19 92.1 92.6
20 94.3 92.6
21 96 93.5
22 92.2 93.7
23 91.3 93.5
24 93.5 93.3
Density Control Charts
Upper Spec. Limit

Density, Running Average
of Last Four




Lower Spec. Limit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Test No

Test No 10 and 19 show the running average is approaching the lower limit