• Material characterization of Alaskan asphalt mixtures containing reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP)

      Kemp, Beaux M.; Liu, Jenny; Saboundjian, Steve; Schnabel, William (2016-12)
      Recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) material has been combined with hot-mix asphalt (HMA) paving for several decades to reduce construction costs and environmental impacts. In Alaska, the HMA specification allows up to 15% RAP for Type-II A mixes (typically used in wearing courses) and 25% for Type II-B mixes (used in wearing or base courses). Highway construction projects statewide are expected to see an increase in the use of RAP in future mix designs. Pavement engineers use mechanistic procedures (e.g. Alaska Flexible Pavement Design software and Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide) to develop flexible pavement design alternatives. These procedures require material engineering properties as an input source. Consequently, it is essential to properly establish the engineering properties of HMA mixtures containing RAP. In order to characterize Alaskan HMA materials containing RAP, this study evaluated 11 HMA mixtures comprised of three typical Alaskan asphalt binders (PG 52-28, PG 58-34 and PG 52-40) containing 0%, 25% and 35% RAP that were either produced in the lab or a hot-plant (i.e. collected from actual paving projects in Alaska). Various binder and mix properties were determined including; true high binder grades, complex shear modulus (G*) and phase angle (delta) at high performance temperatures, as well as asphalt mixture performance tests (AMPT); dynamic modulus (E*) and flow number (FN). The original (h-based) and the modified (G*-based) Witczak (E*) predictive models were evaluated for these mixtures based on job mix formulae availability for use in mechanistic design procedures. It was found that the incorporation of RAP into Alaskan HMA increased E* and FN of the mixtures, which indicates that the addition of RAP increased the stiffness and rutting resistance of the mixtures tested. A local calibration of the Witczak predictive models may be required for increased accuracy of E* predictions. For Alaskan conditions, a savings of $13.60/ton of mix was estimated for a 25% RAP mix. For an 18-feet wide one lane-mile of HMA mat, it is estimated to have a 21% savings in the 25% RAP mix compared to the conventional virgin (no RAP) mix.