Load associated fatigue cracking is one of the major distress types occurring in flexible pavements. Flexural bending beam fatigue laboratory test has been used for several decades and is considered an integral part of the Superpave advanced characterization procedure. One of the most significant solutions to sustain the fatigue life for an asphaltic mixture is to add sustainable materials such as polymers to the asphalt mixture. A laboratory testing program was performed on two gap-graded mixtures: unmodified and polymer-modified asphalt mixtures. Strain controlled fatigue tests were conducted according to the AASHTO T321 procedure. The results from the beam fatigue tests indicated that the polymer-modified gap graded mixture would have much longer fatigue life compared to the reference (unmodified) mixture. In addition, a mechanistic analysis using 3D-Move software coupled with a cost-effectiveness analysis study based on the fatigue performance on the three mixtures were performed. Overall, the analysis showed that the polymer-modified asphalt mixture exhibited significantly higher cost-effectiveness compared to unmodified HMA mixture. Although polymer-modification increases the cost of the material, the analysis showed that it is more cost effective than the unmodified mixture.
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Date of publication
Souliman, Mena; Zeiada, Waleed; and Walubita, Lubinda, "Mechanical and economical impacts of adding polymers into asphalt mixtures" (2017). Civil Engineering Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 20.