Austroads: Transport Research and Trends

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Evaluating the Rutting Performance of Binders

September 16, 2021

Asphalt pavements are a major component of the Australian and New Zealand road networks. Road agencies in Australia and New Zealand have been putting great efforts to produce pavements which perform and are long-lasting. This has led to the development of national specifications to ensure materials of suitable quality are used for road construction.

Austroads ATS 3110 is used as a national performance-based specification for polymer modified binders (PMBs). The specification includes the consistency 6% (at 60 °C) property to evaluate the relative performance of a binder to resist rutting, as it is one of the major failure modes of asphalt pavements.

Consistency 6% tests are currently conducted using the elastometer instrument that was developed in Australia specifically for these tests. This instrument, however, is no longer being manufactured and the supplier is no longer providing technical support for existing instruments. A new test method has therefore been developed to determine consistency 6% properties using a dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) rather than the elastometer. The DSR is widely used to test bituminous binders and other materials across the world.

Presented by Young Choi, this webinar details the outcomes of the Austroads research project which was conducted to develop the DSR consistency 6% test method. The project work included an extensive literature review, equipment investigations, optimisation of test procedures and validation studies using many different types of binders. These studies were conducted to ensure that the new DSR test method is equivalent to the current elastometer test method.