Implementation of GPC characterization of asphalt binders at Louisiana Materials Laboratory : research project capsule.
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Implementation of GPC characterization of asphalt binders at Louisiana Materials Laboratory : research project capsule.

  • 2010-10-01

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  • English

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    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-HIGHWAY/ROAD TRANSPORTATION-Pavement Management and Performance ; NTL-HIGHWAY/ROAD TRANSPORTATION-Materials ; NTL-HIGHWAY/ROAD TRANSPORTATION-Construction and Maintenance ;
    • Abstract:
      Louisiana has been using polymer modified asphalt cement (PMAC) increasingly for better pavement performance. More often than not, elastomers became the asphalt modifiers of choice due to their excellent elasticity and good compatibility with asphalt species. A new analytical tool is needed for assessing the presence and quantification of the amount of the elastomer modifier, both in a supplied PMAC and in a liquid extracted from pavement cores. Due to a large difference between the molecular mass of polymer molecules and the mass of asphalt components, the polymer can easily be visualized through a size exclusion analysis, such as gel permeation chromatography (GPC). GPC methodology can be applied to routine characterization of asphalt binders and can employ the technique in forensic analysis of paving problems. It traces PMAC dissolved in tetrahydrofuran (THF) solution and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) polymer dissolved in decalin solution. The samples are injected into a set of porous columns and eluted with THF. The order of elution is related to the molecular weight of the component. High molecular weight species elute first followed by molecules with ever decreasing molecular weight. This study will evaluate the amount of the polymeric species in a polymer modified asphalt binder, the changes imparted by the addition of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) to the mix, and mixes containing a crumb rubber modifier (CRM). Utilization of GPC to monitor the amount of the polymeric material in polymer modified asphalt binders could conceivably establish a better characterization of asphalt materials.
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