Implementation of warm-mix asphalt mixtures in Nebraska pavements.
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Implementation of warm-mix asphalt mixtures in Nebraska pavements.

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  • Abstract:
    The primary objective of this research is to evaluate the feasibility of several WMA mixtures as potential asphalt paving

    mixtures for Nebraska pavements. To that end, three well-known WMA additives (i.e., Sasobit, Evotherm, and Advera

    synthetic zeolite) were evaluated. For a more realistic evaluation of the WMA approaches, trial pavement sections of the

    WMA mixtures and their HMA counterparts were implemented in Antelope County, Nebraska. More than one ton of

    field-mixed loose mixtures was collected at the time of paving and was transported to the NDOR and UNL laboratories to

    conduct comprehensive laboratory evaluations and pavement performance predictions of the individual mixtures

    involved. Various key laboratory tests were conducted to identify mixture properties and performance characteristics.

    These laboratory test results were then incorporated into other available data and the MEPDG software to predict the

    long-term field performance of the WMA and HMA trial sections. Pavement performance predictions from the MEPDG

    were also compared to two-year actual field performance data that have annually been monitored by the NDOR pavement

    management team.

    The WMA additives evaluated in this study did not significantly affect the viscoelastic stiffness characteristics of the

    asphalt mixtures. WMA mixtures generally presented better rut resistance than their HMA counterparts, and the WMA

    with Sasobit increased the rut resistance significantly, which agrees with other similar studies. However, two laboratory

    tests—the AASHTO T283 test and semi-circular bend fracture test with moisture conditioning—to assess moisture

    damage susceptibility demonstrated identical results indicating greater moisture damage potential of WMA mixtures.

    MEPDG results simulating 20-year field performance presented insignificant pavement distresses with no major

    performance difference between WMA and HMA, and this has been confirmed by actual field performance data.

    Although only two-year field performance is available to date, both the WMA and HMA have performed well. No

    cracking or other failure modes have been observed in the trial sections. The rut depth and the roughness of WMA and

    HMA sections were similar.

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