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Asphalt with Improved Physical Properties

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Monday, February 1, 2010
End Date: 
Saturday, December 31, 2011
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
Pavement and Materials
FHWA Topics: 
Roads and Bridges--Pavement and Materials
TRT Terms: 
Polymers; Infrastructure; Research; Asphalt; Highways; Bridges; Pavements
FHWA Discipline: 
Pavement and Materials
TRB Subject Area: 

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3305
Email Address: 
Infrastructure Materials Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

A tremendous amount of work is done by rheologists and engineers to measure the physical properties of asphalt. No attention is paid to improving the physical properties. The major method of improving asphalt binder properties is modification with polymers, typically styrene-butadiene-styrene polymers, a technique developed in the United Kingdom nearly 40 years ago. Some chemical modification is done on asphalt for specialized high-cost applications, such as joint sealants and bridge deck pavements. We want to investigate modifying asphalts with different monomers, such as butadiene (or replacements for butadiene containing polymers), epoxy, urethane, acrylic, silane, etc., with a view to developing asphalt with enhanced physical properties in terms of tensile strength, elasticity, fatigue aging, and water resistance.

Project Findings: 

A number of polymer materials were evaluated; however, only the isocyanates improved the performance of the asphalt binders. Epoxy and acrylic monomers did not show any binder performance grade (PG) increase.


Deliverable Name: 
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
The deliverable is a report detailing the monomers tested and their effect on the performance grade (PG) of asphalt binders.