Characterizing Surface Properties of Aggregates Used in Hot Mix Asphalt
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Physical and chemical properties of aggregates at the micro scale strongly impact the adhesive bond (strength and durability) between bitumen and aggregate. These properties include surface free energy, chemical interaction potential, and specific surface area. This report describes testing methods developed for the Universal Sorption Device (USD), the Wilhelmy Plate (WP), and the microcalorimeter (MC) to measure these surface properties of aggregates. Test results from five different asphalt binders and nine different aggregates are presented to demonstrate how these surface properties can be used to: (1) select combinations of bitumen and aggregates that are more resistant to moisture damage, (2) select additives that can be used to improve the performance of asphalt mixtures based on the physico-chemical nature of the bitumen and aggregate, and (3) predict the resistance of the mixture to moisture-induced damage.