Fatigue characterization of asphalt binders using a thin film poker chip test

Hajj, Ramez Muhammad
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Asphalt binder is the adhesive that holds together aggregate particles of different sizes of an asphalt mixture. The tensile properties of an asphalt binder can greatly affect the performance of the asphalt mixture under repeated traffic loading. While the current performance grade specification has been in use for a long time to characterize the asphalt binders with regards to fatigue, it has been shown to be largely ineffective. This study was performed with the goal of investigating a strength-based measure to evaluate the fatigue cracking resistance of the asphalt binder. The poker chip geometry was used for this purpose. The test involved tensile loading of a thin film of asphalt binder between two rigid substrates. The first part of this study focused on determining failure criteria for the test. The second part was a study of the binders that have a similar grade based on the current performance grade specification but are expected to perform differently due to difference in their chemical makeup. Finally, the third part involved a study of the effects of nanomaterials as additives on the strength of the binder based on poker chip test results. The results demonstrated that failure strain criteria is promising as a material property, but still needs further study for validation. It was also observed that binders with similar performance grade had significantly different tensile strength. Finally, it was observed that nanomaterials had a significant impact on the test results of unaged binder, but had less effect on aged asphalt binders.