Asphalt Rubber Technology Information Center
Cost Effectiveness of Rubber and Polymer Modified Asphalt Mixtures as Related to Sustainable Fatigue Performance
Mena I. Souliman, Michael Mamlouk, Annie Eifert
Key Words:
polymer, fatigue, cost-effectivness
Load associated fatigue cracking is one of the major distress types occurring in flexible pavements. Flexural bending
beam fatigue laboratory test has been used for several decades and is considered an integral part of the Superpave
advanced characterization procedure. One of the most significant solutions to sustain the fatigue life for an asphaltic
mixture is to add sustainable materials such as rubber or polymers to the asphalt mixture. A laboratory testing program
was performed on three gap-graded mixtures: unmodified, Asphalt Rubber (AR) and polymer-modified. Strain controlled
fatigue tests were conducted according to the AASHTO T321 procedure. The results from the beam fatigue tests
indicated that the AR and polymer-modified gap graded mixtures would have much longer fatigue lives compared to the
reference (unmodified) mixture. In addition, a mechanistic analysis using 3D-Move software coupled with a
cost-effectiveness analysis study based on the fatigue performance on the three mixtures were performed. Overall, the
analysis showed that the AR and polymer-modified asphalt mixtures exhibited significantly higher cost-effectiveness
compared to unmodified HMA mixture. Although AR and polymer-modification increases the cost of the material, the
analysis showed that they are more cost effective than the unmodified mixture.
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