The current interest in energy saving asphalt production techniques is great and several new processes have been developed to reduce the mixing and compaction temperatures for hot mix asphalt.
In particular, mastic asphalt products (Gussasphalt) require high working temperatures, and harder requirements concerning bitumen fumes and carbon dioxide emissions have been introduced for such products. Consequently, the need of a new means of producing and placing mastic asphalt at lower temperatures is particularly large.
One way of reducing asphalt mixture temperature is by using special flow improving additives like wax. This technique has successively been tried in several studies for polymer modified mastic asphalt used for bridge decks and parking areas in Sweden. However, there still are uncertainties about possible negative impact on crack susceptibility at lower temperatures due to the addition of wax.
In this study, 4% montan wax (Asphaltan A) was used for one particular polymer modified mastic asphalt product. Type and amount of wax additive was selected based on results from earlier studies. The impact on binder, binder/filler mixtures and mastic asphalt from production was tested in the laboratory, focusing on low temperature performance.
The bending beam rheometer (BBR) was used for determining low temperature creep compliance and the tensile stress restrained specimen test (TSRST) for determining fracture temperatures. Binder properties were determined using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and conventional tests (softening point, penetration, elastic recovery, Fraass breaking point, viscosity and storage stability). Aging was performed using the rolling thin film oven test (RTFOT) at 200°C.
As expected, the addition of wax to the polymer modified binder showed a viscosity reduction at higher temperatures, corresponding to a similar positive effect of more than 10°C on production and laying temperature for the mastic asphalt. DMA and BBR results showed some increase in stiffness and a more elastic response of the wax modified binder at medium and low temperatures. The TSRST fracture temperature was 5 °C higher for the mastic asphalt containing 4% wax, indicating however no dramatic negative impact on crack susceptibility.
Author: Butt, Ali Azhar