Effects of recycled asphalt pavement amounts on low-temperature cracking performance of asphalt mixtures using acoustic emissions

Behzad Behnia, Eshan V. Dave, Sarfraz Ahmed, William G Buttlar, Henrique M Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significant increases in the cost of asphalt paving and increased awareness of the need for sustainable infrastructure in recent years have in turn increased the use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) in the manufacture of hot-mix asphalt (HMA). The use of RAP reduces the overall cost of HMA and provides significant environmental benefits. Experience has shown, however, that the addition of RAP to HMA can have a negative effect on the low-temperature fracture characteristics of the pavement. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of RAP amounts on the low-temperature cracking performance of asphalt mixtures. Different percentages of RAP material, ranging from 0% to 50%, were studied. The embrittlement temperature of mixtures was determined with the use of an acoustic emissions technique. The disk-shaped compact tension [DC(T)] test was used to determine the fracture energy of asphalt mixtures. DC(T) fracture tests were conducted on two control mixtures with no RAP and mixtures that contained 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% RAP. Both control and RAP mixtures were manufactured with PG 64-22 and PG 58-28 as the virgin binders, which brought the total number of mixtures tested to 12. In addition to DC(T) fracture testing, indirect tensile testing was conducted on HMA specimens that contained 20% and 40% RAP. Test results clearly indicated the effects of the presence of RAP materials on the low-temperature performance of mixtures. This study demonstrates the benefit of performing fracture tests before RAP is added to the asphalt mixture, and it demonstrates the use of an acoustic emissions-based testing procedure to screen mixtures susceptible to cracking at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2208
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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