Modification of bending beam rheometer specimen for low-temperature evaluation of bituminous crack sealants

Imad L. Al-Qadi, Amara Loulizi, Susanne Aref, J. F. Masson, Kevin M. McGhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is difficult to evaluate effectively the low-temperature stiffness of bituminous hot-poured crack sealants with existing test methods. The standard bending beam rheometer (BBR) was found to be inappropriate for testing soft bituminous-based hot-poured crack sealant, even at a temperature of -40°C. To address this issue, the moment of inertia of the tested beam was increased by doubling its thickness (from 6.35 mm to 12.7 mm). For the new beam dimensions, only 4% of the beam center deflection is due to shear, a value deemed acceptable for sealant evaluation and comparison. On this basis, the BBR stiffness of hot-poured sealants was obtained at several discrete temperatures between -10°C and -40°C to assess the repeatability of the method for the evaluation of the low-temperature stiffness of bituminous sealants. Ten different sealants were tested at -40°C; three of these 10 were further tested at -35°C, -30°C, -28°C, -25°C, and -20°C; and the three "hard" sealants were tested at 10°C. A minimum of three replicates were used. The coefficient of variation on the measured stiffness after 60 s of loading was always lower than 18%, with almost 75% of the measurements having a coefficient of variation less than 10%. A pairwise comparison showed that the modified BBR could be used to classify sealant products according to their measured stiffness. As to the effect of temperature, it was found that the stiffness varies exponentially with temperature in the range of -40°C to -20°C. A statistical analysis of the results indicated that the modified BBR method could be used to classify sealants based on low-temperature stiffness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1933
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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