Laboratory accelerated curing protocol for bitumen stabilized materials

Moloto, Percy Kgothatso (2010-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Civil Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The research conducted in this study forms part of the Phase II process of the Bitumen Stabilized Materials (BSMs) Guideline improvement initiative. The initiative aims to address areas of concern in the cold mix design procedures for BSMs. Current road rehabilitation using the bitumen stabilization process requires testing of representative specimens as means to evaluate pavement performance over time. In order to adequately acquire specimens representative of field conditions, it is necessary to condition the materials in a process called curing. Although curing procedures have been standard in many countries on different continents, the protocols are varied and an acceptable procedure is currently not available. In order to develop an acceptable curing protocol for BSMs, both field and laboratory environments were investigated. Considering that curing takes time in the field, production of representative samples intended for laboratory testing must undergo accelerated curing in the laboratory. Given the complexities involved in achieving close correlations between field and laboratory environments, the research strived to reconcile field and laboratory material behaviour. In particular, the main objective of the research was to unify the curing protocol for BSMs, with the standardization of the curing protocol being top priority. In this study, laboratory results have confirmed that the different natures of curing mechanisms inherent in a BSM-foam and BSM-emulsion contribute to irreconcilable material behaviour(s). Results have confirmed that curing of BSM-foam is largely a function of water repulsion, with the addition of active filler dominating material performance almost immediately. Unlike BSM-foam, curing of BSM-emulsion is both a function of the breaking of emulsion during the initial phase and the gradual release of moisture with time. In this instance, BSM-emulsion material performance resembled active filler influences past the breaking of the emulsion cycle. Consequently, given the observed differences regarding material behaviour(s), the unification of the curing protocol for BSMs has not been successful. In terms of accommodation of active filler in the final curing protocol for BSMs, findings in this research have revealed that active filler’s tendency to absorb moisture in the initial stages requires longer curing time to help extract the absorbed moisture during the curing process. Although the use of active filler has an impact on curing, its inclusion in a BSM does not justify its extension in the curing time as cementation is not one of the desired properties of these materials. BSMs are primarily desirable for their flexibility in pavement structures. For this reason, active filler was omitted in the final curing protocol due to reasons of simplifying the mix design process. In conclusion, different curing protocols were tested and developed to help produce reconcilable material behaviour in both the field and laboratory environments. Through the reconciliation of key material properties such as the resilient modulus, long term equilibrium moisture conditions and shear parameters, an acceptable standardized curing protocol for BSM-foam and BSMemulsion intended for application in industrial laboratories across South Africa was successfully developed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die navorsing tydens hierdie studie gedoen, vorm deel van die Tweede fase van die Bitumen Gestabiliseerde Materiale Riglyne verbeteringsinisiatief. Die inisiatief het ten doel om areas van bekommernis in die kouemengsel-ontwerp-prosedures vir Bitumen Gestabiliseerde Materiale aan te spreek. Huidige padrehabilitasie wat gebruik maak van die Bitumen Gestabiliseerde Materiale proses, vereis toetsing van verteenwoordigende monsters om sodoende plaveiselgedrag oor ‘n tydperk te evalueer. Materiale moet deur die verouderingsproses gekondisioneer word, om sodoende monsters te verkry wat akkuraat verteenwoordigend van veldtoestande is. Alhoewel verouderingsprosesse in meeste lande - op verskillende kontinente - gestandariseerd is, is die protokol verskillend en ‘n aanvaarbare prosedure is nie tans beskikbaar nie. Beide veld- en laboratoriumomgewings is ondersoek, om sodoende ‘n aanvaarbare verouderings-protokol vir Bitumen Gestabiliseerde Materiale te ontwikkel. Wanneer in ag geneem word dat veroudering in die veld tydrowend is, moet vervaardiging van verteenwoordigende monsters vir laboratoriumgebruik versnelde veroudering in die laboratoruim ondergaan. Gegee die kompleksiteite betrokke om goeie korrelasie tussen velden laboratoriumomgewings te verkry, het die navorsing daarna gestreef om die veld- en laboratoriummateriaalgedrag te verenig. Die hoofdoel van die navorsing was om die verouderingsprotokol vir Bitumen Gestabiliseerde Materiale te verenig met die stardaardisering van die verouderingsprotokol as top prioriteit. In hierdie studie het laboratorium resultate bevestig dat die verskillende aard van voorbereidings- meganismes inherent in BSM-skuim en BSM-emulsie bydra tot onversoenbare materiaalgedrag. Resultate het bevestig dat voorbereiding van BSM-skuim ’n funksie van waterrepulsie het en met die byvoeging van aktiewe vullers dominieer dit die materiaalgedrag byna onmiddelik. Anders as BSM-skuim is die voorbereiding van BSM-emulsie beide ’n funksie vir die breek van emulsie tydens die begin fase en die geleidelike vrystelling van vog oor tyd. In hierdie geval het BSM-emulsie se materiaalgedrag die invloed van aktiewe vuller getoon nadat die emulsie gebreek het. Gevolglik, weens die waargenome verskille rakende materiaalgedrag is die vereniging van die voorbereidings- protokols vir BSMs nie suksesvol nie. In terme van inagneming van aktiewe vullers in die finale voorbereidingsprotokol vir BSM’s, is deur navorsing bevind dat aktiewe vullers neig se neiging om vog te absorbeer in die beginstadia dit benodig dus ‘n langer verouderingstyd vir die ontrekking van die geabsorbeerde vog. Hoewel die gebruik van aktiewe vullers ’n impak het op die voorbereiding, reverdig dit nie die verlenging van die verouderingstyd vir die insluiting daarvan in BSM nie, siende dat sementering nie een van die gewenste eienskappe van hierdie materiaal is nie. BSMs word hoofsaaklik verkies vir sy buigsaamheid in paveiselsturkture. Om die mengselontwerp prosesse te vereenvoudig, was aktiewe vullers dus weggelaat in die finale voorbereidingsprotokol. Ter afsluiting was verskeie voorbereidings protokolle getoets en ontwikkel om te help met die vervaardiging van versoenbare materaalgedrag in beide veld-en-laboratoriumomgewings. Deur die versoening van kern materiaal eienskappe soos die elastisiteitsmodulus, lang termynewewigvog kondisies en skuifparameters, is ’n aanvaarbare gestandariseerde voorbereidingsprotokol vir BSM-skuim en BSM-emulsie bedoel vir aanwending in industriele laboratoriums regoor Suid Afrika suksesvol ontwikkel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4187
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