Development of a standard test method for determining the Bitumen bond strength of emulsions : a South African perspective

Greyling, Andries Hendrik (2012-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Chip and spray surfacing seals has been widely used in South Africa as the preferred surface treatment for rural roads. The design of these seals has also experienced renewed interest and continuous development in several other countries over the past two decades. In South Africa seals are continually used as increasing attention is given to the periodic maintenance of existing surfaced roads. There is also a significant increase in the use of surfacing seals in North America as the need to develop more energy and resource efficient surfacing options becomes a priority. Despite this growing use of surface seals, the seal design and especially the selection of binder type and grade does not always follow scientific processes. Seals are often designed based on client preference, previous experience, material availability and industry trends. With an ageing road network and limited funding to ensure timeous maintenance, the focus in South Africa is moving towards more stringent and scientific design processes. The USA and Europe, forced by increasing traffic volumes and heightened performance demands, are moving towards performance- based specification to account for deficiencies in their current surface seal design methods. One of the major failure mechanisms of surface seals is ravelling which takes place when the binder and the aggregate bond becomes weak and are broken by the forces generated by traffic. This leads to loose aggregate on the road which in turns leads to bare surface patches and broken windscreens. To prevent and address this as part of the development of performance-based specifications, the need for a simple and inexpensive technique for evaluating bitumen and bitumen emulsion bond strength development over time, as well as binder-aggregate compatibility, was identified. Although various tests exist for investigating adhesion between bituminous emulsions and aggregate chips most of the tests does not deliver the level of information required by the performance-based specifications. The Bitumen Bond Strength (BBS) test method was therefore developed with the aim to address some of the limitations encountered in evaluating bond strength between binders and aggregates. The BBS test (AASHTO TP-91, 2011) was developed by the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UWM) in partnership with the University of Ancona – Italy (UAI) and the University of Stellenbosch – South Africa (US) specifically for evaluating bond strength between aggregates and hot applied binders and emulsions, respectively. US became involved in BBS test efforts in 2008 to assist in the development and practical evaluation of the BBS test method. UAI contributed significantly to the development of the test apparatus through their work in conjunction with UWM. Due to time and resources available, the involvement of the US was limited to various discussion sessions, a study tour, the evaluation of the BBS test, and conducting a series of control tests. By using the Bitumen Bond Strength test it was possible to evaluate the practicality and repeatability of the developed procedure and the results measured was successfully used to evaluate the bond strength development of modified and unmodified bitumen emulsions on tillite and granite aggregates. It was also possible to correlate the results achieved at the University of Stellenbosch with results from the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to the fact that testing took place at both institutions. The development of the test and the inter-laboratory test results in essence reinforced the hypothesis that the BBS test protocol can be used to effectively evaluate bond strength of different emulsion types and aggregate types. Except for the loading rate which is a known critical influence, the emulsion type and curing intervals are both identified as the most significant other factors contributing to bond strength development. Aggregate type is also identified as a significant factor that will influence the bond strength development. Interactions between emulsion type and curing interval are identified as the most significant interaction. A lot of further validation test on the BBS test method is still required for the test to be integrated into a performance-based specification system for surface seals.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: “Chip and Spray” oppervlak seëls is die verkose seël tipe vir gebruik op Suid Afrikaanse plattelandse paaie. Die ontwerp van hierdie tipe seëls is ook tans besig om hernude aandag te trek in heelwat lande. In Suid Afrika word die tipe seël al meer gebruik soos die behoefte na herseël projeke op die verouderde pad netwerk groei . Daar is ook heelwat groei in die gebruik van “Chip en Spray” seëls in Noord Amerika aangesien daar n behoefte is om n meer energie en materiaal effektiewe seëls te gebruik. Ten spyte van die groeiende gebruik van hierdie seëls het daar min wetenskaplike ontwikkeling plaasgevind in the ontwerp daarvan. Seëls word meestal ontwerp gebaseer op klient voorkeur , ondervinding, materiaal beskikbaarheid en ook industrie norms. ‘n Verouderde pad netwerk dwing die Suid Afrikaanse industrie om meer deeglike en wetenskaplike ontwerp prosedures te volg. Die VSA en Europa word deur vinnig groeiende verkeersvolumes en verhoogte kwaliteits behoeftes gedwing om prestasie gebaseerde spesifikasies te ontwikkel. Een van die hoof defekte op seëls is klipverlies wat plaasvind as die verbinding tussen die bitumen en aggregaat verswak en gebreek word deur die kragte wat deur verkeer oorgedra word. Dit lei tot los klip op die pad wat weer tot skade aan voertuie lei. Om dit te voorkom en aan te spreek het die behoefte laat ontwikkel vir n maklike en goedkoop tegniek om te meet hoe sterk die verbinding is wat ontwikkel tussen verskillende bitumen, bitumen emulsies en aggregaat monsters. Alhoewel daar alreeds toetse bestaan wat kan toets hoe sterk die verbinding is , gee die meeste van die toetse nie die informasie wat benodig word deur die voorgestelde prestasie gedrewe spesfikasies nie. Die “Bitumen Bond Strength” (BBS) toets metode is daarom ontwikkel om die tekortkoming in die toets van die bitumen en aggregaat verdindinge aan te spreek. Die BBS toets (AASHTO TP-91, 2011) is ontwikkel by die Universiteit van Wisconsin – Madison (UWM) in vennootskap met die Universiteit van Ancona – Italy (UAI) en die Universiteit van Stellenbosch (US) , spesifiek om die die sterkte van die verbinding wat vorm tussen aggregaat en bitumen te meet. Die US het in 2008 betrokke geraak by die BBS toets studie om hulp te verleen met die ontwikkeling en praktiese evalueering van die BBS toets metode. As gevolg van tyd en personeel tekorte is die betrokkendheid by die US beperk tot verskeie besprekings sessies, n studie toer, die evalueering van die BBS toets sowel as die voltooing van n uitgebreide stel toetse. Deur die voltooing van eksperimente met die BBS toets was dit moontlik om die uitvoerbaarheid en herhaalbaarheid van die ontwikkelde prosedure te toets. Die resultate van die toetse is suksesvol gebruik om die ontwikkeling van die verbinding sterkte tussen gemodifiseerde en ongemodifiseerde bitumen emulsies en tilliet en graniet te definïeer en te evalueer. Dit was ook moontlik om die resultate van die Universiteit Stellenbosch en die Universiteit of Wisconsin-Madison suksesvol met mekaar te vergelyk aangesien toetse by beide die instansies voltooi is. Die ontwikkeling van die toets en die inter laboratorium toets resultate het dit moontlik gemaak om die hipotese te bevestig dat die BBS toets prosedure effektief gebruik kan word om die bitumen en aggregaat verdindinge te toets en te evalueer. Behalwe vir die tempo van die lading waarteen die aftrek sterkte getoets word , is die emulsie tipe en die nabehandeling tydperk beide geidentifiseer as die mees beduidende invloede wat bydrae tot die ontwikkeling van die verbinding sterkte. Die aggregaat tipe is ook geidentifiseer as n belangrike faktor wat die verbinding sterkte ontwikkeling sal beïnvloed. Die interaksie tussen die emulsie tipe en nabehandeling tydperk was geïdentifiseer as die mees beduidende interaksie. Daar sal wel nog heelwat eksperimente voltooi moet word met die BBS toets prosedure voordat dit volkome geïntegreer kan word as deel van n prestasie gebaseerde spesifikasie stelsel vir die ontwerp van seëls.

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