Aging of bituminous binders in asphalt pavements and laboratory tests

Xiaohu Lu, Hilde Soenen, Olli-Ville Laukkanen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)


Aging of bituminous binders is one of the key factors affecting the performance and durability of asphalt pavements. To simulate binder aging in laboratory, a number of methods are available. In this paper, RTFOT (Rolling Thin-Film Oven Test), PAV (Pressure Aging Vessel) and RCAT (Rotating Cylinder Aging Test) using different aging times and temperatures were employed to age two straight-run bitumens and a styrene-butadiene-butadiene (SBS) polymer modified binder. For field aging, a number of asphalt pavements of different years in service were investigated. The binders (virgin, laboratory aged, and extracted from asphalt pavements) were evaluated by penetration and softening point tests, rheological measurements with a Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR), as well as chemical analyses using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC). It was confirmed that the rheological changes upon laboratory aging and the formation of chemical functionalities were strongly temperature dependent. Great differences were found between the unmodified and SBS polymer modified binders in the rheological response upon aging. For the modified bitumen, different chemical reactions of the two components (bitumen and polymer) may compensate each other in some ways, making the binder less age-hardening and more durable. Apparently, the standardized PAV and RCAT simulate about 10 years of field aging for the unmodified bitumens when used in a dense asphalt surface layer, but for open graded mixes a longer PAV or RCAT aging time is necessary. However, for polymer modified bitumen the relationship between laboratory and field ageing when studying both mechanical and chemical compositional changes is less trivial.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields (BCRRA 2017), June 28-30, 2017, Athens, Greece
EditorsAndreas Loizos, Imad Al-Qadi, Tom Scarpas
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315100333
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields - Athens, Greece
Duration: 29 Jun 20171 Jul 2017
Conference number: 10


ConferenceInternational Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields
Abbreviated titleBCRRA

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