Evaluation of Asphalt Mixture Low-Temperature Performance in Bending Beam Creep Test
Low-temperature cracking is one of the most common road pavement distress types in Poland. While bitumen performance can be evaluated in detail using bending beam rheometer (BBR) or dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests, none of the normalized test methods gives a comprehensive representation of low-temperature performance of the asphalt mixtures. This article presents the Bending Beam Creep test performed at temperatures from −20 °C to +10 °C in order to evaluate the low-temperature performance of asphalt mixtures. Both validation of the method and its utilization for the assessment of eight types of wearing courses commonly used in Poland were described. The performed test indicated that the source of bitumen and its production process (and not necessarily only bitumen penetration) had a significant impact on the low-temperature performance of the asphalt mixtures, comparable to the impact of binder modification (neat, polymer-modified, highly modified) and the aggregate skeleton used in the mixture (Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) vs. Asphalt Concrete (AC)). Obtained Bending Beam Creep test results were compared with the BBR bitumen test. Regression analysis confirmed that performing solely bitumen tests is insufficient for comprehensive low-temperature performance analysis.
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