Performance Evaluation of Polymer Modified Bitumens on a Heavily Trafficked Test Road

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Xiaohu Lu
Hilde Soenen
Serge Heyrman
Per Redelius

In asphalt paving, polymer modified bitumens (PMBs) have more potential for use and can clearly demonstrate the value of their initial higher cost. To further assess the sustainable benefits of using PMBs, a test road was constructed on a highway in Sweden. In this paper, the asphalt binders used were investigated extensively using rheological and chemical methods, and asphalt field cores characterized with respect to permanent deformation and fatigue. It was found that the modified binders, particularly with SBS polymers, retain better rheological properties in comparison with conventional ones, even after several years in the field; these include higher strain recovery and lower non-recoverable compliance at high temperatures, and lower stiffness at low temperatures. The SBS modified binders also demonstrate good aging resistance, shown by both laboratory aging tests and field aging. the high resistance to aging for the SBS modified binders was also evident in the stiffness measurement made on asphalt field cores. Moreover, the modified binders with SBS polymers significantly enhance fatigue behaviour.

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