Superpave Mix Design and Laboratory Testing of Reacted and Activated Rubber Modified Asphalt Mixtures
Crumb rubber use in asphalt mixtures using wet process technology has been in practice for years in the United States with good performance history; however, it has some drawbacks that include the need for special blending equipment, high rubber-binder temperatures, and longer waiting time at mixing plants. Pre-treated crumb rubber technologies are emerging as a new method to produce asphalt rubber mixtures in the field. A new crumb rubber modifier known as Reacted and Activated Rubber (RAR) is one such technology. RAR (industrially known as “RARX”) acts like an Enhanced Elastomeric Asphalt Extender to improve the engineering properties of the binder and mixtures. It is intended to be used in a dry mixing process with the purpose of simplifying mixing at the asphalt plant. The objective of this research study was first to perform a Superpave mix design for determination of optimum asphalt content with 35% RAR by weight of binder; and secondly, analyse the performance of RAR modified mixtures prepared using the dry process against Crumb Rubber Modified (CRM) mixtures prepared using the wet process by conducting various laboratory tests. Performance Grade (PG) 64-22 binder was used to fabricate RAR and CRM mixtures and Performance Grade (PG) 70-10 was used to fabricate Control mixtures for this study. Laboratory tests included: Dynamic Modulus Test, Flow Number Test, Tensile Strength Ratio, Axial Cyclic Fatigue Test and C* Fracture Test. Observations from test results indicated that RAR mixes prepared through the dry process had excellent fatigue life, moisture resistance and cracking resistance compared to the other mixtures.