Asphalt Labs (BEL 119/122)
In the Asphalt Labs located in BEL 119 and 122, asphalt binders and mixes are tested and prepared in accordance to specified procedures.
One method involves aggregate mixing with asphalt either as hot mix or at ambient temperature for cold mixes. A new way to design asphalt mixes that produce superior performance is the Superpave Asphalt Mix Design System.
The Superpave Gyratory Compactor in the Asphalt Lab is a key piece of equipment used to make and test Superpave samples. It was procured with funds from the Idaho Transportation Department as part of a NIATT research project on the Implementation and Evaluation of the Superpave system in the State of Idaho. Superpave is a relatively new mix design system developed under the Strategic Highway Research Program.
The Asphalt Labs also offer a new set of equipment for students to characterize Performance Grade asphalts. With the rotational viscometer, students determine the viscosity of various grades of asphalt at different temperatures.
Other tests that students perform for asphalt mixtures include volumetric analysis, stability, modulus of resilience, fatigue and rutting tests. Most of these tests are performed to predict the mixture’s behavior under traffic loads.
Our Asphalt Lab facilities also provide limited study of the effect of certain environmental factors, such as temperature and moisture variation and freezing and thawing on the long-term performance of pavement materials.