Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Baoshan Huang

Committee Members

Xiaofei P. Ye, Khalid Alshibli, Qiang He, Russell Zaretzki, Xiang Shu


The current tendency in paving industry is to increase the use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) and recycled asphalt shingle (RAS). However, one of the reasons that limit the high recycled amount is the unknown blending between virgin and RAP/RAS binders. A series of studies were conducted in this dissertation to address blending issues in warm mix asphalt (WMA) and hot mix asphalt (HMA) containing RAP and RAS, in terms of evaluation of recycled binder mobilization, binder homogeneity and WMA effects on blending.

Partial blending was observed in RAS mixtures and the most efficient blending occurred at approximately 5% RAS by weight. Increasing time led to a better RAS binder mobilization, while aggregate size and temperature in a certain range showed limited effects. A new parameter derived from gel permeation chromatography (GPC), large molecular size percentage [LMS(%)] related to binder molecular weight distribution, was developed to differentiate virgin and RAP/RAS binders as well as their blends, based on which a method was developed to quantify the recycled binder mobilization rate.

A two-layer model based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) scanning was developed to evaluate RAS and virgin binder blending. The two binders were found to be “mixing” but not “blending” in a mixing zone of 25 to 30 micrometer. Staged extraction method used to evaluate asphalt binder homogeneity was validated with trichloroethylene (TCE) as the most effective solvent. A non-equal-time staged extraction method was proposed, in conjunction with LMS(%), to quantify binder homogenization after mechanical mixing and diffusion. Different blending scenarios of RAP/RAS mixes were proposed and validated. It was found that diffusion could be accomplished within mixture storage time for both WMA and HMA containing RAP, while blending in RAS mix was limited.

WMA additives yielded mixes with higher blending ratios than control mix produced at 135ºC, but lower than hot mix produced at 165ºC. Laboratory foaming yielded a higher blending ratio, indicating foamed WMA may improve blending. Rutting might still be a concern for WMA-high RAP mixtures while fatigue concern may not exist. WMA-high RAP mixtures showed satisfactory moisture resistance. Blending effects on performance still needs further investigation.

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