Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Baoshan Huang

Committee Members

Christopher Cherry, Edwin G. Burdette


Warm mix asphalt (WMA) has been used worldwide for many years, primarily in Europe. The National Asphalt Pavement Association first brought WMA to the United States in 2002. By using warm mix technology, the temperature of an asphalt mixture during production, transportation, and compaction decreases dramatically. Several concerns about WMA arise due to the reduced mixing temperature. One of the primary concerns in asphalt pavement is the moisture damage. The lower mixing temperature may not be high enough to vaporize all the moisture absorbed in the aggregate, and part of the moisture may be entrapped in the pavements during compaction. This thesis presents a laboratory study to evaluate the moisture susceptibility of warm mix asphalt (WMA) produced through plant foaming procedure.

Two types of mixtures were evaluated. A base mixture meeting the state of Tennessee “BM-2” mix criteria was evaluated at 0, 30, 40, and 50 percent fractionated recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), and a surface mixture meeting the state of Tennessee “411-D” mix criteria was evaluated at 15, 20, 30, 40 percent fractionated RAP. WMA mixture specimens were obtained and compacted at the asphalt plant. The WMA specimens were compared to hot-mix asphalt (HMA) specimens through a set of laboratory mixture performance tests. In addition to traditional AASHTO T283 freeze and thaw (F-T) tensile strength ratio (TSR), Superpave indirect tensile test (IDT) with F-T and MIST conditioning, and Asphalt Pavement Analyzer (APA) Hamburg wheel tracking tests were utilized to evaluate asphalt mixtures.

Moisture tests indicated that with the higher inclusions of RAP, specimens exhibited lower rut depths and higher tensile strength retention. Tensile strength ratio tests indicated that HMA specimens had higher tensile strength retention when freeze thaw conditioned. Dynamic modulus conditioned specimens indicated that simple performance tests can show the difference between conditioned and unconditioned specimens. HMA specimens showed lower susceptibility to moisture compared to WMA specimens for both BM-2 and 411-D mixtures. The higher percentages of RAP in WMA and HMA in both BM-2 and 411-D mixtures showed a reduction to moisture susceptibility.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."