Effect of binder modification on the performance of an ultra-thin overlay pavement preservation strategy

Walaa S. Mogawer, Alexander J. Austerman, Shane Underwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine whether asphalt rubber (AR) binders will provide similar or better performance compared with a polymer modified asphalt (PMA) binder when used in a high-performance, ultra-thin lift overlay pavement preservation strategy. Current specifications for these types of overlays normally require the use of a PMA binder, because it has the ability to make these overlays more elastic under traffic loading and is less sensitive to temperature fluctuations. However, several state agencies are looking into the feasibility of incorporating sustainable and environmentally friendly technologies, such as AR binders and warm mix asphalt (WMA) technologies, into their asphalt mixtures, including those used for high-performance, ultra-thin lift overlays. This study examined the effect of binder modification type (AR or PMA) and the influence of the use of WMA in high-performance, ultra-thin lift overlays. In general, the mixtures that were tested provided comparable rutting, moisture damage, and low-temperature cracking performance in the high-performance, ultra-thin lift overlay. However, the use of the AR binders indicated reduced performance compared with the PMA binder in mixture fatigue cracking via the beam fatigue test, and mixture reflective cracking in the overlay tester. The results from the beam fatigue test were not always supported by the fatigue life predictions from the simplified viscoelastic continuum damage model. The only detriment to mixture performance for mixtures incorporating WMA was a reduction in fatigue cracking performance when used with AR binders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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