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T&DI Members Report on Asphalt Research at FAA

Monday, May 15, 2017

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Several members of the Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) Airfield Pavement Committee are involved with research activities at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center (NAPMRC).

One ongoing research project is studying rutting and fatigue performance of warm mix asphalt (WMA) and recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) mixes under aircraft loading.  This is the second test cycle (TC2) at NAPMRC and is expected to build on the results of the first test cycle (TC1).  The objectives of Test Cycle 1 (TC1) included  tire pressure effects on P401 hot mix asphalt (HMA) and warm mix asphalt (WMA), effect of binder grade on pavement performance, and comparison of P401 HMA and WMA performance under aircraft wheel loads, and high pavement temperatures. There will be four outdoor and two indoor test strips, each with three test sections. Construction of test sections is expected this summer, and testing with the Heavy Vehicle Simulator-Airfield (HVS-A) is expected to start this fall.

Dr. Navneet Garg, NAPMRC Program Manager for FAA, was excited about the research, saying, "If we can show that the performance of materials such as warm-mix asphalt is the same or better than the traditional mix, then we can develop standards and specifications for use on airports, and airports can start using these technologies. TC1 results have been very encouraging."  The research at NAPMRC will result in increased use of newer asphalt technologies and environmentally friendly (greener) materials and more durable, longer-life airport pavements. 

Interested in the latest innovations and developments in creating and maintaining sustainable pavements and safe airports? Come to the ASCE-T&DI International Conference on Highway Pavements & Airfield Technology in Philadelphia, PA, August 27-30, 2017!