Investigations on moisture damage-related behaviour of bituminous materials

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: This doctoral thesis presents results of literature review on classical and contemporary aspects of stripping, as well as experimental investigations on moisture damage as influenced by bituminous materials.Previous research in the area of moisture damage was reviewed and synthesized into a state-of-the-art. Important parameters linked to moisture sensitivity, like bituminous material characteristics, dynamic loads from heavy vehicles, environmental factors, construction practice and nature of anti-stripping additives, are presented. The state-of-the-art in current test methods is summarized and given.The experimental work involved investigations of the influence of bitumen and aggregate composition on water susceptibility. The influence of aggregate mineralogy and chemistry was evaluated using eleven aggregates and one bitumen, followed by studying the interactive effect of four bitumens and four aggregates. Moisture sensitivity was evaluated in accordance with (EN 12697-12:2003) for conditioning, ASTM D 4123 for resilient modulus determination, and (EN 12697-23:2003) for indirect tensile strength testing. Furthermore, thermal stability of two liquid amine anti-stripping additives mixed with two bitumens of varied acidity was investigated using potentiometric titration and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. Lastly, a technique based on Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy-Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR) was developed and used for studying transport of water across thin bitumen films, as well as stripping at bitumen/substrate interfaces. Bitumens from different sources and three substrates (silicon, germanium and zinc selenide crystals) were used. Based on the results obtained, it was concluded that aggregates containing sodium and potassium in alkali feldspars generally showed high moisture sensitivity. In contrast, presence of calcium, magnesium and iron was associated with aggregates with low moisture sensitivity. Contrary to several previous findings, one aggregate with practically 100% quartz exhibited low moisture sensitivity. No linear relationship between moisture sensitivity and the contents of SiO2 and Al2O3 in the aggregates studied was established. Results of the interactive influence of bitumen and aggregate composition showed that high acid and low penetration bitumens exhibited high dry strength for all the aggregates studied. On the other hand, for a given bitumen, the wet strengths were found to be aggregate specific.The results of tests on thermal stability of amine additives showed that usefulness of these additives reduces considerably, when the more alkaline additive was mixed with the high acid bitumen, followed by storing the blends under pronounced conditions of time and temperature (24 hours and 140ºC, or more, in this study). Much less interaction occurred when the less alkaline additive was blended with the low acid bitumen. Even if a correlation was found between the results of potentiometric titration and Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, the latter was not considered good enough at detecting amine additives, especially at low dosages.The technique based on FTIR-ATR developed in this study distinguished between good and bad bitumens with regard to stripping. The effectiveness of amine-based additives in reducing stripping was also shown by the method. Three likely processes occurred during the test, namely water diffusion, film break, and displacement (stripping) of bitumen from the substrate surface. The results also indicated that the diffusion process of water into the bitumen/substrate interface does not obey Fick’s law.