A Measurement Approach for Critical Voids in Mineral Aggregate Based on AC-20
The voids in the mineral aggregate (VMA) is considered to be the most important mix design parameter which affects the durability of the asphalt concrete mix. This has traditionally been addressed during mix design by meeting a minimum voids in the mineral aggregate (VMA) requirement, based solely upon the nominal maximum aggregate size without regard to other significant aggregate-related properties. The goal of this study is to determine the validity of the minimum VMA requirement versus nominal maximum aggregate size required in Marshall volumetric mix design. Specimens were compacted using the Superpave Gyratory Compactor (SGC), conventionally tested for bulk and maximum theoretical specific gravities and physically tested using the thiaxial creep test system under a repeated load confined configuration to identify the transition state from sound to unsound. AC-20 was classified in the light of fine, dense and coarse gradation. The AC-20C, AC-20D and AC-20F asphalt mixtures were tested as the object of study. The results clearly demonstrate that the volumetric conditions of an VMA mixture at the stable unstable threshold are influenced by a composite measure of the aggregate size gradation .The currently defined VMA criterion, while significant, is seen to be insufficient by itself to correctly differentiate sound from unsound mixtures. Under current specifications, many otherwise sound mixtures are subject to rejection solely on the basis of failing to meet the VMA requirement. Based on the laboratory data and analysis, a new paradigm to volumetric mix design is proposed that explicitly accounts for aggregate gradation factors.
C. Ning and M. H. Wang, "A Measurement Approach for Critical Voids in Mineral Aggregate Based on AC-20", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 108-111, pp. 708-712, 2010