Fall 2006 Lab Corner – testing and training

The Asphalt Institute’s lab is available to perform research, testing and training.

The motto of the Asphalt Institute technical staff for many years was simply “Engineering, Education, Research,” which captured our main focus in the technical arena. For the lab, training has always included large (20-25 students) hands-on courses, mainly focused on asphalt mix design procedures. While the lab still participates in the larger Asphalt Academy courses on asphalt binder technology and asphalt mixture design, we are increasingly focusing on smaller (5-6 people) hands-on training that can be conducted in Lexington, Kentucky, or on-site at the customer’s facility. We find that the smaller courses allow for more flexibility on timing and training topics, while also increasing individual attention. If you are interested in training, and either can’t attend one of the regularly scheduled courses or need a more customized program, please let us know. We’ll be glad to work with you to meet your training needs!

Although many folks know that the Laboratory of the Asphalt Institute conducts a successful Performance-Graded asphalt binder testing program, it may not be common knowledge that the lab also conducts basic asphalt mixture testing. One growing area is in the extraction, recovery, and characterization of asphalt binder from a sample of loose mix, pavement core, or reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). As the focus on recycling continues, the use of RAP is expected to grow and the percentage of RAP used in mixtures is expected to increase as well.

The Asphalt Institute’s work with Purdue University on a national study of RAP in Superpave has kept us at the forefront of the technology. This research led to refinements in the recovery of asphalt binder and the refinement of blending charts and procedures. With just a few tests, we can characterize the physical properties of the asphalt binder in a sample of RAP and provide guidance on the virgin asphalt binder grade and maximum percentage of RAP that can be used (considering state specifications, of course).

For more information on testing programs at the Asphalt Institute, please contact Gary Irvine. For more information on laboratory training programs at the Asphalt Institute, please contact Mike Beavin.