Lab Corner: Living in acronymity – Summer 2014

By Mike Anderson, P.E.

I was at a meeting recently and one of the presenters was talking about some new tests that were proposed as standards – all referred to by their acronyms. That caused me to think about how much we use acronyms.

We do it all the time in the technical arena, but there are lots of examples in everyday use. LOL (laughing out loud). BRB (be right back). GTG (got to go). We sometimes can’t be happy with just the acronym and feel the need to be repetitive. PIN number (Personal Identification Number…number). ATM machine (Automated Teller Machine…machine). MSDS sheet (Materials Safety Data Sheet…sheet).

Every field has their own “language” of acronyms and asphalt is no different. To make sure everyone is speaking the same language, I’ve listed some acronyms that you may find in this magazine or simply in your daily work life.

My friends would think it a sad comment that I know what all of these are. My wife knows what three of them are. You can probably guess which three.

I’d say that you could cut this article out and post it on your bulletin board for reference, but technology has advanced well past that point and nobody does that anymore. I’m not even sure that you’re reading a hard copy of this article. But maybe the next time someone asks you if you ran the MSCR test on RTFO binder according to the AASHTO standard, you’ll be able to answer with something other than “IDK”.

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PG – Performance Grade
GTR – Ground Tire Rubber
SBS – Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene
RTFO – Rolling Thin Film Oven
PAV – Pressure Aging Vessel
DSR – Dynamic Shear Rheometer
BBR – Bending Beam Rheometer
BBN – Big Blue Nation (Go Cats!)
DTT – Direct Tension Test
MSCR – Multiple-Stress Creep-Recovery
LAS – Linear Amplitude Sweep
ABCD – Asphalt Binder Cracking Device
DENT – Double Edge Notched Tension
SENB – Single Edge Notched Beam
BYET – Binder Yield Energy Test
TTSP – Time Temperature Superposition
TTFN – Ta-ta For Now (Tigger in “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree”)
AMPT – Asphalt Mixture Performance Tester
DC(T) – Disk-shaped Compact Tension
SCB – Semi-Circular Bend
IDT – Indirect Tension
SST – Superpave Shear Tester
DCSE – Dissipated Creep Strain Energy
TSR – Tensile Strength Ratio
TSRST – Thermal Stress Restrained Specimen Test
VECD – Viscoelastic Continuum Damage
SMA – Stone Mastic (Matrix) Asphalt
HMA – Hot Mix Asphalt
WMA – Warm Mix Asphalt
CMA – Country Music Association
RAP – Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement
RAS – Reclaimed Asphalt Shingles
NMAS – Nominal Maximum Aggregate Size
AASHTO – American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

For more information on etymology, you’re on your own.