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4. Road Materials http://www.usq.edu.au/users/ayers/tengmod04.htm 4.1 Materials for Roadbuilding Wheeled vehicles require a firm, smooth surface for operation.

Usually natural soil is not strong enough to support repeated wheel loads without surface deformation. Therefore a pavement structure is used to carry applied wheel loads, and to distribute these loads to the underlying natural soil. The main materials used for road pavements are: bituminous materials unbound granular materials (gravels or loams) cemented materials, and cement concrete Road pavements are classified into two broad categories: Flexible pavements - which flex slightly under the action of traffic, and which distribute load to the underlying soil in the manner of classical soil mechanics theory, and Rigid pavements - which distribute load to the underlying soil by a slab action. 4.2 Pavement Materials Pavement materials for flexible pavements (the major type of pavement used in Australia) are: Granular materials , such as crushed rock, soil aggregate mixtures, and chemically modified natural materials (typically naturally occurring soils with a very small percentage of cement or lime added). Cemented materials, which are usually cement or lime stabilised materials having a sufficient proportion of stabiliser to create a semi-brittle material. Bituminous materials, which are usually mixtures of aggregate particles bonded with a bituminous binder. 4.3 Gravels The most commonly used materials for road pavement construction are naturally occurring soil aggregate mixtures known as gravels or loams. In Queensland a soil aggregate mixture having largest particles larger than 5mm is known as a gravel, while a mixture with largest particles less than 5mm is called a loam. These materials are obtained from pits or quarries created in ridges of harder materials or in former creek beds. The source materials may be decomposed igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, or fine grained sediments. Harder materials may have to be crushed to produce a suitable product and sometimes a soil binder needs to be added to a crushed rock to achieve the necessary cohesion

within the material. Processing of a soil aggregate mixture may involve crushing, the removal of excessive oversize material, the removel of excessive fine material, or the modification of the material with a stabilising agent (typically cement or lime). 4.4 Factors Influencing the Selection of Pavement Materials The material selected for a particular layer in a pavement will be influenced by the following factors: the type of pavement (different requirements for unsurfaced and surfaced roads), the position in the pavement (different materials are used for areas just under the surface and those areas lower down in the pavement structure), the climatic conditions (specification regarding material plasticity may be more demanding in wetter areas), traffic (generally better quality materials are required for more heavily trafficked roads), and availability. 4.5 Location and Investigation of Natural Gravel Deposits The location and investigation of natural gravel deposits involves the following steps: Search to identify potential deposits - involves one or more of: an examination of existing deposits, a study of available soil and geological maps of the area, an examination of available aerial photographs of the area, noting in particular changes in landform and vegetation, utilising existing local knowledge within road personnel, local farmers, etc. Visual examination of potential deposits. Preliminary sampling of potential deposits - involving the collecting of samples from a range of conditions across the deposit, and the performance of basic classification tests (grading, liquid limit, plastic limit, shrinkage limit, etc.) on each sample, with the aim of determining the extent of usable material within the deposit. More extensive sampling and testing, utilising strength tests such as the California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test. Collection of additional information needed to establish the economic viability of the deposit, such as amount of clearing and stripping required, length of haul, condition of access roads, land ownership, etc. 4.6 Testing of Granular Pavement Materials The properties of importance for a granular pavement material are: STABILITY - determined by strength testing (typically CBR test), or inferred from classification tests. RESISTANCE TO WEAR - indicated by classification and index tests. PERMEABILITY - inferred from classification and index tests

WORKABILITY - inferred from classification tests Testing of gravel samples therefore usually includes the following tests: Particle size distribution (sieving, and hydrometer analysis) Consistency limits (or Atterburg limits) - LL, PL, SL, and hence calculation of PI) Linear shrinkage Maximum dry density and optimum moisture content California Bearing Ratio (CBR) (Dry and/or soaked) Other tests may include: 10% Fines (indicates resistance to crushing, and may be determined for dry or soaked condition) Wet / dry strength variation (comparison of dry and wet 10% fines values) Washington degradation (to assess the extent of alteration or weathering) 4.7 Bituminous Surfacing Materials Bituminous surfacing takes two common forms: SPRAYED SURFACINGS- where bituminous binder in a fluid state is sprayed over the road surface, and aggregate particles are placed in the fluid material. PLANT MIX SURFACINGS - where a graded range of aggregate particles are mixed together with a bituminous binder in a mixing plant, and the resulting mixture is spread as a mat on the road surface (and normally compacted to achieve certain density requirements). Both surfacing types involve the use of: Aggregate particles to resist the wear of traffic, and Bituminous binder to act as an adhesive to hold the aggregate particles in place and to bond to the underlying pavement. 4.8 Road Surfacing Aggregates Road surfacing aggregates are typically derived from: Unconsolidated sediments (eg river gravels) Crushed quarried rock (typically igneous rocks such as granite and basalt) Crushed artificial rock (eg blast furnace slag) An aggregate is characterised by its particle size distribution. 4.9 Desirable Properties of an Aggregate Road surfacing aggregates need to be: Mechanically strong Resistant to wear Well shaped physically (the most desirable shape is a cubical shape), and Possessing good surface texture, and having a good resistance to polishing. 4.10 Testing of Aggregates The following tests are used for determining the properties of road surfacing

aggregates: STRENGTH AND WEAR RESISTANCE Los Angeles Abrasion test Aggregate Crushing Value RESISTANCE TO DECOMPOSITION Soundness (Sodium sulphate solution test) Wet / Dry Strength Variation TESTS FOR PARTICLE SHAPE AND SURFACE TEXTURE Flakiness Index Angularity Number RESISTANCE TO POLISHING Polished Aggregate Friction Values (PAFV) 4.11 Bituminous Materials The bituminous binder predominantly used in road surfacing work is of petroleum origin and in Australia is known simply as bitumen. It is composed mainly of hydrocarbons and their derivatives. Natural bitumen is probably the oldest petroleum product to be used by man. The ancient Egyptians used it for embalming mummies and in jewellery. Through the ages it has been used in Middle Eastern countries for water-proofing and constructional jobs. The bitumen was obtained from natural seepages out of the ground in various parts of the Middle East. Although naturally occurring bitumens are still available they account for only a very small percentage of the bitumen used today. 4.12 Production of Bitumen Bitumens are produced from suitable crude petroleum oils, essentially by a process of distillation. Australian crude oils are unsuitable for bitumen production as they are too light and too waxy in nature. Therefore bitumen production in Australia is almost exclusively from Middle East crudes. 4.13 Testing of Bitumen The characteristics of bitumen which make it a good material for use in road surfacing are: good adhesiveness good water resistance flexibility durability

The classification of bitumen is based on its viscosity at 60 degrees C. For example Class 170 bitumen has a viscosity in the range 140 to 200 Pa.s. (170 being the mid-point of the range) at 60 degrees C. The classes of bitumen generally used for road making purposes in Australia are 170 and 320. The range of tests used for determining the characteristics of bitumen is as follows: Viscosity at 60 degrees C (Pascal seconds) Viscosity at 135 degrees C. Penetration at 15 degrees C (mm) Density at 15 degrees (kg/l) Flashpoint (degrees C) Purity (matter soluble in toluene) Durability 4.14 Flux and Cutter Flux and cutter are both petroleum which are added to bitumen to change the viscosity. In fluxing the aim is to achieve a relatively long term change to the viscosity. A typical flux in use is diesel fuel oil. Fluxing the bitumen means that the binder remains soft for a period of weeks or months. Fluxed bitumen is used to manufacture pothole patching mixes which have to be stored for a period of time before use. Flux may also be added to the bitumen when sealing in colder climates during the cooler period of the year. In this case flux helps to keep the bitumen fluid during very cold spells, and helps prevent loss of aggregate from new seals due to bitumen brittleness at low temperatures. Cutting is the addition of a fairly volatile oil which produces a temporary reduction in the viscosity of the binder. Cutter is intended to be mainly lost by evaporation within a period of minutes or hours. The use of cutter in sealing work is mainly to give enough time to incorporate the aggregate particles firmly in the sprayed bitumen before it becomes too hard, and subsequently to allow the development of a good bitumen-aggregate bond. The cutter commonly used is power kerosene. Fluxing and cutting may both be carried out at the job site before sealing work is performed. However cuback bitumen can also be purchased in bulk from bitumen refineries.

Fluxes and cutters have fairly low flashpoints (eg power kerosene 38 degrees C) and therefore strict safety procedures must be adopted when using these materials. 4.15 Cutback Bitumen Cutback bitumen is classified into three categories: Slow Curing (using fuel oil cutter) Medium Curing (using kerosene cutter), and Rapid Curing (using white spirit cutter). Curing refers to the time required for the altered bitumen to return to its original properties. Medium curing cutbacks are generally used for roadmaking purposes. Typical uses are: Grade of Cutback Bitumen Percent of Kerosene in Cutter Use AMC00, AMC0, AMC1 56, 44, 34Precoating, Priming AMC2, AMC3, AMC4 27, 21, 16Primersealing, Light sealing, Cold Mix AMC5, AMC6, AMC7 11, 7, 3 Sealing

4.16 Bitumen Emulsions Bitumen emulsion is a mixture of bitumen and water, with the bitumen suspended in water as very fine droplets. In order to achieve this condition an emulsifying agent is used in the mixture. The stability of an emulsion (ie its ability to retain the bitumen in droplet form) is controlled by the amount and type of emulsifying agent used. Emulsions are very fluid and have the advantage that they allow the bitumen to be applied to the road surface without the heating of the bitumen. However because of the very fluid nature of the material it can only be applied in a relatively thin layer (thicker applications attempt to run off the road surface). They are used for tack coats before the spreading of plant mix, for maintenance patching, and to a limited extent for spray sealing work. When emulsion is applied to a surface the emulsion "breaks", with the bitumen droplets coalescing and the water evaporating off to leave behind a thin bitumen layer. Two types of emulsion are in common use and are described by the type of emulsifying agent used in their manufacture. The two type are 'anionic' and 'cationic'. 4.17 Adhesion Agents An adhesion agent may be used in bituminous surfacing work to assist with the adhesion between bitumen and aggregate particles. They may be applied to the aggregate or by incorporating in the bitumen. The performance of particular

adhesion agents varies with different types of aggregateand it is necessary for them to be tested for effectiveness with the particular aggregate to be used. They are generally used in the proportion of about 0.5 to 1% of the volume of the bitumen. 4.18 Precoating Materials Precoating agents are used to improve the bond between the bitumen binder and the aggregate particles. The precoating material is applied to the aggregate particles before the sealing work takes place. Materials used for precoating include bitumen based materials (such as AMC00 grade cutback bitumen) and oil based materials. The application rate for precoating material varies according to the nature, size and surface area of the aggregate, but is normally about 4 to 12 litres per cubic metre of aggregate. 4.19 Polymer Modified Binders Polymer modified binders (PMBs) have been in use in Australia since the 1970s. Early materials used natural or synthetic rubber at about 4 to 6 % by mass of binder. PMBs can now be manufactured to produce specific binder properties. The binder properties desired often include rutting resistance, fatigue resistance, and crack control for asphalt binders; an