Used to surface roads, parking lots, airports and much more, asphalt mixtures have been utilized in pavement construction since the beginning of the twentieth century. With such an important role in many projects, asphalt testing and inspection is a common practice. Recently, there’s been an even greater emphasis on quality asphalt testing due to new technologies, increased construction liability and revised building standards.
Asphalt testing and inspection act as a sort of quality insurance for the product. Raw data, calculations and allowable tolerances are all recorded to verify that all specifications are met and that the mix will be reliable once in position. It also allows for problems to be fixed before the asphalt is brought on site.
Testing encompasses all aspects of designing, building and maintaining asphalt structures. From industry standards to basic safety tests, it is necessary to examine asphalt in all of its forms. Measuring proportions, consistency, viscosity and other qualities helps to ensure the best field performance of an asphalt mixture.
While many asphalt tests are done both in laboratory and field settings, below are some of the most common:
Through asphalt analysis, the contents and elements of a specific asphalt mix are thoroughly tested. Proportions are measured to guarantee standards are met. This category involves many specialized evaluations that use products such as binder extractors, solvent extractors and asphalt solvent recycling.
Asphalt’s binder content influences many elements of HMA mixture performance such as strength, durability, stiffness, rutting, and moisture damage. Because of this, asphalt binder testing is vital for both safety and longevity. A variety of these tests are used depending on the asphalt’s needs.
Balanced mix design is a specific mix design that uses performance tests to address multiple of distress. It is used to relate laboratory mix design to actual field performance. This innovative process takes into account aging, traffic, climate and location when giving results.
Dynamic tests help to determine if an asphalt mixture is strong enough for the project. Strain and permanent deformation under pressure is observed and quantified to determine asphalt’s viscous properties.
Road Quality Testing
Many different tests are used to determine the road quality of asphalt. They test everything from asphalt’s properties and design to its performance on site. These tests are usually done in the field and ensure that the asphalt being used is made correctly and suitable for the job.
One of the most important road quality tests is the nuclear density gauge test. The results produced from these tests are utilized in order to produce evenly paved roads with a resilient surface. Without accurate asphalt density calculations, roads are not built to the proper specifications and are prone to premature rutting.
Read our blog for more information on using the hamburg wheel track test for balanced mix design.
Humboldt provides a variety of asphalt testing equipment to ensure accuracy and efficiency while testing the performance of asphalt mixes. All meet industry standards and are made of high-grade materials. Some specific tools include bending beam rheometers, penetrometers, compactors, load frames, and nuclear gauges.
If looking for the proper materials for your testing needs, contact a Humboldt representative for more information or specifications on our complete line of asphalt testing products and equipment.