An investigation into some aspects for foamed bitumen technology
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Despite applications of foamed bitumen technology in pavement construction in various places around the world, there are still several aspects about this technology that are not clear. In addition, knowledge on foamed bitumen technology is mainly empirical and lacks scientific basis. This study addresses some of the aspects for foamed bitumen technology such as: Investigation of any effects in binder composition during the production process for foamed bitumen; assessment of the effect of bitumen source on foamed bitumen characteristics; development of a rational method to optimise foamed bitumen characteristics and conditions; evaluation of aggregate particle coating within foamed bitumen mixes; further improvements in the mix design procedure specifically the method of compaction and optimum bitumen content determination stages are suggested. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy techniques were used to investigate any changes in bitumen composition after the production process of foamed bitumen. Fourier transform infrared tests were done on foamed bitumen and neat bitumen specimens for two bitumens with similar penetration grades. Foamed bitumen characteristics of three bitumens were established by producing foamed bitumen at temperatures of 150ºC up to 180ºC and foamant water contents of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5%. From the analysis of variation of foamed bitumen characteristics (maximum expansion ratio and half-life) at different temperatures a new method based on the equi-viscous bitumen temperature to optimize foamed bitumen conditions and characteristics was proposed. Rice density and surface energy concepts were used to evaluate aggregate particle coating with foamed bitumen. A granite aggregate divided into three different size fractions and three sets of foamed bitumen produced from three bitumen penetration grades were used. A gyratory laboratory compaction procedure for laterite gravels treated with foamed bitumen was established using the modified locking concept. Three laterite gravels with different chemical composition were mixed with foamed bitumen produced from one penetration bitumen grade. The resulting mixes were compacted up to 200 gyrations and the corresponding compaction curve defined in terms of height versus number of gyrations noted. In addition, the optimum moisture content requirements at the modified locking point were determined. 3D packing theory concepts, primary aggregate structure porosity and an indirect tensile strength criteria were employed to determine optimum bitumen content for foamed bitumen mixes. Fourier infrared techniques revealed that foaming did not cause any changes in the bitumen chemistry, implying that the foamed bitumen production process may possibly be a physical process. Characterisation of foamed bitumen produced from three bitumen penetration grades showed that foamed bitumen characteristics (maximum expansion ratio and half-life) were mainly influenced by binder viscosity rather than the source. The equi-viscous temperature seemed to provide a suitable criterion at which foamed bitumen with optimum characteristics could be produced. Rice density results showed that aggregate size fraction, binder expansion ratio and viscosity influenced aggregate particle coating. For the coarser aggregate fraction, results revealed that binder coating seemed to be mainly influenced by temperature. Whilst for fine aggregate fraction the coating was mainly influenced by surface area. Surface energy results revealed that foamed bitumen exhibited better coating attributes than neat bitumen. A new laboratory compaction procedure for laterite gravels treated with foamed bitumen based on the modified locking point was developed. The modified locking point represents the state at which maximum aggregate particle interlock occurs when mixes are compacted in the field. It is based on the iii analysis of the rate of change for the gyratory compaction curve. The compaction curve in this case is defined in terms of compaction height versus number of gyrations. Gradation analysis beyond the modified locking point showed that aggregate particle breakdown occurred. Analysis of the optimum moisture at the modified locking point revealed that the moisture conditions were less than the aggregate optimum moisture conditions. It is recommended that this point be used to determine the optimal compaction characteristics of foamed bitumen mixes. Aggregate structure porosity and an indirect tensile strength criteria can be used to determine the bitumen content that could be used in design of foamed bitumen mixes. This would reduce the amount of resources required since the bitumen content could be estimated prior to carrying out the actual laboratory work given that the aggregate grading is known. The aggregate structure can be divided (based on 3D packing theory) into oversize, primary, and secondary structures. The primary structure is mostly responsible for carrying loads whilst the secondary structure fills the voids within the primary structure and provides support to the primary structure. The aggregate size particles constituting the primary structure are deduced as a function of standard sieve sizes using the packing theory concepts. The minimum sieve size for the primary structure is proposed as 1 mm. The oversize structure consists of aggregate particles whose size is greater than the maximum size for the primary structure. The secondary structure consists of aggregate particles whose size is below the minimum size for the primary structure. The primary aggregate structure porosity can be used to establish the starting bitumen content; the bitumen content at which this porosity is 50% is chosen as the initial bitumen content. Indirect tensile strength values corresponding to 50% primary porosity are determined as well as the bitumen contents and compared against the recommended minimum values.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 51 p.
TRITA-BYMA, ISSN 0349-5752 ; 2016:2
Foamed bitumen, Binder ageing, Aggregate coating, Compaction, Mix design, Aggregate porosity
Other Civil Engineering
Research subject Civil and Architectural Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193916ISBN: 978-91-7729-097-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-193916DiVA: diva2:1034511
2016-10-28, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, 10:00
Huang, Baoshan, Professor
Birgisson, Björn, ProfessorGuarin, Alvaro, Dr.Bagampadde, Umaru, Associate Professor
QC 201610122016-10-122016-10-122016-10-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers