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Wearing Surface Technology


Specifications and testing

The penetration test on bitumen : it is a arbitrary measure of hardness it consists of
measure of degree of penetration in tenths of a millimeter of a standard needle and weight
weighing 100g into a sample of bitumen maintained at 25C 180/200 means must penetrate
within the range of 180 to 200 tenths of a millimeter. Test method ASTM D5

Penetration test

Test for viscosity at 60C : normally done with a U tube viscometer a head of bitumen is
formed on one side of the tube conditioned in a constant temperature bath and time taken it
to flow under the force of gravity between two calibrated marks is proportional to its
viscosity. Usually tests are done at 60C , Test method is ASTM D2171

Viscosity testing apparatus

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Wearing Surface Technology


Flash point test: this test is to ensure that during normal temperature range the danger of
catching fire is reduced, test is done by a sample of bitumen is heated at a specified rate in
an open steel container a small flame is passed over the cup and temperature at which a
flah of flame envelopes the surface is defined as the flash point.Test method ASTM D92

Flash point apparatus

Rolling thin film test (RTFO test) is designed to simulate the hardening that occurs
during the hot mixing process. Test method ASTM D2872



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Wearing Surface Technology

Solubility of bitumen in trichloroethylene is a test to determine the presence of
contamination such as mineral matter or carbon, Test method ASTM D2042


Kinematic Viscosity mm2/s at 135C

The kinematic viscosity characterizes flow behavior. The method is used to determine the
consistency of bitumen as one element in establishing the uniformity of shipments or
sources of supply. Test method ASTM D2170


Ductility test on Bitumen

This test method provides one measure of tensile properties of bituminous materials and
may be used to measure ductility for specification requirements. at 25C, test method ASTM

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Wearing Surface Technology



Tests done on aggregate

Crushing Resistance: this test shows the chances of breakdown of aggregates. the test
consists of loading a sample of aggregate in the range of 13.2 to 9.5 mm in nominal
250mm diameter cylinder in which it is broken down to the extent that 10 % of the
resultant material passes through a 2.36mm sieve , test method NZS 4407 test 3.10


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Wearing Surface Technology

Weathering Resistance: this test is to measure the resistance to breakdown of aggregate
when exposed to wetting, drying heating and cooling. The test consist of sealing chip
getting subjected to heat, cold wetting , drying and rolling the degree of breakdown is
assessed by change in percentage of material passing a 4.75 mm sieve , test method NZS
4407 test 3.11
Weak particle test: the Australian weak particle test (AS 1141.32-1995) has been
introduced in M/6 2002 to measure the percentage of unsound particles. The aggregate
shall have a maximum of 1% of unsound materials.
Polished Stone Value: this is measured to show the resistance of the material against
polishing; the chips lose their rough microtexture by repetitive action of the traffic, NZTA

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M/6 specifies the procedure for determining of polished stone value BS EN 1097 Part B


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Wearing Surface Technology


Sand equivalent & clay index: These values represent the amount of fineness and
character of clay like material coating on coarse aggregate. T est method NZS4407 test
3.6, 3.5



Size and Shape: larger sizes are tested for size and shape by physically measuring a
sample approximately 100 stones for average least dimension (ALD) and average
greater dimension (AGD). With smaller stones the size is controlled by sieve analysis
test test method NZS 4407 test 3.13

Average least dimension (ALD): it is obtained by using a dial gauge, approximately 100
chips are recorded and average calculated


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Average greatest dimension: is obtained by placing the chips in a graduated trough aligned
in their greatest dimension and by dividing the total length of the trough by the number of
chips the AGD is obtained

Single and double broken faces: this test is done to find the amount of broken faces of
the aggregates which is done manually by inspecting each aggregate with human eye, test
method NZS 4407 test 31.4
Los angles abrasion test: is a common test method used to indicate aggregate
toughness and abrasion characteristics. Aggregate abrasion characteristics are important
because the constituent aggregate in HMA must resist crushing, degradation and
disintegration in order to produce a high quality HMA. test method NZS 4407 test 3.12
It is done by putting aggregates and specified of steel balls in a
drum and rotating it for specified time and speed , the percentage of material broken down
to less than passing 1.7mm sieve is termed as loss and given as LA abrasion test value




Wet/Dry Strength Variation: the wet and dry are determined by using AS 2758 Part 5
Values are reported and used in contract

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Wearing Surface Technology


Wet/Dry strength test equipment and compression machine

Water Absorption: the test is done in accordance with AS 1141 or ASTM C127 the
resulting value is reported and used in the contract documents
The water absorption is of particular concern for the asphalt and must
be kept constant, an increase in water absorption will likely lead to the increase need for the
binder in asphalt mix a thus increasing the cost of asphalt mix. The water absorption affects
the value of effective bitumen in the asphalt mix.

Aggregate Grading:
Grading is an important factor when considering asphalt it shows how well the material
could be compacted to a layer and what are the maximum and minimum particle sizes and
its percentage composition. Grading has a profound affect on material performance and
various grading include open , dense, gap graded asphaltic mix grading test is usually done
by passing a known weight of aggregates through sieves of getting progressively smaller ,
and mass of aggregates retained is weighed.

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Skid resistance: skid resistance is the resistance to skidding the value is of particular
importance while when wet conditions are prevailing , prime cause of reduction in skid
resistance is the decrease of the microtexture, when microtexture becomes very less and
the location of the pavement is at a accident prone area and if the project is economical
then it is likely to be resurfaced. This is done on existing pavement surface
The most commonly used techniques are British
pendulum it gives only reading for a specific small area but still widely used it is used to
measure the skid resistance and give value of a small region in question

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SCRIM, Sideways Force Coefficient Routine Investigation Machine

The scrim runs at about 50 kmph and wets the surface ti has water tank in build in it
measures the skid resistance with the help of a wheel which is orient at angle of 20 to the
vehicle the force that pushes the wheel into the straight direction is directly proportional to
the skid resistance an that value is measured. This is done on existing pavement surface

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Wearing Surface Technology


Grip tester
The braking effect of the third wheel on the axle is measured which is connected by a pair of
gears is measured and is directly proportional to the skid resistance. This is done on existing
pavement surface

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Wearing Surface Technology


Road, Pavement Friction Tester (PFT)

Same as that of the grip tester instead here a wheel is locked and the friction between the
wheel and the pavement is measured. This is done on existing pavement surface

Macro texture testing (sand circle method)

This is primarily done with sand circle test: in a sand circle test is done to get the macro
texture parameter of the pavement, in which sand of specified well rounded grains are
spread across the pavement and using a straight edge it is spread the larger the diameter
the lesser the texture depth and vice versa the procedure is given in TNZ T/3 standard. This
is done on existing pavement surface

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Falling weight deflectometer

A falling weight deflectometer (FWD) is a testing device used to evaluate the
physical properties of pavement. FWD data is primarily used to estimate pavement
structural capacity for 1) overlay design and 2) to determine if a pavement is being
overloaded. The machine is usually contained within a trailer that can be either
towed to a location by another vehicle or, when used on railway tracks, placed on a
hand trolley and pushed to the location; it is used to find the properties of existing

Roughness Requirements

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It is recommended that no 100 m moving average of lane roughness over the
extent of works shall exceed a maximum of 70 NAASRA counts/km, with the target
value being 60 NAASRA counts/km.

Scala penetrometer
Uses blows to measure the CBR of the pavement or representative subgrade it
measures the penetration and number of blows to calculate the representative CBR
of the existing pavement.

Benkelman Beam
Used for the determination of the rebound deflection of a pavement under a standard wheel
load and tyre pressure, with or without temperature measurements used on existing
pavement to find out the CBR through back calculations .

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Nuclear densometer
These tests are used to find the compaction of the asphalt laid after compaction, Locations
for testing shall be selected using ASTM D5361

Coring and testing density and dimensions of asphalt

Core air voids are calculated from the core Bulk Specific Gravity (relative density) and the
Maximum Theoretical Specific Gravity (relative density) using ASTM D3203

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Temperature measurement
Temperature is measured constantly during the paving of asphalt as the workability depends
on it is done using a temperature gauge

Tests done on for getting modulus of asphalt

Indirect tensile test :indirect tensile strength is determined by measuring the vertical
diametric load at failure as well as horizontal change in diameter and this is converted to
indirect tensile strength from which modulus is calculated from indirect strength vs.
diametrical strain relationship

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Flexural beam test: this test is used to find the fatigue characteristics and the flexural
stiffness of the material (modulus) using appropriate formulas

Development of specifications and test methods for pavements in New Zealand

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The New Zealand has moved on to a performance based specifications this make the
contractors more competitive and more innovate in their field, now the contractors can find
alternative materials to suit the requirements of the pavement provided they met certain
performance criteria being durability and rut resistance and accepted a 12 month
warranty/maintenance period for the final constructed pavement.
For example specifications like TNZ B/3
Performance Based Specification for Structural Design and Construction of Flexible Unbound
Pavements& TNZ M/22 Guidelines for the Evaluation of Unbound Road Base and Sub-base
Aggregates lays emphasis to test the new material whether it conforms with the
requirement or not for e.g. the RLT (Repeat Load Triaxial Test) a new standard NZTA T15
(Repeated Load Triaxial (RLT) Testing for Pavement Materials)
The aim is to enable those aggregates that do not meet NZTA M/4 requirements
to be used in place of premium aggregates (NZTA M/4) on low volume roads,
To reduce the risk of early pavement failure by only using those aggregates on high
trafficked road, Allow the use of modified/chemically-stabilised aggregates as a means of
utilising good quality aggregates that are moisture sensitive when unmodified in high
trafficked areas.
There is increased emphasis on the skid resistance policy in New Zealand NZTA T10
(specification for state highway skid resistance management) and PSV measurement is
We can see that a number of new tests are introduced have been introduced
in order to explore alternative means of assessing aggregate quality for e.g. TNZ P/23
performance based specification of hot mix asphalt wearing course surfacing


NZTA. (2011). Bitumen testing. Retrieved from


NZTA. (2011). Roading Bitumens. Retrieved from


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Wearing Surface Technology

NZTA (2011). Performance test for roading aggregate and alternative material.
Retrieved from

CCCA Australia. (2009). coarse asphalt requirement. Retrieved from


Pavement interactive. (2015). broken faces of aggregates. Retrieved from


Highway maintenance.com. (2000). skid resistance. Retrieved from


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