A Performance-Based Analysis of Balanced Mix Designs

Elias Castillo, University of Texas at El Paso


The Superpave design procedure was established to provide a more representative design methodology and to minimize typical pavement distresses such as fatigue cracking and permanent deformation. This Superpave design methodology was developed on the premise that the voids in mineral aggregate can evaluate the quality and constructability of asphalt mixture during the design and production phases. With the increased use of recycled materials, recycling agents, modified binders and warm mix asphalt additives, several highway agencies including the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), have investigated whether the Superpave volumetric-based design method is enough to ensure appropriate performance of the final product. This thesis study presents an investigation of several performance tests that can be used for performance-based laboratory characterization of asphalt mixtures. Performance tests are needed at different stages including the design and field production phases. Three cracking performance tests (Overlay Test, Semi-Circular Bending I-FIT Test, and Indirect Tension Test), and two permanent deformation performance tests (Hamburg Wheel Tracking Test and Flow Number) were evaluated to select the most reliable and practical alternatives. Different performance indices were assessed to select the indices that better characterize the behavior of a mixture. Several asphalt mixtures were tested to investigate the influence of fundamental mix design variables such as the aggregate gradation, performance grade of binder, and influence of recycled material content. It was concluded after investigating several performance test methods, that independently of the different design parameters, a proper mixture behavior characterization can be achieved at different stages such as the design process and field production. This assessment can be accomplished throughout a performance-based analysis methodology which includes parameters from the OT, HWT and IDEAL CT test methods.

Subject Area

Civil engineering|Transportation

Recommended Citation

Castillo, Elias, "A Performance-Based Analysis of Balanced Mix Designs" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28088715.