NCAT: 2015 Research Cycle Under Way

Pavement Preservation Journal, Fall 2015

By Dr. Buzz Powell, P.E.

The 2015 research cycle is now underway at the National Center for Asphalt Technology Pavement Test Track.

The new research cycle will again consist of track sections with a focus on structural pavement design, optimization of surface mixes / materials, and pavement preservation / recycling.

Data collection to carefully quantify the life extending and condition improving benefits of pavement preservation will continue on 100-ft. test sections installed on Lee Road 159 in the summer of 2012.

Although this is a dead end county road, trucks running in and out of the quarry and asphalt plant have applied hundreds of thousands of ESALs over the last three years, with the majority of sections still exhibiting excellent performance.

Additionally, new tenth-mile pavement preservation and recycling sections will be installed on a nearby high traffic section of U.S. 280.  Although the core objective of the U.S. 280 research is to duplicate the pavement preservation sections from Lee Road 159 in a higher traffic environment, cold recycle sections (using both foamed and emulsified asphalts in both central plant and in-place production) with high aged binder ratio thin overlays have been added in order to prove the life cycle cost effectiveness of sustainable
reclaimed and recycled materials.

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