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Romanian Journal of Transport Infrastructure

The Journal of Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest

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Performance-Based Asphalt Mix and Pavement Design

Ronald Blab
  • Chair of Road and Airfield Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-02-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rjti-2015-0009


Prediction and optimization of in-service performance of road pavements during their live time is one of the main objectives of pavement research these days. For flexible pavements the key performance characteristics are fatigue and low-temperature, as well as permanent deformation behavior at elevated temperatures. The problem facing pavement designers is the need to fully characterize the complex thermo-rheological properties of hot mix asphalt (HMA) over a wide temperature range on the one hand, while on the other also providing a realistic simulation of the traffic- and climate-induced stresses to which pavements are exposed over their design lives of 20 to 30 years. Where heavily trafficked roads are concerned, there is therefore an urgent need for more comprehensive test methods combined with better numerical forecast procedures to improve the economics and extend the service lives of flexible pavements under repair and maintenance programs.

This papers therefore focus on performance-based test methods on the basis of existing European standards that address effective mechanical characteristics of bituminous materials and which may be introduced into national requirements within the framework of European HMA specifications. These test methods comprise low temperature tests, i.e. the tensile stress restrained specimen test or the uniaxial tensile strength test, stiffness and fatigue tests, i.e. the four point bending beam test or the uniaxial tension compression test, as well as methods to determine permanent deformation behavior by means of dynamic triaxial tests.

These tests are used for the performance-based mix design and subsequently implemented in numerical pavement models for a reliable prediction of in-service performance, which, in combination with performance-based tests, enables a simulation of load-induced stresses and mechanogenic effects on the road structure and thus improved forecasts of the in-service performance of flexible pavements over their entire service lives.

Keywords: hot mix asphalt; performance test; mix design; mechanical pavement design


  • [1]. Blab R. and Eberhardsteiner J. (Editors):” Methoden der Strukturoptimierung flexibler Straßenbefestigungen (Performance-Based Optimization of Flexible Road Structures)”, Progress Report of the CD Laboratory at the Institute of Road Construction, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, 2009. In German.Google Scholar

  • [2]. Di Benedetto H., Partl, M. N., Francken, L., and De La Roche, C.: „Stiffness Testing for Bituminous Mixtures”. Journal of Materials and Structures, Vol. 34, 2001.Google Scholar

  • [3]. Hofko B., Blab R. and Mader M.: “Impact of Air Void Content on the Viscoelastic Behavior of Hot Mix Asphalt”, Proceedings of the 2nd Intern. Workshop on 4PBBT, University of California, CA, 2012.Google Scholar

  • [4]. Spiegl M., Wistuba M., Lackner R. and Blab R.: “Risk assessment of lowtemperature cracking of asphalt - an experimental study”. 11th International Conference on Fracture Mechanics, Turin (Italy), 2005.Google Scholar

  • [5]. Findley W. N., Kasif O. and Lai J.: “Creep and Relaxation of Nonlinear Viscoelastic Materials”, Dover Publications Inc., 1989.Google Scholar

  • [6]. Francken, L. and Clauwaert C.: “Charcterization and structural assessment of bound materials for flexible road structures.” Proceedings of the 6th international conference on structural design of asphalt pavements, Vol. 1, Ann Arbor, 1987.Google Scholar

  • [7]. Blab, R. and Harvey J.T.: “Viscoelastic Rutting Model with Improved Loading Assumptions”. Proceedings. 9th International Conference on Asphalt Pavements, Ed. International Society for Asphalt Pavements (ISAP), Copenhagen, 2002.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-02-06

Published in Print: 2013-07-01

Citation Information: Romanian Journal of Transport Infrastructure, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 21–38, ISSN (Online) 2286-2218, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rjti-2015-0009.

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© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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