Moisture susceptibility of high and low compaction dry process crumb rubber-modified asphalt mixtures

Mujib Rahman, Gordon Airey, Andrew Collop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The field performance of dry process crumb rubber–modified (CRM) asphalt mixtures has been reported to be inconsistent with stripping and premature cracking on the surfacing. One of the concerns is that, because achieving field compaction of CRM material is difficult due to the inherent resilient nature of the rubber particle, nonuniform field compaction may lead to a deficient bond between rubber and bitumen. To assess the influence of compaction, a series of CRM and control mixtures was produced and compacted at two levels: 4% (low, optimum laboratory compaction) and 8% (high, field experience) air void content. The long-term durability, in regard to moisture susceptibility of the mixtures, was assessed by conducting repeated moisture conditioning cycles. Mechanical properties (stiffness, fatigue, and resistance to permanent deformation) were determined in the Nottingham Asphalt Tester. Results indicated that compared with conventional mixtures, the CRM mixtures, regardless of compaction effort, are more susceptible to moisture with the degree of susceptibility primarily depending on the amount of rubber in the mixture, rather than the difference in compaction. This behavior is different from that of conventional mixtures in which, as expected, poorly compacted mixtures were found to be more susceptible to moisture than were well-compacted mixtures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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