Asphalt binder, is a thermoplastic liquid, which behaves as an elastic solid at low service temperatures or during rapid loading. At high temperature or slow loading, it behaves as a viscous liquid. This classical dichotomy creates a need to improve the performance of an asphalt binder to minimize the stress cracking that occurs at low temperatures (fatigue) and the plastic deformation at high temperatures (rutting). Use of polymer-modified asphalt binder is one of the solutions to meet the required performance standards for the pavements of today. It appears to be a logical, practical, and economical approach.
In this research an investigation was made to evaluate the influence of asphalt cement modifier on the mechanical properties of asphalt concrete mixtures. The conventional asphalt cement of penetration grade 40-50 was used within this work, modified with styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) at five different modification levels namely 0%, 1%, 3%, 5% and 7% by weight of asphalt cement. Asphalt concrete mixes were prepared at selected optimum asphalt content (4.7%) and then tested to evaluate their mechanical properties which include resilient modulus, permanent deformation and fatigue characteristics in addition to Marshall Properties. The mechanical properties have been evaluated using uniaxial repeated loading and repeated flexural beam tests.
From the experimental results, it can be concluded that the mixes modified with SBR polymer have shown an improved fatigue and permanent deformation characteristics as well as superior elastic properties as a characterized via resilient modulus.
The use of 3 percent SBR has added to local knowledge the ability to produce more durable asphalt concrete mixtures with better serviceability.