NRRA: Analysis of Long-Term Field Performance of Spray-On Rejuvenators

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  11/04/2021


The properties of asphalt mixtures change as the asphalt binder ages. The aging of asphalt binders is caused by volatilization (i.e., evaporation of the light fractions of asphalt), thermal and ultraviolet oxidation, and other chemical processes. Factors affecting the rate of aging include the chemical composition and physico-chemical state of the asphalt binder, air permeability of the mix, depth in the pavement structure, asphalt binder content, aggregate mineralogy, mix production-related factors, and in-service temperature and time. Surface layers age at a much faster rate than lower layers in the pavement due to exposure to air, solar radiation, and higher temperatures. This results in embrittlement of the asphalt binder, making it more susceptible to cracking and more resistant to healing. To reverse these effects and extend the pavement service life, spray-on rejuvenators can be applied to asphalt pavement surfaces. They are designed to penetrate into the asphalt material near the surface and help it resist the detrimental age hardening and weathering effects by enriching the hardened asphalt binder. Spray-on rejuvenators are a cost-effective pavement preservation treatment when applied to asphalt pavement surfaces that are still in good condition. However, there is a lack of information about the long-term field performance benefits of spray-on rejuvenators for state agencies to develop specifications and/or approve products that are commercially available. Hence, the objective of this project is to evaluate over time the field performance of spray-on rejuvenator products that will be applied on a municipality’s roadway near the Minnesota Road Research Facility (MnROAD) testing facility in Monticello, Minnesota, including their short- and long-term effectiveness in renewing asphalt surfaces and their effects on surface friction and reflectivity of existing striping after their application.

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