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Test Methods to Quantify Cracking Resistance of Asphalt Binders and Mixtures

  • Low-temperature cracking can trigger fissures that span entire lanes of pavement, as shown here on a highway near Beaumont, Minnesota.
  • Researchers compared low temperature cracking tension tests.

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  02/05/2021


A new method for evaluating the low-temperature cracking potential of asphalt mixtures, the Indirect Tensile Asphalt Cracking Test (IDEAL-CT), works at least as well as MnDOT’s current testing approach, but can be run more quickly and inexpensively. The test can be used to both evaluate quality control (QC) of asphalt mixture batches as they are readied for laying in the field and for quality assurance (QA) after installation. An evaluation of asphalt binders and mixtures from 2018 and 2019 construction sites verified the reliability of the new method, which takes hours, instead of days to perform. Unlike the current test, that’s fast enough to check asphalt mixture batches being hauled to a construction site. If MnDOT shifts from current, volumetric or recipe-based asphalt design and QA/QC approaches to performance-based balanced mix design, it may also adopt the IDEAL-CT method.

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