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NRRA: Seismic Approach to Quality Management of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  09/02/2022


State is in need of assistance for the development of a multichannel, seismic geophysical data acquisition device and processing software for characterizing quality of newly paved Hot Mixed Asphalt (HMA) via surface wave velocity. Roughly 80% of State’s paving projects are constructed or rehabilitated using asphalt paving materials at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Current asphalt pavement designs rely primarily on performance based parameters (moduli) of pavement layers. However, current construction specifications for newly-constructed asphalt pavements rely primarily on index parameters (density, air void content, and layer thickness) which are commonly acquired as low frequency spot tests using destructive methods such as coring. Seismic methods have been used for several decades as a reliable, non-destructive means of characterizing mechanical behavior of pavement materials in both the field and lab. Advancements in processing capabilities and hardware make it probable to construct a device capable of accurately measuring high frequency surface wave energy in a rolling, air-coupled fashion such that seismic velocity and layer thickness can be reported for quality management purposes. The development of such a device has the potential to become an effective and efficient means of linking performance based design with construction quality management. The goal of this contract is to develop a seismic data acquisition system and associated software package capable of acquiring surface wave data in a non-destructive, non-contact, rolling and multichannel fashion for the purpose of swiftly and reliably determining and visualizing seismic velocity of newly-constructed asphalt pavement layers for quality management purposes. Processed surface and three-dimensional, lane-wide models of seismic velocity will be geo-referenced and mapped.

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