Characteristics of Asphalt Binders Foamed in the Laboratory to Produce Warm Mix Asphalt Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers. Foamed asphalt binders are increasingly being used to produce warm mix asphalt. This paper presents the findings from a study conducted to (1) identify a repeatable and accurate method to characterize the quality of asphalt binder foams, and (2) use this method to evaluate the influence of water content, binder type, and foaming device on the quality of foamed binders. Laser and ultrasonic distancemeasuring tools were used in combination with digital imaging of the foamed surface to quantify and better understand the expansion and decay of foamed asphalt binders over time. Measurements obtained from these methods were used to evaluate the extent and stability of foams produced using three different asphalt binders at three water contents and two laboratory foaming devices. Rheological properties and moisture content of selected binder residues were also measured. Results indicate that both the laser- and ultrasonic-based methods were promising in terms of their ability to provide a repeatable and detailed history of the change in volume of the foamed asphalt binder as the foam collapses. It was also shown that water content and binder type have a significant influence on the maximum expansion ratio and rate of collapse of foams. Higher water contents were associated with higher expansion ratios but also faster rates of collapse. The two foaming devices used in this study produced foams with similar properties. Rheological tests conducted on foamed binder residues revealed that the foaming process slightly increased the high temperature continuous performance grade (PG) of the binder.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Arega, Z. A., Bhasin, A., Li, W., Newcomb, D. E., & Arambula, E.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Arega, Zelalem A||Bhasin, Amit||Li, Wei||Newcomb, David E||Arambula, Edith

publication date

  • November 2014