Kassem, Emad Abdel-Rahman (2005-08). Measurements of moisture suction in hot mix asphalt mixes. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • The presence of moisture in hot mix asphalt (HMA) causes loss of strength and durability of the mix, which is referred to as moisture damage. This study deals with the development of experimental methods for measuring total suction in HMA, which can be defined as the free energy state of water in HMA mixes. The total suction is related to the ability of moisture to get into the mix under unsaturated conditions; it is also related to the ability of the mix to retain moisture. Soil suction has been studied extensively. However, suction in HMA as a porous material and its relationship to moisture damage have not been studied. The development of a procedure to measure the total suction in HMA mixes is the first objective of this research. The second objective is to relate suction measurements to physical and chemical properties of the mixtures. The objectives were achieved in two phases. In the first phase, the total suction was measured in HMA specimens with different types of aggregates (limestone and granite), and with different air void distributions and aggregate gradations. The results of this phase showed that the drying test using a 60 oC temperature-controlled room is the proper setup for measuring the total suction in HMA using thermocouple psychrometers. The characteristics of suction-moisture content curves were found to be related to the air void distribution in HMA. In the second phase, total suction was measured in sand asphalt specimens. These specimens had different combinations of aggregates and binders with different bond energies and exhibited different field performance in terms of resistance to moisture damage. The suction measurements in sand asphalt specimens were used to calculate the moisture diffusion coefficient. The results revealed that water diffused into sand asphalt specimens that are known to have poor resistance to moisture damage faster than those that are known to have good resistance to moisture damage

publication date

  • August 2005