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Universit de Tunis El Manar

Civil Engineering department

End of First Year Project

Warm Mix Asphalt

Elaborated by:

Manel Ben Wezdou

Pascal Auguste Andriatsiresy M.Z.

Supervised by:


Academic year: 2014 - 2015


First of all, we would like to thank God for the health and time that he gave us.
Also, during our project many people gave us a valuable and constant support. They are too
numerous to be mentioned here.

We would like especially to give our earnest thanks to our project supervisor Mr. Amara
LOUlLZI, for his much needed, much appreciated and precious guidance and assistance
throughout this project.

Finally, we also wish to express our gratitude and gratefulness to all our families members
for their encouragement, moral support, trust and love they are constantly providing us

Table of contents
Introduction 1

I. Hot mix asphalt ( HMA) 2

1. Definition 2
2. Components 3
3. Manufacturing process 3

II. Warm mix asphalt(WMA) 5

1. Definition 5
2. Techniques to produce WMA 7

III. Differences between HMA and WMA 8

IV. Performance of WMA around the world 10

1. In the united States 10
a) Warm mix asphalt in Virginia 10
b) In Connecticut 10
2. In Europe 11
a) Norway 11
b) Germany 12
c) France 12

V. Advantages of the use of WMA 12

1. Manufacturing benefits 12
2. Paving operations and environmental benefits 13

VI. WMA in Tunisia 15

Conclusion 16

List of figures

Fig 1: temperature during the loading 2

Fig 2: Paving operation using trucks as surge bins 4

Fig 3: Paving operations using MTV (material transfer vehicle) as surge bin 4

Fig 4: Close couple paving operation 4

Fig 5: temperature during the loading 5

Fig 6: Classification by temperature range 6

Fig 7 : U.S. scan team inspecting a WAM-Foam pavement in Norway 11

Fig 8: Classification by temperature range (Temperatures, and fuel usage are

approximations) 13

Fig 9: Thermal camera image depicting WMA temperatures behind the

Screed 14

List of tables

Table 1: Reported temperature of HMA 2

Table 2: Reported temperature of WMA 6

Table 3: Reported reduction in plant emission (in percent) with WMA 14


The modern use of asphalt for road and street construction began in the late 1800s
and grew rapidly with the rising automobile industry. Since then, asphalt technology has
made giant strides so that today the equipment and techniques used to build asphalt
pavement structures are highly developed. Recently, the hottest topic in asphalt
pavements is Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA).
For more convenience, the definition of Hot Mix Asphalt is presented in the first
chapter to better understand its difference from Warm Mix Asphalt ... Finally, through
the last chapter we look into Tunisia knowledge about Warm Mix Asphalt technology
and their future plans considering it.

1. Definition of Hot Mix Asphalt:
It has been defined that Asphalt pavement refers to any paved road surfaced
with asphalt. Hot Mix Asphalt is a combination of approximately 95% stone, sand, or
gravel bound together by asphalt cement, a product of crude oil. Asphalt cement is
heated, combined, and mixed with the aggregate at an HMA facility. The resulting Hot
Mix Asphalt (HMA) is loaded into trucks for transport to the paving site. The trucks dump
the Hot Mix Asphalt into hoppers located at the front of paving machines. The asphalt is
placed, and then compacted using a heavy roller. As soon as the pavement has
cooled, traffic is generally permitted on the pavement [1].

HMA is mixed, placed and compacted at elevated temperatures, hence the name. For
example the following figure shows the taken temperature while loading the asphalt.

Fig 1: temperature during the loading [2]

The following table shows typical temperatures measured from the HMA mixtures.

Table 1: Reported temperature of HMA [2]:

Process C

Binder Temperature 155

Aggregate Temperature 165

Loading Temperature 160

Paver Temperature 145

Compaction Temperature 135

HMA is generally used for the construction of Highways, Airfields, Port Facilities,
Parking Lots, Recreational (Bikeways, Tennis Courts, Tracks, Hydraulic Structures, Recycled

2. Components
One rule that has remained constant throughout HMAs long history in
construction is this: A pavement is only as good as the materials and workmanship that
go into it. No amount of advanced equipment can make up for use of poor materials or
poor construction practices.

Asphalt concrete is composed mainly of two components aggregates and


Aggregates can come in the form of stone, gravel and sand. Which aggregates are
used in a given mixture of HMA depends largely on what is available locally. It can also
be affected by the specifications for the HMA. Generally, aggregates represent about
95% of the total weight of HMA. Aggregates come from either a pit or quarry. A pit is
defined as an open excavation where unconsolidated materials are removed for
construction, industrial or manufacturing purposes. A quarry is defined as an open
excavation where consolidated materials are removed for construction, industrial or
manufacturing purposes. In general, quarries require controlled blasting of the
consolidate materials.

The remaining 5% is liquid asphalt (asphalt cement or asphalt). Liquid asphalt is a

derivative of the crude oil refining process. It is the binder or "glue" in the HMA. Liquid
asphalt is one of the heaviest, most viscous parts of the petroleum. This is why it is ideal for
"holding" the aggregates together. The two ingredients are mixed together at a plant to
make hot mix asphalt [4].

Also, air can exist in pores on the aggregate surface, pockets within aggregate particles,
or voids within the asphalt binder or between the binder and aggregate particles.

Optional modifiers or additives can be added to the asphalt whether they are binder
additives (polymers, fibers, rubber) or aggregate additives (lime, granulated rubber,
anti-strip agents)

3. Manufacturing processes:

It is known that once mixed, the HMA can be loaded into trucks and transported
to the job site. Then it is placed on the asphalt paving project using a paver. Once the
paver lays the asphalt mix, it is compacted with rollers until it has just the right number of
air voids, as determined in the mix design.

The temperatures are very important. The best temperatures for mixing, transporting,
laying and compacting your asphalt pavement are determined based on how stiff
(viscous) the asphalt is, how far and long it must be transported to your project site, and
when it will be compacted. If it is compacted too hot, the air voids will be too low and
the mat will shove and rut. If it is too cold, it will be difficult to compact and the air
voids will be too high [5].

Here are different types of paving operations:

Fig 2: Paving operation using Fig 3: Paving operations using MTV

trucks as surge bins [6] (material transfer vehicle)as surge bin [6]

Fig 4: Close couple paving operation [6]

Figure 2 illustrates that three to four trucks are usually waiting to unload at the job site.
Often, trucks are used as surge bins to allow the continuous operation of the paver. The
truck is unloaded very quickly. The paver, then stops as the truck is moved out and the
next truck is moved in, the tailgate is unlocked, and the bed is raised [6].

Figure 3 shows a Material Transfer Vehicle with a 25- 30 ton surge capacity. This machine
can help decrease truck delays at the job site. As the paver approaches the Material
Transfer Vehicle, it is refilled before the Material Transfer Vehicle moves forward to
receive the next truck discharge [6].

Figure 4 shows the truck cycle; usually, three trucks would be waiting in line at such a
plant [6].

1. Definition of WMA:

Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), was introduced in Europe in 1997 and in the US in 2002,
and is rapidly gaining acceptance. WMA is the term used on technologies that lowers
manufacture and lay down temperatures. By reducing the temperatures, WMA doesnt
need as much energy to produce. It has been documented to lower energy costs by
30-60%. It also reduces greenhouse gas and hydrocarbon emissions from the
manufacture and construction of asphalt pavements. And the lower temperatures
make it safer for workers in the plant and at your asphalt paving project job site. WMA
has been especially successful in areas where air quality has been a problem [5].

WMA is manufactured, constructed and used with only minor adjustments.

American and European companies have developed several technologies that all
increase workability at lower temperatures. There are chemical additives to improve
workability and mechanical techniques to foam the asphalt binder. Special equipment
is attached to the asphalt plant to create the foaming process, which coats the
aggregates at lower temps. Some of the additives can be easily pre-blended with the
liquid asphalt or added at the asphalt mix plant. These additives will be specified in the
job mix formula (JMF) [5].

Once the asphalt has been placed it solidifies as it happens to Hot mix asphalt to
form the pavement. Once it has been cooled completely, there will be no difference
between hot mix asphalt and warm mix asphalt [7].

WMA temperature:

The following figure shows the taken temperature while loading warm mix asphalt.

Fig 5: temperature during the loading [2]

The following table shows typical temperatures measured from the HMA mixtures.

Table 2: Reported temperatures of WMA [2]:
Process C

Binder Temperature 135

Aggregate Temperature 135

Loading Temperature 130

Paver Temperature 115

Compaction Temperature 100

This figure shows how WMA fits into the full range of techniques from cold mix
through to hot mix:

Fig 6: Classification by temperature range [8]

We conclude from this figure:

Cold mixes are produced with unheated aggregate and bitumen emulsion or
foamed bitumen.

Half Warm Asphalt is produced around 70 C and 100 C.

Warm Mix Asphalt is produced and mixed at temperatures roughly between

100C and 150 C.

Hot Mix Asphalt is produced and mixed at temperatures roughly between 120C
and 190 C The production temperatures of Hot Mix Asphalt depend on the
bitumen used.

2. Techniques to produce WMA:

It is known that Warm-Mix Asphalt (WMA) technologies operate above 100C, so

the amount of water remaining in the mix is very small. Various techniques are used to
reduce the effective viscosity of the binder enabling full coating and subsequent
compatibility at lower temperatures.

The most known techniques are:

Organic additives

Different organic additives can be used to lower the viscosity of the binder at
temperatures above about 90C. A commonly used additive is a special paraffin wax
produced by conversion of natural gas. Organic additives typically give a temperature
reduction of between 2030C whilst they also improve the deformation resistance of
asphalt so modified.

Chemical additives

Chemical additives do not change the bitumen viscosity. As surfactants they work at the
microscopic interface of the aggregates and the bitumen. They regulate and reduce
the frictional forces at that interface at a range of temperatures, typically between 140
and 85C. It is therefore possible to mix the bitumen and aggregates and to compact
the mixture at a lower temperature. Chemical additives may reduce the mix and
compaction temperatures by about 20 - 40C.

Foaming techniques - to initiate a foaming process of the bitumen

A range of foaming techniques is applied to reduce the viscosity of bitumen. Various

means are employed to introduce small amounts of water into the hot bitumen. The
water turns to steam, increases the volume of the bitumen and reduces its viscosity for a
short period. The expansion of the bitumen allows the coating of the aggregates at
lower temperatures and the residual moisture supports the compaction of the asphalt on
the construction site. Production and paving temperatures can be reduced in parallel.

Two techniques are commonly used for foaming:

1. The direct method of foaming is to inject a small controlled amount of

water to hot bitumen via foaming nozzles. This results in a large but temporary
increase in the effective volume of the binder which facilitates coating at lower

temperatures. Some vapor remains in the bitumen during compaction reducing
effective viscosity and facilitating compaction. On cooling the binder reverts to
normal, as the amount of water is insignificant. This technique can enable a
temperature reduction of the asphalt mix of about 20 to 40C.

2. An indirect foaming technique uses a mineral as the source of

foaming water. Hydrophilic minerals from the zeolite family are commonly
used. They contain about 20 percent of crystalline water, which is released
above 100 C. This release of water creates a controlled foaming effect,
which can provide an improved workability for a 6- to 7-hour period, or until
the temperature drops below 100 C. The foaming results in an improved
workability of the mix which can subsequently allow a decrease in the mix
temperature by approximately 30C with equivalent compaction

A second indirect foaming technique uses the moisture on the sand

to generate naturally created foam. It is a sequential technique. The coarse
aggregate which represents about 80% of the mix design is dried/heated to
130-160C, it is then coated by the bitumen and thereby creating a thick
binder film on the coarse particles. The next stage involves the addition of
the cold/wet fraction. The moisture in contact with the hot bitumen causes
foaming which facilitates easy coating of the cold and wet RAP or fine

This technique enables the same temperature reduction as the direct foaming
through nozzles, about 20 to 40C.

Next to the above mentioned techniques there are also combined products that can be
used to produce Warm Mix Asphalt, like pallets with fibers and zeolite or fibers with
organic additives [8].



Warm mix asphalt is no different than hot mix asphalt; its difference is only the way it is
produced. High production temperatures are traditionally needed to make the asphalt
binder fluid and less sticky during mixing to completely coat the aggregate and also
have good workability during hauling, placement, and compaction. WMA technologies
use water, water-bearing minerals, chemicals, waxes, and organic additives or a
combination of technologies. The technologies are added to either the mixture or the
asphalt binder to produce mixtures at lower temperatures. These technologies allow the
asphalt binder to remain fluid at lower temperatures during mixing in order to completely
coat the aggregates. It is the use of these technologies that allow the construction of
asphalt pavements at lower temperatures. These low temperatures allow for a faster and
cleaner process of asphalt paving process [3].

It is well noticed that:

.More lab work is needed at mix design to determine compaction temperature


Definite energy savings

Appears as though fumes/emissions are less

Similar cracking patterns

Ride no difference [9]

Does WMA have any impact on workers at the paving site?

It has been shown that visible emissions and odors are reduced both at the plant and
the paving site. Less emissions and odors are released at lower production temperatures.
This creates a worksite that is cooler and more pleasant for workers during placement
and compaction. Workers generally favor the cooler work environment and reduced
odors, especially on hot summer days [3].

Can WMA technologies be used at traditional HMA temperatures?

Some WMA technologies were originally developed as compaction aids to help

asphalt roller equipment compact the asphalt mixture. These technologies have been
used as compaction aids at traditional mixing temperatures. Improvement in compaction
alone will improve the performance and increase the life of asphalt pavements. [3]

Does using WMA affect costs?

A benefit of producing WMA is the reduction in energy consumption required to

heat traditional HMA to temperatures in excess of 150C at the production plant. Because
plant temperatures are lower, less fuel is needed. The reported reduction in fuel
consumption typically ranges from 20-35 %, with up to 50 percent reported for some

Before emphasizing on WMA benefits, its important to mention that some
experiences have been made in Europe and in the U.S in term of WMA trial.

The first WMA techniques were developed in the late 1990s. The foam process
was developed in Germany and Norway. Since then techniques have been developed
to reduce the mixing, laying temperature and energy of manufacturing HMA [10].

1. In the United States:

Despite the fact that WMA process was first developed in Europe, the United
states are now using it in more than 40 states, they are one of the leader in WMA
technologies [11].

Currently, four technologies are available in the U.S:

1. Sasobit, developed by Sasol International (Sasol Wax)

2. Aspha-min zeolite, developed by Eurovia Services

3. WAM foam, developed by Shell International and Kolo Veidekke

4. Evotherm, developed by MeadWestvaco Asphalt Innovations.

In order to bring more information, Sasobit is a synthetic long-chain Fischer-Tropsch

wax produced from coal gasification; Evotherm is a non-proprietary technology, which is
based on chemistry and contains additives to ameliorate coating and workability,
adhesion promoters, and emulsification agents.

To have an idea of the importance of WMA in the US, studies that have been
carried out in the state of Virginia and the state of Connecticut are described below.
However, due to the availability of trial sections only Sasobit and Evotherm were used
during those studies.

(a) Warm mix asphalt in Virginia

Study showed that there are only few differences between conventional HMA
and WMA. WMA had similar performance to HMA when evaluated for moisture
susceptibility, rutting potential, and fatigue resistance. The Mechanistic-Empirical
Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG)-predicted distresses supported these conclusions; the
predicted long-term performance of WMA and HMA was comparable. Consequently,
the recommendation was made that the Virginia Department of Transportation develop
a special provision for the use of WMA [11].

(b) In Connecticut :

There were laboratory tests, conducted before the construction of trial field
sections, which gave satisfactorily results. The pilot projects were constructed during the

2010 and 2011 construction seasons. In Connecticut too, various technologies were
utilized over the course of those two construction seasons that were monitored, sampled
and analyzed by the research team [15].

After taking temperature, doing some section tests, the scan team reported that
the WMA had a good performance, equivalent to the conventional HMA. They even
encourage the use of WMA and envisioned that WMA is the future preferred methods for
asphalt pavement for the mixtures within the next several years.

2. In Europe:
Europe has WMA sections that have been in service longer than U.S trial sections.

(a) Norway:
The scan team visited six (6) WAM-Foam pavement sections with average daily
traffic ranging from 3,500 to 25,000 vehicles. Of the six, four were dense-graded mixes
and two were stone matrix asphalt (SMA) [13].

Fig 7 : U.S. scan team inspecting a WAM-Foam pavement in Norway [13]

The Fig. shows the US scan team during a usual inspection on a trial section.
The pavements generally appeared to be in very good condition. They observed
some rutting, but not caused by the use WMA technologies. Norway allows the use of
studded tires which cause significant wear to the pavement, manifesting itself in form of
rutting in both HMA and WMA. The team reported that where poor performances were
recorded, it was linked to other factors than the use of WMA. In addition the rutting or
studded tire that occurred for WMA and HMA appeared to be the same.

(b) Germany :
In Germany, they have specific procedures for testing new materials and
construction practices. For new materials, they begin the trial with laboratory testing; and
after they got satisfying results, field trials are conducted under different conditions on
different roads. These field trials must meet some conditions such as: high traffic, right-
hand (travel) lane and section length must be more than 500 m. Studies were carried out
with multiple technologies when ambient temperatures were between -3 and 4C. Base,
binder and an SMA() surface course were placed.[13]
The scan team obtained better density results with the WMA than the HMA with
the same or fewer roller passes. All of the sections were performing as well or better than
HMA control sections placed at the sites. The team viewed these series of WMA trial on
the Autobahn between Cologne and Frankfurt.

(c) France:

Similarly to Germany, both laboratory and field trials have been conducted on
various WMA processes. Gyratory tests for workability and estimation of field compaction,
wheel-tracking test for rutting resistance, Duirez test for moisture resistance and fatigue
tests have been included in laboratory studies. Service of Technical Studies of the Roads
and Expressways (SETRA) was in charge of testing trial sections in partnership with the
developer (in general a contractor). If both partners dont find satisfying laboratory test
results trial sections wont be undertaken.

In quite all of the tests, except for Duirez test, the WMA show the same or better
performance than the HMA.


1. Manufacturing benefits:

The WMA production methods allow a gain at the plant in terms of energy
consumption. Actually, less fuel is needed for heating the aggregates and asphalt
binder; the WMA is produced at a temperature between 100C and 140C (lower than
temperature used for conventional HMA). Thus, the producer can envision increasing its
annual benefits [2]. In WMA production process, the addition of additives to the asphalt
mix decreases the viscosity of the mix and then decrease the production time.

To illustrate this idea of benefits, study carried out at some plants gave the results
that in manufacturing WMA, the consumption of fuel is reduced by 20% [12].

Fig 8: Classification by temperature range (Temperatures,
and fuel usage are approximations) [14]

In the picture shown below, one can distinguish the different range of temperature
needed in heating WMA and conventional HMA and also the quantity of fuel used in
each process.

2. Paving operations and environmental benefits :

WMA improves handling characteristics of asphalt and gives more comfortable

working environment for workers and people living around the work site.

Always related to its lower production temperature, the use of WMA allows to
extend the paving season into cooler season; thanks to a longer cooling time
(compared to HMA). In fact, the more the difference between the asphalt mix and the
outside temperature is, the faster the asphalt mix cools down. Workers can even afford
themselves to continue pavements at night. Another thing, the WMA technologies have
the ability to haul the mix longer distances and still have workability to place and
compact. And also it may increase mixture durability by reducing production aging of
the mix. In addition the WMA process will decrease the amount of dust extraction. WMA
is fully compatible with the use of RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement) [10]

For the pavement workers, it is known that in paving projects, temperature has an
important place to get a healthier working condition involving a higher productivity. In
fact, due to the lower manufacturing temperature, the emission of smokes and green
gases is reduced at lower proportion. For instance, the emission of CO2 is reduced by 20%
to 40%; by 20% to 35% for SO2; by 10% to 30% for CO and as much as 60% to 70% for NOx.
That can be seen as a big change in term of environment protection and prevention to
global warming [10].

The following picture taken with a thermal camera shows the reduction in
temperature due to the use of WMA.

Fig 9: Thermal camera image depicting WMA temperatures behind the screed
We emphasize in the fact that reduction of CO2 emissions is mandated as part of
European Unions ratification of the Kyoto Protocol which is about the reduction of plant
emission in terms of environment protection. Data has been reported in table 3.

Table 3: Reported reduction in plant emission (in percent) with WMA [13]:

Emission Norway Italy Netherlands

CO2 31.5 3040 1530

SO2 NA 35 NA


CO 28.5 1030 NA

NOx 61.5 60-70 NA

Dust 54.0 25-55 NA

*Reported as NO2

NA: not available

WMA can be also compacted at a lower temperature than HMA, and the additives
added decrease the viscosity. Besides, the use of WMA allows better optimization of
paving resources. And last but not least, WMA has the ability to place thick lifts and open
to traffic in a short time period.


According to the responsible of formation at CETEC, they knew about WMA and
its advantages through presentations and seminaries (such as the one on March 2014)
presented by Europeans.
However, WMA is not yet used here in Tunisia. In fact, they still need to undertake
laboratory experiments, and further more research because materials used in Tunisia are
different from those used in Europe.
Besides, civil technologies in Tunisia are still far behind from those used in Europe or USA.
Bringing new technology in Tunisia is difficult, because workers need more training for
new methods of construction and also they cannot afford themselves to spend higher
budget on researches.
The ministry of road wants more satisfying laboratory results before investing in WMA.
Therefore, CETEC hasnt started yet laboratory experiments.


Asphalt pavement is refering to any road surfaced with asphalt; in this case
there are Hot mix asphalt and Warm mix asphalt for road construction. The
manufacture of WMA is using less energy, less money and is environmental
friendly. Besides, studies carried out by pavement searchers, in Europe and in the
US, showed that WMA has the same or better performance than the
conventionnal HMA.

Giving the fact that WMA has been proven to be a very advantageous
technology, we should certainly consider using it in Tunisia.

[1] Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan, 2008

[2] Laboratory for Advanced Construction Technology (LACT), 2014

[3] US Department of Transportation Federal highway of administration, August 12, 2013.

[4] Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association

[5] MyAsphaltPavingProject.com, 2011.


[7] Rodriguez J., Warm Mix Asphalt Cost and Benefits

[8] European Asphalt Pavement Association, 2015

[9] Johnson G., Minnesota Department of Transportation Assistant Bituminous Engineer,

January 24, 2013

[10] Diefenderfer S. D., McGhee K. K., Donaldson B. M., Installation of Warm Mix Asphalt
Projects in Virginia, Final Report VTRC 07-R25

[11] The Many Benefits of Warm Mix Asphalt, FHMA,Warm Mix Asphalt ,Introduction.

[12] Diefenderfer S D., HEARON A. J., Performance of Virginias Warm-Mix Asphalt Trial
Sections, Final Report VTRC 10-R17

[13] Warm-Mix Asphalt: European Practice, Publication No. FHWA-PL-08-007

HPIP/2-08(3.5) EW

[14] Warm-Mix Asphalt: European Practice; International Technology Scanning Program,

FHWA-PL-08-007, FHWA-HPIP, U.S. (Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, USA,
February 2008

[15] Zinke S, Mahoney J, Morison K, Connecticut Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA); Pilot Projects
2010 and 2011, June 12, 2014,

[16]TechNotes Engineering and Regional Operations Construction Division State Materials,

Laboratory, Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) Technologies