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Poster Paper Proc. of Int. Conf.

on Advances in Civil Engineering 2011

Investigations on Suitability of Adopting Mid Point Gradation in Design of Bituminous Mixes


Dr. Mohamed Ilyas Anjum
Prof. & HoD, Ghousia College of Engineering, Ramanagaram, Karnataka-571511, India
Abstract - The MoRTH has specified gradation tables for preparing bituminous mixes such as bituminous concrete, bituminous macadam etc. For each aggregate fraction in the mix, there is a desirable range with lower and higher limits of aggregates passing. Conventionally, the mix is designed by adopting the gradation corresponding to mid point of the specified range of aggregates passing, assuming that the mid point gradation produces a satisfactory mix and also helps to avoid several trials that could be required to arrive at the best gradation within the specified range. However, does this mid point gradation produce the best mix is questionable. It may result in a satisfactory but not superior mix. In order to study this aspect, bituminous concrete mixes were prepared corresponding to the mid point (MG) as well as the lower (LG) and higher (HG) limits besides the mid points of lower mid point (LMG) and higher - mid point (HMG) gradations by using same aggregates. All the other materials and their properties were maintained uniform. The Marshall test properties of one type of bituminous mix namely bituminous concrete grade 1, at these five gradations were compared. It was noted that the conventional mid point gradation does not produce the most satisfactory mix. Index Terms Bituminous mix, aggregates, design, gradation, mid point

grade-1 were prepared and tested as per Marshall method vide ASTM-D 1559. The Marshall test properties of specimens at these five gradations were compared. Based on the test results it was attempted to ascertain the significant influence of gradations lower and higher than conventional midpoint gradation on the resulting properties of bituminous concrete mixes and whether the mid point gradation produces the best mix. The results are presented in Table I and III, while MoRTH specified gradation for bituminous concrete in Table II.
Table I. Properties of materials used

Table II. Morth specified gradation (section 500-18) For bituminous concrete pavements

I. OBJECTIVES 1. To determine and work with five point gradations within the gradation range specified by MoRTH. 2. To determine the Marshall Test properties of specimens at all five gradations keeping combined index and other properties constant. 3. To compare Marshall Test properties of specimens at the said gradations. 4. To ascertain the significance and effects of gradations lower and higher than conventional midpoint gradation on bituminous mix properties. 5. To ascertain whether the conventional midpoint gradation produces mixes with superior properties. II. EXPERIMENTAL WORK From a nearby crusher, the required quantity of aggregates consisting of coarse and fine fractions was collected. The specific gravity of aggregates was determined. The specific gravity, ductility, softening point, flash and fire point of 60/ 70 grade bitumen were determined. Five gradations such as mid point, lower and upper limits, mid point of lower mid point and upper mid point were worked out within the specified ranges.Bituminous concrete mixes conforming to 2011 ACEE DOI: 02.ACE.2011.02.21 44

Poster Paper Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Civil Engineering 2011


TABLE III. Summary of marshall test properties obtained at Obc at different gradations

Figure 3. Bulk Density at Different Gradations

Figure 4. Flow at Different Gradations

III. DATA ANALYSIS

The experimental data was analyzed to study the effect of gradation on the resulting Marshall test properties. The OBC and other properties such as Stability, Bulk Density, Flow, Voids filled with bitumen and Air voids obtained at OBC were plotted against respective gradations, and presented in Figures 1 to 7.
Figure 5. VFB at Different Gradations

Figure 1. OBC at Different Gradations Figure 6. Air Voids at Different Gradations

Figure 2. Stability at Different Gradations

Figure 7. VMA at Different Gradations

2011 ACEE DOI: 02.ACE.2011.02.21

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Poster Paper Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Civil Engineering 2011 IV. OBSERVATIONS Based on the experimental results of the limited study conducted, by preparing bituminous concrete mixes at different gradations, the following observations are made. 1. The OBC is lowest (4.7%) at mid point gradation which could be economical, but it is lower than the specified minimum OBC (5 to 6%). 2. The other mix properties are not relatively superior at this mid point gradation. 3. The Bulk Density is highest corresponding to LG. 4. The Air Voids is lowest corresponding to LG, highest at HG and LMG. 5. The VFB is highest at LG & lowest at HG. 6. The Flow is highest corresponding to HG and decreases at LMG and LG. 7. The VMA is lowest at MG and highest at LMG. CONCLUSIONS 1. The OBC is lowest (4.7%) at mid point gradation which could be economical, but it is lower than the specified minimum OBC (5 to 6%). 2. The other mix properties are not relatively superior at this mid point gradation. 3. The other mix properties are not relatively superior at this mid point gradation. 4. Based on the observations, it may be concluded that the conventional practice of designing bituminous concrete mixes at mid point gradation does not result in the best mix. 5. Since many of the Marshall mix properties are found to be better satisfied at either LG, it may be suggested to design the bituminous concrete mixes at gradation close to LG. REFERENCES
1Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) specifications for Road & Bridge Works, Fourth edition, 2001. 2 Mohamed Ilyas Anjum and Dr. Krishnamurthy, Role of Course Aggregate Gradation & Shape Factors in Bituminous Mixes, International Conference on Construction Materials (CONMAT), IIT Kharagpur, Jan 9 11, 2003. 3 Rajagopal, A.S., Veeraragavan, A, and Justo, C.E.G, A Simplified Approach for Mix Design Based on Shape Factors for Coarse Aggregates, International Symposium on Aggregates, Organized by the International Association of Engg. Geology, Nice, France, May 1984. 4 Methods of Test for Aggregates for Concrete - Particle Size and Shape, IS 2386 (Part I) -1963. 5 Pratap., Development of Aggregate Gradings for Asphalt Paving Mixes, M.E thesis, IIT Kharagpur, 1993. 6 Robert, P. Elliott., Miller, C. Ford, JR., Maher Ghanim and Yui Fee Tu, Effect of Aggregate Gradation Variation on Asphalt Concrete Mix Properties, Transportation Research Record No.1317, Washington D.C, 1991. 7 Prithvi, S. Kandhal and Stephen, A. Cross., Effects of Aggregate Gradation on Measured Asphalt Content, Transportation Research Record No.1417, Washington D.C, 1993.

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