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Lab. 1: Introduction to Highway Lab.

Highway Lab. (CE-415L)

Engr. Syed Shah Hasnain,

M.S. Transportation Engineering
(In Progress),
UET Peshawar.
Email: syedshahhasnain@gmail.com
Highway vs. Motorway
• All public roads are highways. The name originally meant that they had been constructed

higher than the surrounding land to allow for drainage.

• Motorways are limited access highways. Access is limited to motor vehicles only. Traffic is

divided from that which runs in the opposite direction, and they are not normally

accessible from minor roads, but usually only from major roads via graded intersections.

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Motorway vs. Expressway
S. No. Characteristic Highway Expressway

1 Connecting 2 or more cities 2 major cities

2 Intersections Yes No
3 Entry & Exit Points Multiple roads merge with/across the Special entry and exit points
highway at many points
4 Speed High Higher as no worry to slow down
for signals/crossing.
An expressway is a highway.

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Road vs. Pavement
• Road is a way used for travelling between places, usually surfaced with asphalt or

concrete modern roads, both rural and urban, are designed to accommodate many

vehicles travelling in both directions.

• Pavement in construction is an outdoor paved floor or superficial surface covering.

Paving materials include asphalt, concrete, stone (such as flagstone, cobblestone, setts

and artificial stone), bricks, tiles and sometimes wood.

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Flexible vs. Rigid Pavement
S. Characteristic Flexible Pavement Rigid Pavement
No. Properties
1 Composition Aggregate + Bitumen (binder) Aggregate + Water + Cement (binder)
+ Dowel Bars (for joints)
2 Stability Strength depends upon interlocking of Strength depends upon the flexural
aggregates, friction and cohesion. strength of the concrete placed.
3 Joints Laid continuously, no joints Joints are present in special cases.
4 Cost Less initial cost, but high maintenance High initial cost, but less maintenance
cost cost
5 Load Distribution Load is distributed to underlying layers Load is distributed over a wider area
by grain to grain action. of sub-grade due to its rigidity and
high elastic modulus.
6 Thermal Stress No thermal stresses are developed due Thermal stresses are developed
to temperature variation. leading to wrapping.
7 Duration required to It can be opened for traffic after 24 It is opened for traffic after minimum
open after construction hours of construction. 14 days of construction.
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Bitumen vs. Asphalt
• Bitumen: A black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue
from petroleum.
• Asphalt: A mixture of dark bitumen with sand or gravel (aggregates).
• In Sub-Continent and Europe,
Asphalt = Aggregate +Bitumen = Paving Material.
• In United States,
Asphalt = Black Viscous Liquid.
• Asphalt Concrete: Asphalt,
Asphalt Cement: Bitumen.

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Components of Bitumen
• The components of bitumen are classified into five classes of compounds, i.e.

i. Saturated hydrocarbons,

ii. Naphthenic Aromatics, consisting of partially hydrogenated polycyclic aromatic compounds,

iii. Polar Aromatics, consisting of high molecular weight phenols and carboxylic acids,

iv. Asphaltenes, consisting of high molecular weight phenols and heterocyclic compounds,

v. Most natural bitumen contain organo-sulphur compounds.

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Components of Bitumen (Cont …)
• Bitumen is a mixture of about 300-2000 chemical components. Elementally, it is:

i. around 95% carbon and hydrogen,

ii. up to 5% sulphur,

iii. 1% nitrogen,

iv. 1% oxygen, and

v. 220 ppm (parts per million) metals like nickel and vanadium etc.

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Physical Properties of Bitumen
1. It is soluble in carbon disulphide.

2. Bitumen is normally heated to > 140°C (284°F) to become liquid to facilitate transportation and handling.

3. It is thermoplastic solids or semi-solids at ambient (surrounding) temperature. i.e. they soften as the
temperature increases and harden as the temperature decreases.

4. At elevated temperature they behave as Newtonian liquids, the viscosity reduces with increasing
temperature (Concrete: Non-Newtonian liquid).

5. Bitumen is also visco-elastic material, i.e. they behave as elastic solids at short loading times and as
viscous liquids at longer loading times.

6. Polar molecules in bitumen lead to bitumen having an affinity to aggregates, providing a material that is
adhesive , and also waterproof.
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Grades of Bitumen
• Following are the different methods used for grading of bitumen:

1. Grading by Chewing

2. Penetration Grading

3. Viscosity Grading

4. Superpave Performance Grade.

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1. Grading of Bitumen by Chewing
• During the 19th century, chewing was the method used to determine the stiffness

(hardness) of the bitumen.

• This was the time when no penetration test was developed.

• It was carried out by experienced US inspectors.

• Based on the test conducted, the sample was either accepted or rejected.

• The temperature of bitumen test was such that it favoured human body temperature.

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2. Penetration Grading of Bitumen
• The American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) D-04 carried out bitumen grading at a
temperature of 25°C for the testing of road and pavement materials in 1903.
• The penetration test involves penetration of a needle that is loaded by 100 g into a
bitumen sample maintained at a temperature of 25°C in a water-bath for a period of 5
seconds. The penetration value is measured in millimetres.
1 penetration unit = 0.1 mm.
• The greater the penetration value, the softer the bitumen becomes. The ASTM standard
D-946 gives five penetration grades for the bitumen binders. They are:
1. Hardest Bitumen Grade: 40 – 50
2. 60 – 70

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2. Penetration Grading of Bitumen
3. 85 – 100

4. 120 – 150

5. Softest Bitumen Grade: 200 – 300.


1. For polymers modified bitumen, this method cannot be employed.

2. Stiffness values for samples of same grade at different temperatures are different
(except 25°C).

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3. Viscosity Grading of Bitumen
• In the 1970s, US introduced the method of viscosity grading at 60°C.

• This was to ensure a solution for construction problems and to have high temperature

• Prior to 1970s, the US construction used 60 – 70 penetration grade that shows variation towards
rutting action. They showed lower viscosity at 135°C.

• This caused tender mix problem during construction.

• 60°C: This temperature is the maximum temperature to which the road pavement is subjected to,
at Summer. The measurement is in terms of Poise.

• In the US, six Asphalt Cement (AC) viscosity grades were specified, they are:

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3. Viscosity Grading of Bitumen
Grade Viscosity at 60°C, Poise
AC – 2.5: Softest 250 ± 50
AC – 5 500 ± 100
AC – 10 1000 ± 200
AC – 20 2000 ± 400
AC – 30 3000 ± 600
AC – 40: Hardest 4000 ± 800

The grades with lower viscosity i.e. AC – 2.5 and AC – 5 were used for cold service temperatures (areas like Canada).

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1. Binders of same viscosity grade show same performance unlike in the case of
penetration grades.

2. For a wide variety of temperatures, the viscosity binders were employed. A

temperature of 60°C for rutting, 25°C for ravelling or fatigue problems, or 135°C for
thermal cracking.

3. The suppliers can provide the users with accurate asphalt mixing and temperature
values for construction. This is possible, because of the measurement of viscosity at
two temperatures.

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4. Superpave Grading of Bitumen
• The superpave grade was developed as a part of 5 years strategic highway research planning (SHRP)
from 1987 to 1992, to have a performance based grading system for bitumen.
• The tests and specification of superpave system intend to avoid three main disadvantages in
bitumen. i.e. ravelling/fatigue cracking, rutting, and thermal cracking. These failures happen at low,
intermediate and high temperatures respectively.
• The pavement is taken for testing for the entire range of temperature. A rotational viscometer is
taken to determine the viscosity at 135°C. The viscoelastic property of bitumen at two temperatures
is determined with the help of a dynamic shear rheometer.
• The first temperature is high temperature during a hot Summer day of the project site. The second
one is intermediate temperature, which is the average annual temperature of the pavement at the
project site.
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4. Superpave Grading of Bitumen (Cont …)
• During Winter, a bending beam rheometer and direct tension tester are used to measure
the bitumen rheological properties at the project site.

• The performance of superpave is dependent on climate. The superpave performance

grade (PG) for project location, where the temperature during 7-days is greater than 64°C
and a minimum temperature of -22°C re PG 64 to 22.

• The available higher grades are PG-52, PG-58, PG-64, PG-70, PG-76 and PG-82. The lower
grades are -4, -10, -16, -22, -28, -34 and so on. Both the temperature levels increment at
a rate of 6°C.

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Hot Mix Asphalt vs. Cold Mix Asphalt
1. Composition:

Hot Mix Asphalt = Mineral Aggregates + Bitumen/Asphalt.

Cold Mix Asphalt = Mineral Aggregates + Emulsified/Cutback Asphalt.

• Emulsified Asphalt is mixed with water and an emulsifying agent.

Emulsifying agent: It is used to keep products moist or greasy, and to mix fat-soluble
substances with water.

• Cutback Asphalt is mixed with a petroleum solvent such as Naptha, Gasoline and

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Hot Mix Asphalt vs. Cold Mix Asphalt
2. Heating/Cooling:

• HMA depends on a slow process of cooling and curing to achieve maximum structural strength.

• CMA is not used as a substitute for a formal repair with HMA or WMA during the warmer months
as it will not last nearly as long.

3. Weather & Water Resistance:

• HMA is a flexible mix that is highly weather resistant and able to repel water.

• CMA is the vice-versa of HMA.

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Warm Mix Asphalt
• It is generic term for a variety of technologies that allow producers of HMA pavement material to
lower temperatures at which the material is mixed and placed on the road.
• It is a proven technology that can:
a. reduce paving costs,
b. extend the paving seasons,
c. improve asphalt compaction,
d. allow asphalt mix to be hauled longer distances,
e. improve working conditions by reducing exposure to fuel emissions, fumes and odours,
f. lower temperatures, lower costs and opportunities.

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Warm Mix Asphalt (Cont …)
• WMA production methods use temperature 30 to 120°F lower than the traditional HMA.

• Because less energy is needed to heat the asphalt mix, thus less fuel is needed to
produce WMA.

• Fuel consumption during WMA manufacturing is typically reduced by 20%.

How does it work?

• WMA technologies reduce the viscosity (the thickness) of the asphalt binder, so that
asphalt aggregates can be coated at lower temperatures.

HMA is manufactured at 300 to 350°F, while WMA at 200 to 250°F.

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Water Bound Macadam (WBM)
• The concept of water bound macadam was suggested by John Macadam who was a Scottish

• “The road whose wearing course consists of clean crushed aggregates, mechanically interlocked by
rolling and bound together with filler material and water laid on a well-compacted base course is
called WBM road”.

• It is an example of flexible pavements.

• The filler may be like stone dust, which provides a smoother surface for the increased traffic using
the roads.

• This method requires great deal of manual labor, it results in a strong and free-draining pavement.

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Water Bound Macadam (WBM) Cont …
• Road constructed in this manner is described as “macadamized”.

1. It is superior in quality, because the materials are carefully graded and the resulting mass is

almost void-less compacted mass.

2. The interlocking of aggregate particles imparts adequate strength of the materials selected for

filling the voids. These ensure non-entry of the plastic materials of the sub-grade into the


3. WBM is less costly as compared to the bituminous base course.

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Thickness & Compaction of Road Layers

Surface/Wearing Course (1 – 4 in, 100%)

Base Course (4 – 12 in, 100%)

Sub-Base Course (4 – 12 in, 98%)

Sub-Grade Course (6 – 12 in, 95%)

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BRT Peshawar
• The work on this projected was started on 29th October, 2017.
• Three Phases, i.e.
1. Chamkani to Bala Hisar Fort,
2. Bala Hisar Fort to Aman Chowk, and
3. Aman Chowk to Karkhano Market.
• Total length: 27 km. (Overhead bridge/flyovers: 11 km. & Underground road: 3 km.).
• Three bus depots (Chamkani, Cantt. Area, Phase-III)
• Bus Stops: 30
• Total Buses: 220 (18 m long buses: 65 & 12 m long buses: 155).
• 3 Lac and 80 thousand passengers will get benefited.

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Hierarchy of Roads

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Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBM) vs. Unbound Layer

• Hydraulically Bound Materials are soils or aggregates that have a binder such as

cement, lime-based binders, gypsum or fly-ash added which then hardens by a

chemical/hydraulic reaction with water.

• An unbound layer is merely an aggregate layer that, whilst it is well compacted, is

not cemented together. The other opinion is a bound layer which may include an

amount of cement.

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1. https://www.civilengineerspk.com/

2. https://www.engineeringcivil.com/

3. https://www.gharpedia.com/

4. https://www.quora.com/

5. https://www.wikipedia.org/

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Any Question?