MTTI - Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Hot Mix Asphalt Research and Testing Facilities

The asphalt mixture test facilities are state-of-the-art at Michigan Tech. Michigan Tech has undergone an AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) accreditation, which is administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for all tests related to hot mix asphalt. The laboratory facilities consist of two laboratories encompassing over 2300 square feet of laboratory space. Specifically, one laboratory is an HMA Volumetric Laboratory where specific gravities of aggregate and HMA are conducted as well as mixing and compacting of HMA.

The HMA Volumetric Laboratory includes the following equipment (B004 Dillman Hall):

Chemical hood for extraction and recovery of binder from mixtures. Multiple sets of binder extraction and recovery equipment (abson via super-centrifuge and quantitative).

Two Thermolyne Ignition furnaces for asphalt content determination.

Three Pine Superpave gyratory compactors (Models AFGC125X, AFG1A, AFGB1A).
Corelok vacuum density test device for measuring bulk specific gravity of compacted samples.    

  • Dual hammer automated Marshall hammer.
  • Four high capacity Despatch LAC series forced draft ovens
  • Three bucket mixers.
  • One linear kneading compactor (in process of obtaining)
  • Eight water baths with temperature control for mixture specific gravity determinations.
  • Four vacuum pumps for use in maximum specific gravity determination.
  • Fifteen digital scales of varying sizes, digital thermometers, and all support equipment for mixture preparation.
  • All necessary equipment to establish aggregate consensus properties.

The second facility is the HMA Performance Testing Laboratory. This facility is capable of performing advanced material characterization and performance testing.

The HMA Performance Testing Laboratory includes the following equipment (B009 Dillman Hall):

  • A Pavement Technologies, Inc. Asphalt Pavement Analyzer.
    • Hot/dry testing capabilities.
    • Hot/wet testing capabilities.
    • Fatigue cracking testing capabilities.
    • Reflective cracking testing capabilities.
    • Temperature range from 20C to 70C
  • IPC UTM 5P servo-pneumatic testing system
    • Diametral resilient modulus (ASTM D4123) testing.
    • Repeated load permanent deformation testing
    • Four point bending beam fatigue testing
    • Temperature capabilities from -5C to 70C
  • IPC UTM-100 servo-hydraulic testing system
    • Triaxial testing capabilities with varying lateral pressures
    • Diametral resilient modulus (ASTM D4123) testing.
    • Repeated load permanent deformation testing.
    • Creep and dynamic creep testing capabilities.
    • Temperature capabilities ranging from -15C to 100C

As evidenced by the list of equipment, the facilities are capable of performing standard Superpave mix designs and any number of advance material characterization and/or performance tests. The test capabilities range from low to intermediate to high temperatures for characterizing/evaluating materials.

Additional test jigs can be produced in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s machine shop or purchased as needed, further increasing capabilities.

A 3000 ft2 storage facility with industrial shelving and a hydraulic lift for moving palletized materials for longer-term studies is also available.

1. Asphalt Binder Rheology Research and Testing Facilities

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Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295, (906) 487-1885
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