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Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement 161
in RAP is likely much harder than new asphalt binders used in HMA mix designs and, when
significant amounts of RAP are added to a mix, the binder from the RAP will blend with the new
asphalt binder added to the mix to produce a blended binder that can be substantially harder
than the new binder added to the HMA mixture. For this reason, the amount of RAP that can be
added to a mixture can be limited not only by variability, but also by the blended binder grade.
The issue of determining blended binder grades in HMA mix designs containing RAP is discussed
later in this chapter.
RAP Aggregate Properties
In addition to gradation, bulk specific gravity, angularity, and particle shape are properties of
the RAP aggregate that are needed to effectively design HMA with RAP. These properties are
measured on a representative sample of the RAP stockpile that is formed by combining samples
from each of the stockpile locations.
Some tests must be performed on bare aggregate after removing the binder from the RAP.
When experience with local aggregates indicates that they are not substantially altered by exposure
to the high temperature in the ignition oven, AASHTO T 308 is the preferred method for removing
the binder from the RAP aggregate for testing. Otherwise solvent extraction, AASHTO T 164, must
be used. If the ignition oven is used, the aggregates must be cooled to room temperature before
further handling and testing. If solvent extraction is used, the aggregates must be thoroughly
dried in an oven and cooled to room temperature before further handling and testing. When the
ignition oven is used, some aggregates may exhibit significant breakdown as a result of the high
temperatures used in this procedure; this breakdown can alter the resulting gradation.
The representative sample should be large enough to provide sufficient material for all of the tests
being performed; Table 96 lists the required sample sizes for laboratory tests normally performed
on RAP aggregate. If the nominal maximum aggregate size in the RAP is 12.5 mm or less, a 4 kg
sample will be sufficient. If the nominal maximum aggregate size in the RAP is 19.0 mm or more,
a 10 kg sample will be required.
RAP Aggregate Bulk Specific Gravity
The bulk specific gravity of each aggregate stockpile used in an HMA mixture is needed for
the computation of the voids in the mineral aggregate (VMA). Two methods can be used to
determine the bulk specific gravity of the RAP aggregate. The first is to estimate the bulk specific
gravity of the RAP aggregate from the RAP binder content, the maximum specific gravity of the
RAP, and estimates of the binder absorption in the RAP and the specific gravity of the RAP
binder. The second is to measure the bulk specific gravity of the coarse and fine fraction of the
Table 96. Sample size for RAP aggregate tests.
Sample Size, kg
12.5mm 19.0mm
Property Method Fraction NMAS NMAS
Specific Gravity of Coarse AASHTO T 85 +2.36 mm 2 3
Aggregate
Specific Gravity of Fine Aggregate AASHTO T 84 2.36 mm 1 1
Coarse Aggregate Fractured Faces ASTM D 5821 +4.75 mm 0.5 1.5
Fine Aggregate Angularity AASHTO T 2.36 mm 0.5 0.5
304 Method A
Flat and Elongated Particles ASTM D 4791 +4.75 mm 2 5
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162 A Manual for Design of Hot Mix Asphalt with Commentary
RAP aggregate after removing the binder with the ignition oven or solvent extraction. Details of
these approaches are discussed below.
Estimating RAP Aggregate Bulk Specific Gravity
In this approach, the maximum specific gravity of the RAP is measured in accordance with
AASHTO T 209. The maximum specific gravity is measured on a sample split from the repre
sentative sample formed for the RAP aggregate and binder analysis. The measured maximum
specific gravity, the average RAP binder content from the variability analysis, and an estimate of
the RAP binder specific gravity are then used to calculate the effective specific gravity of the RAP
aggregate using Equation 91.
(100  Pb )
Gse = (91)
100 Pb

Gmm Gb
where
Gse = effective specific gravity of the RAP aggregate
Gmm = maximum specific gravity of the RAP measured by AASHTO T 209
Pb = RAP binder content, wt %
Gb = estimated specific gravity of the RAP binder
The bulk specific gravity of the RAP aggregate can then be estimated from Equation 92, which
is a rearranged version of the equation used in volumetric analysis to compute asphalt absorption.
Gse
Gsb = (92)
PbaGse
+1
100 × Gb
where
Gsb = estimated bulk specific gravity of the RAP aggregate
Gse = effective specific gravity of the RAP aggregate from Equation 91
Pba = estimated binder absorption for the RAP, wt % of aggregate
Gb = estimated specific gravity of the RAP binder
The overall error associated with this analysis is difficult to quantify. It depends on (1) the
precision of the maximum specific gravity measurement and (2) the accuracy of the RAP binder
content measurement and the estimated RAP binder absorption and specific gravity. As shown
in the analysis below, the accuracy of the RAP binder content in turn depends on the accuracy
of the correction factor used to analyze the ignition oven data.
The singleoperator precision of the maximum specific gravity test, AASHTO T 209, is 0.011
when the dryback procedure is not required and 0.018 when it is. These are somewhat better
than the singleoperator precision of the aggregate bulk specific gravity tests which are 0.032 for
fine aggregate (AASHTO T 84) and 0.025 for coarse aggregate (AASHTO T 85). The potential
error associated with estimating the specific gravity of the RAP binder is small. For a typical
mixture it is only ± 0.002 for a ±0.010 error in the bulk specific gravity of the binder. Potential
errors associated with errors in the RAP binder content or the RAP binder absorption are signifi
cantly larger. These errors are shown in Figure 97 for RAP having a maximum specific gravity of
2.500, a total binder content of 4%, and binder absorption of 0.5%. In this case, underestimating
the absorbed binder by 0.3% results in an overestimation of the bulk specific gravity of the RAP
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Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement 163
0.040
RAP Binder Content
RAP Binder Absorption
ERROR IN BULK SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF RAP
0.030
0.020
0.010
AGGREGATE
0.000
0.010
0.020
0.030
0.040
0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0.2 0.4 0.6
ERROR IN RAP BINDER CONTENT OR ABSORPTION, %
Figure 97. Potential errors in bulk specific gravity of the RAP aggregate
for errors in RAP binder content and binder absorption.
aggregate of 0.020. Underestimating the total binder content of the RAP by 0.5% results in an
underestimation of the bulk specific gravity of the RAP aggregate of 0.021.
Thus the accuracy of estimating the RAP aggregate specific gravity from the maximum specific
gravity and binder content of the RAP depends mostly on the accuracy of the estimated correction
factor used to determine binder content with the ignition oven and the accuracy of the assumed
binder absorption. The correction factor for the ignition oven should not be in error by more
than 0.3% and the assumed binder content should not be in error by more than 0.2% to obtain
estimated RAP aggregate specific gravity values with an accuracy similar to those measured in
AASHTO T 84 and T 85. As discussed earlier, correction factors for the ignition oven can be
established by performing both the ignition oven and solvent extraction analyses on split samples
from at least three locations in the RAP stockpile.
Measuring RAP Aggregate Specific Gravity
If a reasonable estimate of the binder absorption for the RAP is not available, the specific gravity
of the RAP aggregate can be measured after removing the RAP binder using an ignition oven or
solvent extraction. The specific gravities of the coarse and fine fractions of the RAP aggregate are
measured in accordance with AASHTO T 85 and AASHTO T 84, respectively.
HMA Tools and RAP Aggregate Specific Gravity
HMA Tools is designed so that either approach discussed above can be used to estimate RAP
aggregate specific gravity values. If the specific gravity values are to be estimated from maximum
theoretical specific gravity, binder content, and related information, the data are entered in cells
C6:F9 in the worksheet "RAP_Aggregates." If actual measured values for RAP aggregate specific
gravity are used, these are entered in cells C11:F14. The calculated values for bulk and apparent
specific gravity for each of up to four RAP stockpiles then appear in cells C16:F17. If data for both