The effect of ageing on chemical and mechanical properties of asphalt mortar

Ruxin Jing, Xueyan Liu, Aikaterini Varveri, Athanasios Scarpas, Sandra Erkens

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Asphalt mortar is a mixture of bitumen, filler, and sand. Mortar plays an important role in asphalt mixtures as it serves as the adhesive between the coarser aggregates. Due to the effect of bitumen ageing, the chemical and mechanical properties of asphalt mortar evolve with time. The mortar becomes more brittle and prone to cracking, thus leading to inferior pavement performance. In this study, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry was used to quantify changes in the chemical functional groups related to ageing and to calculate the carbonyl and sulfoxide indices. In addition, frequency sweep tests and uniaxial tension tests were performed by means of dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests to determine evolution of the stiffness and strength due to ageing. Two different oven ageing protocols were used to evaluate the effect of fine mineral particles on bitumen ageing. The protocols differed with respect to the order of ageing and mixing of the constituents. The results showed that both the chemical and mechanical properties of mortars significantly changed with ageing. Specifically, the carbonyl index, stiffness, and strength of the mortar increased. Under the same ageing conditions, a higher ageing level was observed for mortars produced by first mixing and then ageing compared to the mortars produced by mixing aged bitumen with filler and sand. This could be due to the presence of sand and filler particles, which resulted in an increased length of diffusion paths and consequently a slower ageing process.

Original languageBritish English
Article number2231
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - 13 Nov 2018


  • Ageing
  • Asphalt mortar
  • FTIR
  • Stiffness
  • Strength


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