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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


The use of asphalt emulsion chip seal and hot rubber chip seal as pavement preservation techniques has been gaining popularity. This study aims to compare the laboratory performance of asphalt emulsion and hot rubber asphalt used in chip seal applications. Interlayer shear strength (ISS) and interlayer tensile strength (ITS) tests were designed to evaluate the bond quality of the chip seal samples prepared for both materials. The sweep test was used to estimate the aggregate loss of the chip seal on the asphalt pavement. The universal testing machines were used to evaluate the deterioration of the ISS and ITS values under cyclic load conditions, while the tensile and shear bond properties of chip seals under wet-freeze conditions were evaluated using freeze-thaw cycles. Results showed while both materials experienced a decline in their ISS and ITS values following repeated cycles of load and freeze-thaw, the hot rubber chip seal demonstrated significantly higher ISS and ITS values than the asphalt emulsion chip seal (48–111% and 36–102%, respectively). Moreover, the hot rubber chip seal exhibited better performance in terms of aggregate retention and cohesive strength. The aggregate gradation would affect the aggregate retention and cohesive strength. Nonetheless, both treatments are deemed acceptable for pavement maintenance. The weak bond between hot rubber asphalt or asphalt emulsion and aggregate could be attributed to cyclic load and freeze-thaw conditions.

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Case Studies in Construction Materials


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