Date of Award

Spring 2016

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Jo E Daniel

Second Advisor

Eshan V Dave

Third Advisor

Ricardo A Medina


Performance of asphalt as a pavement material depends on a variety of factors such as mixture properties, the mix design process, and the way in which the materials are produced and placed. There are also different methods and practices in hot mix asphalt construction, such as the way in which specimens are fabricated for laboratory testing and the time that hot mix asphalt is stored at plants following production. There is currently a lack of understanding within the asphalt industry on the potential performance impacts of these variations. This thesis involves two projects that explored variations in the production and placement aspects of hot mix asphalt construction.

One study that is included in this document aims to characterize the impact of silo storage time on asphalt mixtures. Many hot mix asphalt plants store material in heated silos before they are ready to be transported to construction sites. As the material is exposed to elevated temperatures, aging of the mixtures could increase susceptibility to cracking in the field. Through extensive binder and mixture testing, the results indicated that silo storage time has a significant impact on mixture performance, and RAP materials experienced a greater effect. Another study included in this thesis compares four different methods of producing specimens for laboratory testing: plant mixed, plant compacted; plant mixed, lab compacted; lab mixed, lab compacted; and small geometry specimens from field cores. Mixture testing showed that variations exist in stiffness characterization among the fabrication methods.