Date of Award

Spring 2018

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Eshan Dave

Second Advisor

Jo Sias Daniel

Third Advisor

Rajib B Mallick


Asphalt materials, a heterogeneous mixture of oil-based asphalt binder and aggregates, experience substantial amounts of environmental damage throughout their lives as surface layers in pavements. One of the prominent forms of environmental damage, moisture-induced damage, is caused by the weakening of internal bonds of the material due to the presence of moisture in the voids of asphalt mixtures and is a common problem for asphalt pavements in wet climates such as New England. Moisture-induced damage is typically accounted for during asphalt mixture design by conducting performance tests to ensure the material is not susceptible to experiencing severe damage from moisture, although many of these methods have seen mixed amounts of success in New England. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the ability of multiple asphalt mixture moisture susceptibility tests to identify good and poor performing mixtures with respect to moisture-induced damage to replace current moisture testing requirements in New England. Ten plant-produced mixtures with varying designs and established good and poor in-situ moisture performance from the New England region were subjected to various moisture susceptibility test methods. The results from these procedures are assessed to evaluate loss of pavement service life due to the effects of moisture damage, and to determine which procedure is most effective and practical as a moisture susceptibility test for routine usage during asphalt mixture design for New England transportation agencies. Results from this study suggest that moisture-induced damage can have a significant detrimental impact on pavement performance and service life and that the Hamburg wheel tracker test is the most effective and practical test method to reliably identify mixtures prone to experiencing significant amounts of moisture-induced damage.