Document Type

Article

Abstract

Asphalt rubber (AR), which is prepared by blending crumb rubber and bitumen, provides various advantages, including superior rutting resistance, lower road-tire noise and longer service life. However, contractors have expressed concerns regarding its poor storage stability, which in turn limits its wider application. This study aims to address the storage stability concern by incorporating nano-montmorillonite (nanoclay). Three types of nanoclay were dispersed into hot AR binder by high shear blending. The rheological properties of nanoclay-crumb rubber modifier (CRM)-modified bitumen were evaluated through Superpave performance grade (PG) tests and the storage stability was characterized by measuring the difference in softening points or complex moduli at the top and bottom portions of binders after lab-simulated storage. X-ray diffraction (XRD) evaluation was conducted to observe the variation of nanoclay layer gap distance for mechanism investigation. It was found that all selected nanoclays had insignificant effects on workability, rutting and fatigue properties. The layered nanoclay transformed to intercalated or exfoliated structures after interaction with bitumen fractions, providing superior storage stability. Among the three selected nanoclays, pure montmorillonite with Na+ inorganic group, which has an intermediate hydrophilic property and middle layer gap, showed the most obvious effect on enhancing the storage stability of AR.

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