Cohesion, Fracture and Bond – Understanding the Data from the Vialit Cohesion Pendulum Test and Other Fracture Tests from an Analysis of Rheological Properties

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The Vialit Cohesion Pendulum has been used for many years in Europe as a tool for assessing modified asphalt binders with a particular emphasis on chip seal/surfacing dressing applications. The cohesion measured in this device has been considered as an indicator of quality of the base asphalt binder and subsequent polymer formulation. This test demonstrates a transition between brittle and ductile failure of binder systems. When a test of this kind is compared to other binder tests, it is possible to deduce the impact that the high rate of loading in the Vialit Cohesion Pendulum test has on the test results. Data have been developed on a series of SHRP core asphalt binders and these are compared to master curves developed with the same binders. A discussion will follow on how the fracture of asphalt binder and mixture is both rate and temperature dependent and that this parameter always needs that consideration to truly evaluate the meaning of test data. A test of this nature, while founded partly on an empirical data base of use, can be better explained and understood with consideration of the speed of loading and temperature effects that allows the translation of fracture temperatures at one condition to those at another. The results from this type of evaluation offer better understanding of criteria such as fatigue, fracture and bond of asphalt binders and mixtures.

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