Significance of Fines in Hot Mix Asphalt Synthesis

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According to their size, aggregates are classified in coarse grained, fine grained, and fines. The determination of fines content in aggregate materials is very simple and is performed through the aggregate washing during the sieving procedure to define the gradation curve. The very fine material consists of grains having a size lower than 63 μm. The presence of fines directly influences the composition and performance of concrete and asphalt mixtures (e.g. asphalt content, elasticity, fracture). The strength and load carrying capacity of hot mix asphalt (HMA) results from the aggregate framework created through particle-particle contact and interlock. Fines or mineral filler have a role in HMA. The coarse aggregate framework is filled by the sand-sized material and finally by the mineral filler. At some point, the smallest particles lose contact becoming suspended in the binder not having the particle-particle contact that is created by the larger particles. The overall effect of mineral filler in hot mix asphalt specimens has been investigated through a series of laboratory tests. It is clear that a behaviour influenced by the adherence of fines to asphalt film has been developed. The optimum bitumen content requirement in case of stone filler is almost the same as that for fly ash. It has been found that the percentage of fly ash filler is crucial if it exceeds approximately a value of 4%.

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