Testing technology on the NCAT track

Mar 28, 2019
NCAT test track
Auburn University’ NCAT test track located in Opelika, Alabama

Ingevity is partnering with the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) in Opelika, Alabama, and the South Carolina DOT to measure the performance of a unique design for warm mix asphalt that contributed to the successful rebuild of a section on Interstate 85 near Greenville in 2016.

The Intermediate B Special mix containing Evotherm was developed for the I-85 reconstruction project and will now be put to test at the high-speed, full-scale accelerated pavement testing facility, NCAT. In August 2018, NCAT paved a 200-foot section of its 1.7-mile track with the Intermediate B Special mix. During the next two years, scientists will evaluate the Evotherm mix using an accelerated pavement testing protocol, subjecting the section to 10 million equivalent single-axle loads (or about 10 years’ worth of traffic). This real-world laboratory allows for cutting-edge experimentation while avoiding the risk of failure on actual roadways.

East Alabama Paving successfully laid the NCAT test track section S9 at a production temperature of 285 F and a temperature range of 228 F to 240 F behind the screed. Target densities of 94 to 95 percent were met on-site with a lift thickness of 7 inches. The NCAT test sections will help demonstrate the reliability of performance-based evaluations of Intermediate B Special WMA, such as enhanced compaction and lengthened paving seasons.

Research findings will be revealed at the Test Track Conference in 2021. During the two-day program, participants learn about advancements in asphalt pavement design, construction, technologies and maintenance that are more cost effective and improve performance. Details about NCAT and the biannual conference can be found here.

To learn more about the 2016 I-85 rebuild using Intermediate B Special mix, read this earlier blog post.