Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Howard, Isaac L.

Committee Member

Vahedifard, Farshid

Committee Member

Aleithawe, Imad

Committee Member

Ramirez-Avila, John J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Nowadays, asphalt mixtures can be complex and have many ingredients to meet economic, performance, and/or environmental requirements. Economic and environmental factors have been driving performance in the positive direction for rutting, but the negative direction for brittleness, cracking, and overall durability. Recent research has also shown that two of the national standards to assess aging or effects of environmental factors (AASHTO T283 and R30) do not always simulate the amount of aging or behaviors mentioned in the documents. Also, these methods generally view one environmental effect at a time, and do not consider simultaneous environmental effects on aging (e.g. oxidation, moisture, freeze-thaw effects). However, pavements are exposed to combined environmental effects. As such, there is a lack of understanding of the combined environmental effects on asphalt pavement, and improve methods are needed for laboratory settings, resulting in less than optimal design and materials selection protocols. This dissertation focuses on investigating combined environmental effects of oxidation, moisture, and freeze-thaw. The dissertation includes four years of field aging of plant mixed asphalt mixtures containing no recycled materials and three different warm mix technologies that were also exposed to eight laboratory conditioning protocols including individual and combined environmental effects of oxidation, moisture and freeze-thaw to investigate mixture properties measured at high, intermediate, and low temperatures with several mixture tests that were complimented with tests on recovered binder. Major findings are summarized below: • Cantabro mass loss captured individual and combined effects damage in laboratory and field conditions better than other mixture testing utilized herein and was recommended for mixture assessment. • Laboratory conditioning protocols with combined effects were the only ones able to consistently represent four or more years of field aging in the Mississippi climate. • Field aging of laboratory compacted specimens in PVC sleeves did not fully represent field aging of field placed pavement. Temperature and moisture conditions varied between the two cases. • Use of Cantabro mass loss and laboratory conditioning consisting of hot air, hot water, and freeze-thaw conditions was shown to provide combined effects improvements relative to at least some typical practices. Guidance was provided on how to use these tools to assess combined effects.