The Superpave Asphalt Research Program
The University of Texas at Austin maintains state-of-the-art transportation materials teaching and research facilities. These activities are under the direction of the Center for Transportation Research and the Department of Civil Engineering, which is rated among the top five civil engineering departments in the United States. The laboratory of the Superpave Asphalt Research Program is fully equipped to perform a wide variety of asphalt binder and mixture testing.
This laboratory is capable of performing standard ASTM, AASHTO, and agency mix designs according to the Marshall, Hveem, Texas gyratory, and Superpave systems. In addition, the laboratory is fully equipped to perform all the routine TxDOT test procedures. It houses a complete set of conventional asphalt binder test equipment. Since 1993, it has operated a complete set of Superpave binder analysis test equipment. Also on site is a MTS servo-hydraulic test apparatus capable of performing static and repeated test loads within the range from -20° to 80° C. The Asphalt Research Program is staffed with experienced,licensed professional engineers and engineering technicians that provide research and engineering services to state DOTs, federal agencies, and industry.
The goals of the program with regard to Superpave are:
- evaluate Superpave products through applied research,
- be an information resource for management level personnel,
- provide training in Superpave technology, and
- provide testing and technical assistance related to the Superpave system.
The Superpave Asphalt Research Program's mission is to provide expert assistance to agencies, industry, and academia in all areas pertaining to the implementation of Superpave.
Activities and Training
History of the Superpave Centers established by TxDOT
The South Central Superpave Center was established by the Texas DOT and FHWA in 1995. It is directed by a management committee consisting of the State DOT materials engineers in Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, and also representatives from the FHWA and Texas Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement Association. The management committee is chaired by Ms. Katherine Holtz, P.E. of the Texas DOT.
The Superpave centers are located at Texas Transportation Institute, Purdue University, Auburn University, the University of Nevada at Reno, and Pennsylvania State University.
For more information on the five regional Superpave centers, see "Superpave Regional Centers" reprinted with permission from the Summer 1996 Issue, Volume 10, No. 1 of ASPHALT, The Magazine of The Asphalt Institute.