Asphalt Materials Research

The asphalt materials testing capabilities at Michigan Tech include mixture performance and component materials characterization to improve performance of materials used in hot mix asphalt (HMA) and warm mix asphalt (WMA). There are two principal laboratories supporting asphalt research: the Binder Research and Testing Facility, and the Mixture Performance Research and Testing Facility.

Binder Research and Testing

Our 900 square-foot laboratory incorporates a variety of Supaerpave standard instruments for determining the properties of asphalt binders.

Asphalt Mixing Performance and Testing

There are multiple laboratories for mixture performance and research encompassing over 4,500 square feet. Labs are separated to allow for efficient processing and testing of raw materials.

Our staff specializes in determining aggregate gradiation, consesus requirements, and soure properties for mixture design.

Once a mixture design is complete, our researchers utilize pavement performance prediction equipment to determine detailed performance parameters including deformation, fatigue life, tensile strength, stiffness, and moisture susceptibility.


The asphalt materials research team at Michigan Tech consists of two faculty, two professional full-time staff members, and graduate and undergraduate research assistants. In keeping with AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) accreditation, all students are certified by our full-time staff in accordance with our AMRL quality control/quality assurance program. The asphalt materials staff participates in round robin testing of AMRL and Michigan Department of Transportation materials.

Facility Equipment

Pavement Technology Asphalt Pavement Analyzer Multifunctional Loaded Wheel Tester

InstroTek CoreLok 1225 Specific Gravity-, Absorption-, and Porosity-measurement System

Pine Instrument AFGB1A and AFG125X Superpave Gyratory Compactors

HasDek SLAB-PAC Linear Kneading Compactor

IPC Global UTM-5P Universal Testing Machine Pneumatic Load Frame

1.1 kip capacity

IPC Global UTM-100 Universal Testing Machine Hydraulic Load Frame

22.5 kip capacity

Bohlin Instruments 90-001A Superpave Direct Tension Tester

Bohlin Instruments CVO 120 and CVO 50 Dynamic Shear Rheometers

Applied Test Systems PAV-V1 Pressure Aging Vessels

Prentex Alloy Fabricators VDO 9900-E1 Vacuum Degassing Oven

Cannon Instrument TE-BBR Thermoelectric Bending-Beam Rheometers

James Cox & Sons CS 325-B Rolling Thin Film Ovens

Applied Scientific Instrumentation Aggregate Imaging System

Thermolyne SSDetect M120227 Fine Aggregate Specific Gravity and Absorption System

Troxler Electronic Laboratories DAVII-HMS Dynamic Angle Validator and Hot Mixed Asphalt Load Simulator

Troxler Electronic Laboratories Pressure Distribution Analyzer