MARC Research Capabilities and Laboratory Facilities
The Modified Asphalt research Center (MARC) research group has a wide range of capabilities in terms of asphalt laboratory characterization and material performance modeling, as described below:
Asphalt Binder Testing
State-of-the-art Superpave testing equipment is available in more than one brand at UW-Madison. The laboratory has the ability to conduct standard asphalt binder performance grade specification testing (AASHTO M320), and also perform non-standard tests to for advanced rheological and damage characterization of asphalts. The laboratory also has capabilities in developing formulations for modified asphalts at a laboratory scale using polymeric and other additives
Asphalt Mixture Laboratory
The asphalt mixture laboratory includes the full set of SuperPave mixture testing equipment. For specimen preparation two SuperPave Gyratory compactors (Pine AFGC125X and Troxler 5850) and a Marshall compactor. There are two servo-hydraulic testing devices available for various mixture performance tests, one equipped with an environmental chamber, allowing for low, intermediate, and high performance characterization. Specifically, the chamber allows for temperature control in the range of 40 to -80 C. The following lists include the specific aggregate and volumetric tests for mix design and the mixture performance tests that can be performed in the asphalt mixture lab.
Performance and Distress Modeling
MARC research capabilities cover significant abilities in the area of Finite Element Modeling and programming, multi-scale modeling of asphalt binders, mixtures and tests setups through access to ABAQUS and MATLAB packages. These research capabilities allow for detailed analysis of the complex stress and strain distribution in asphalt pavement systems. Furthermore, MARC programmers have made significant advancements in the area of mixture aggregate structure image analysis and characterization. MARC modeling and programming capabilities are employed as an efficient tool to better understand distress mechanisms afflicting pavements and composite materials.