Asphalt plays a significant role in pavement quality. The need for high-performance pavements with long service life and low maintenance requirements is the motive behind thorough research and studies of asphalt characteristics. This research focuses on studying all sources of Egyptian asphalt over a span of time using both conventional and Superpave grading techniques in order to characterize asphalt performance and also to answer the question whether the Egyptian asphalts need modification. The results of this research indicate that all Egyptian normal (virgin) 60/70 asphalt samples from different sources failed to meet penetration grading requirements, viscosity grading standards AC-20 (high quality); with minor exceptions, viscosity grading system AC-20 (low quality), and both AR-8000 and AR-1000 Aged Residue grading systems. When Superpave grading system was employed, results indicate that all normal asphalt samples failed to meet the basic requirements (without traffic adjustment) according to the Egyptian climatic requirements for high reliability projects (PG70-10 and PG76-10). The testing results accommodate Superpave requirements for lower levels of reliability and/or lower level of conservativeness. This emphasizes the flexibility and reliability of Superpave grading system as compared to conventional grading systems. On the other hand all modified asphalt samples, using an SBS modifier, passed according to the base high reliability projects and/or high level of conservativeness requirements of the Superpave grading system. Finally it is concluded that Egyptian asphalt should be modified in order to provide satisfactory performance especially for high reliability projects in hot regions with high and/or slow traffic.
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