CAIT researchers at the Rutgers Asphalt and Pavement Laboratory created this new free technology and are now licensing it to professionals in the field. The software can easily provide analysis for various asphalt-performance testing specifications while alleviating errors and decreasing testing time.

Lab engineering Ed Haas performing the IDEAL-CT test.

Senior laboratory engineer Edwin Haas, one of the RAAT-Pack’s creators, is seen here conducting an IDEAL-CT test. Photo: ©Rutgers CAIT/Pavement Resource Program.

As asphalt pavement performance testing has evolved, an emphasis has been placed on intensive and complex data analysis. This change has put the burden on technicians to do more complicated math and calculus during testing than ever before.

To reduce the number crunching and meet developing needs, researchers at the Rutgers Asphalt and Pavement Lab (RAPL) and Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), have developed a new software tool, the RAAT-Pack: Rutgers Asphalt Analysis Tool Pack.

To download the free software tool or learn more, visit the Rutgers Office of Research Commercialization.

RAAT-Pack can handle the complex operations to supports tests such as Intermediate Temperature Semi-Circular Bend, Direct Compact Tension, and more that are required by many Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s). The software was also developed to perform batch analysis and analyses on several different asphalt performance tests, while other solutions analyze a single testing procedure.

The result — data can be analyzed faster while minimizing operator error and freeing up time for actual rigorous testing and quality control.

“As the asphalt industry evolves into more complex testing and analysis procedures for quality control and quality assurance, this software facilitates fast and reliable test outputs for end users without the need of understanding high level mathematics which would be required otherwise,” said Edwin Haas, senior laboratory engineer and the lead performance tester at RAPL. “The RAAT-Pack was specifically designed to be a simple, fast, and an easily deployed solution to an increasingly complex industry to improve material quality while reducing cost due to time and errors.”

A team led by Haas; along with Benjamin Berger and Marissa Berger, both graduate students at Rutgers CAIT at the time, developed the software.

Rutgers CAIT is now licensing the technology to industry partners, DOT’s, and others to help facilitate larger adoption of the software as well as required testing protocols and associated data analysis in the field.

As a pilot project, RAPL has already engaged several DOTs, agencies, and authorities that have tried the software.

How It Works

The license allows users to download an installer for the software and a zip-folder with supporting documentation and instructions for RAAT-Pack. Also in the folder will be blank input files for technicians to copy and paste the data they want to test.

Using the software, a technician can then receive analysis for several asphalt performance testing specifications by uploading an input file with their data and clicking “Run.”  The program runs on Windows operating systems. It is provided to end users as an executable GUI file built using the Matlab language. The installer package includes the specific version of Matlab Runtime that is needed to run the program correctly.

What it Tests

  • Intermediate Temperature Semi-Circular Bend (SCB) testing is an innovative crack resistance test for asphalt pavements. It uses a semi-circular (half-moon) shaped asphalt sample with an initiated crack to determine further resistance to cracking analyzing the load and displacement data.
  • Cold Temperature Semi-Circular Bend is utilized to determine the low temperature crack resistance of asphalt pavements using a semi-circular shaped asphalt sample. Low temperature crack resistance is calculated based on the load and displacement data collected throughout the test.
  • Ideal-CT testing is a crack resistance test that utilizes a full size Superpave Gyratory Compacted sample and line loading. Crack resistance is calculated using the load and displacement data from the test.
  • The Asphalt Pavement Analyzer (APA) Rutting is a wheel track test that utilizes a steel wheel tracking over a rubber hose to simulate traffic loading.  This test is used to determine early life rutting in asphalt pavements.
  • Direct Compact Tension (DCT) is a low temperature crack resistance test. This test method utilizes a circular specimen with a single edge notch loaded in tension to determine the fracture energy which can be used to help determine fracture resistance.
  • High Temperature Indirect Tensile Strength (HT-IDT) is a modified version of standard IDT testing using a higher conditioning and testing temperature. This test method utilizes a cylindrical sample loaded across its vertical diametral plane, to determine the peak load at failure to calculate the IDT strength.
  • Bond Strength Testing is a direct shear test that is utilized to characterize the adhesion between two asphalt pavement layers. This test is typically performed on asphalt pavement cores from in service pavements utilizing six inch diameter cores.  The peak load and dimensions are used to calculate the maximum adhesive force.