Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

John P. Zaniewski.


The testing and grading of asphalt cement has progressively changed to meet the demanding needs for quality hot mix asphalt pavements. From October 1987 through March 1993, the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) conducted a {dollar}50 million research effort to improve asphalt pavement technology. The research led to the development of the Superpave(TM) mix design system (Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements) and the Performance Graded (PG) asphalt binder tests and specifications. The Performance Graded asphalt binder specifications were developed to address the shortcomings of the previous asphalt grading systems.;The objective of this research was to critically evaluate the SHRP performance graded testing equipment purchased by the Asphalt Technology Laboratory at West Virginia University: Rolling Thin Film Oven, Pressure Aging Vessel, Rotational Viscometer, Dynamic Shear Rheometer, and the Bending Beam Rheometer. A testing program was established to evaluate the equipment performance and related test methods and to develop a confidence in the testing protocol and equipment performance such that the new equipment could be used for continued research and industry testing. Sources of equipment and operator error were identified and documented. The underlying theories of the equipment and performance graded specifications were consolidated and documented as well.