Evaluation and recommendation of mix design for emulsion stabilized bases

Samuel Franco, University of Texas at El Paso


Asphalt emulsion has been used for base material stabilization in a few TxDOT districts. Results from these practices were quite different. The initial performance of two projects on US287 constructed around 2000 in the Amarillo District has been found to be satisfactory. However, the Yoakum District has reported problems with asphalt emulsion for base work in a project on FM 237. The preliminary conclusion from these trials has been that asphalt emulsion may not perform well in the high humidity/high rainfall areas like east Texas. On the other hand, using calcium-based additives to stabilize base courses in road construction has been a common practice in most TxDOT districts. It is expected that the blend of calcium-based additives with asphalt emulsion (dual stabilization) will produce a base which has an optimum combination of strength, stiffness, moisture resistance and flexibility. In this case, the calcium-based stabilizer may reduce the plasticity of the base fines making it a more friable material that accepts well the blending with emulsions. TxDOT has drafted a special specification for the use of asphalt emulsions treatment in road mixing. In this project, the trial version of the TxDOT special specification is evaluated. The output of this research project includes: laboratory test procedure for mix design with dual stabilization, a guideline for the construction of bases with dual stabilization, and results from a series of parametric studies that show which parameters may have significant impacts on the engineering properties of emulsion-treated base materials and on the performance of emulsion-treated bases.^

Subject Area

Engineering, Civil|Transportation

Recommended Citation

Franco, Samuel, "Evaluation and recommendation of mix design for emulsion stabilized bases" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1512568.