American Society of Civil Engineers

Analysis of Asphalt Concrete Permeability Data Using Representative Pore Size

by P. J. Vardanega, (corresponding author), A.M.ASCE, (Graduate Researcher, Dept. of Engineering, Cambridge Univ., Trumpington St., Cambridge, CB2 1PZ U.K.; formerly, Graduate Engineer, Dept. of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland, Australia E-mail: and T. J. Waters, (Senior Physicist, Dept. of Transport and Main Roads, 35 Butterfield St., Herston, Brisbane, Queensland 4006, Australia.)

Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Vol. 23, No. 2, February 2011, pp. 169-176, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Errata:(See full record)
Abstract: The permeability of asphalt concrete has been the subject of much study by pavement engineers over the last decade. The work undertaken has tended to focus on high air voids as the primary indicator of permeable asphalt concrete. This paper presents a simple approach for understanding the parameters that affect permeability. Principles explained by Taylor in 1956 in channel theory work for soils are used to derive a new parameter—representative pore size. Representative pore size is related to the air voids in the compacted mix and the D75 of the asphalt mix grading curve. Collected Superpave permeability data from published literature and data collected by the writers at the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is shown to be better correlated with representative pore size than air voids, reducing the scatter considerably. Using the database of collected field and laboratory permeability values an equation is proposed that pavement engineers can use to estimate the permeability of in-place pavements.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Asphalt concrete
Binders (material)
Regression analysis

Author Keywords:
Asphalt concrete
Air voids
Regression analysis