Investigating the Effect of Metal Nanomaterials on the Moisture Sensitivity Process of Asphalt Mixes
One of the most common damages in asphalt mixes is the destructive effect of moisture on the binder cohesion and binder–aggregate adhesion which is called moisture damage. There are various methods to improve adhesion and reduce moisture damage in asphalt mixes. The most common of them is using an appropriate additive for binder modification. Accordingly, the current research was conducted to investigate the effect of two nanomaterials (Nano CuO, and Nano SnO2) in 2 different percentages on 2 types of aggregates (granite and limestone) and a type of base binder. In order to investigate the effect of nanomaterials, indirect tensile cyclic loading (the same as resilient modulus test) in dry and wet conditions and surface free energy (SFE) method were used. The moisture sensitivity indicator which shows stripping percentage of aggregate surface in loading cycles using SFE results and indirect tensile cyclic loading, has been considered as the moisture sensitivity indicator in this research. Results of mechanical tests used in this research show that nanomaterials have significantly increased asphalt mixes strength in comparison to control specimens. Results obtained from SFE method show that nanomaterials increase the cohesion free energy; this change causes a reduction in the possibility of failure in binder membrane. Additionally, nanoparticles have increased and reduced basic component and acidic component of SFE, respectively. This leads to improvement of their adhesion with acidic aggregates, which is sensitive to moisture damage.