Interest in the use of sulfur in highway pavement construction has been stimulated by unpredictable increases in cost and by uncertainty as to the future availability of asphalt cement as a result of the current "energy squeeze." Recent studies and experimental field tests have shown that sulfur can, under certain circumstances, replace as much as 35 vol-pct of the asphalt cement used in asphaltic concrete mixes. The unique properties of sulfur, both alone and when blended with asphalt, have also shown potential for use in recycling old bituminous pavements. This paper puts into perspective the state-of-the-art in design, preparation, placement, and performance evaluation of sulfur-extended asphalt (sea) pavement mixtures. Various methods of binder preparation are discussed and, where possible, compared on the basis of their physical and engineering properties. The status of three domestic experimental field trials utilizing these methods is reviewed. The potential use of sea binder to recycle old bituminous pavements is also presented. Theoretical in-service performance predictions of sea pavement materials are compared with conventional asphalt cement on the basis of their rutting potential, resistance to cracking, slope variance, and serviceability index. Finally, recommendations for future work are discussed.
Pres. At Faa Eastern Region Airport Eng. Seminar, Hershey, Pennsylvania Mar.3, 1980