Evaluation of effectiveness of Seal Coat Treatment using field data from Long-Term Pavement Performance Program
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Over time, pavement deteriorates due to many factors such as weather, traffic, water infiltration, and degradation of the material. Pavement preservation treatment such as chip seal or seal coat treatment is a cost-effective alternative for extending the service life of asphalt pavement without the need for costly rehabilitation and reconstruction. However, many highway agencies in the United States do not use this potential approach to pavement maintenance. Therefore, there is a need for field performance-based study to develop a more fundamental understanding of the best practices for a seal coat treatment. Several factors such as asphalt binder and aggregate application rates, condition of existing pavement, amount and type of traffic, and environmental and drainage condition can significantly impact seal coat treatment performance. The thesis study analyzes and compares the effectiveness of chip seal treatments utilizing data obtained from the LongTerm Pavement Performance (LTPP) database in the United States and AUSTROADS database in Australia. A comparison between the United States method and Australia method is performed to evaluate the best chip seal design practice. The study further investigates the effectiveness of chip seal application and evaluates the effect of various parameters on chip seal performance. The study has identified that chip seal performance is mostly affected by key factors, which are underlying pavement condition, weather, and pavement age. Statistical methods are employed to conduct quantitative comparisons of performance before and after chip seal treatments and understand the significance of influencing factors on the performance.