Balanced Mix Design

Asphalt road with severe rutting


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The Superpave mix design system was implemented in the United States with volumetric controls as the primary basis for selecting optimum asphalt content of mix designs. The Superpave system has gone through several revisions in order to improve the durability and performance of asphalt mixes. The use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) has further challenged contractors and agencies to produce durable, long lasting pavements. Research efforts are being used to develop performance-based specifications and test procedures that better relate laboratory testing to field performance than the use of volumetric properties alone. This course is designed to provide asphalt industry and agency personnel with a better understanding of the concept of developing balanced mix designs based on results of laboratory tests that reflect how the mix will perform in regard to rutting resistance, resistance to cracking, and long-term durability.

Goals and Objectives

This 2 1/2-day workshop will provide a basic understanding of the balanced mix design process and provide hands-on training using the laboratory tests being considered by various agencies to evaluate potential mix performance. Upon completion, attendees will be able to develop a balanced asphalt mix design in their laboratories.

Program Content

This course consists of interactive lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on training of performance-based mix design procedures. The course will be split between classroom lectures and hands-on work using the performance testing equipment in the laboratory. The course will provide engineers, testing personnel, and inspectors with an understanding of the steps and testing associated with the development of the next generation of mix design procedures. Approximately one day will be spent in the classroom and 1 1/2-days will be spent in the laboratory. A brief outline of the course follows.


  • - Overview of balanced mix design
  • - Pavement distresses and critical layers
  • - Discussion of test equipment options
  • - Testing for rutting resistance
  • - Testing for crack resistance
  • - Testing for moisture susceptibility
  • - Putting it all together: balanced mix design approaches


  • - Sample preparation
  • - Hamburg Wheel Tracker (HWT) testing procedures
  • - AMPT overlay tester for cracking resistance
  • - Semi-circular bend tests for fracture energy and I-FIT resistance to cracking
  • - Moisture susceptibility testing
  • - Equipment calibration


Each participant will be provided a copy of the PowerPoint presentations and software needed to analyze test results.


NCAT will accept applications from any individual involved in the asphalt paving industry. To get the most out of the course, it is recommended that the attendee have some experience with laboratory mix design procedures.

Fees, Refunds, and Deadline

The registration fee of $900 includes the training program, course materials, and breaks. Costs for housing, food and transportation are the responsibility of each participant. Registration fees must be paid at time of registration. Registration closes 2 weeks prior to start date of course or when class is full, whichever comes first. Cancellations received at least 2 weeks prior to the course start date will result in a full refund. No refunds will be provided for course cancellations after that date; however, substitutions will be accepted.

Continuing Education Credits

The course will provide 20 Professional Development Hours.


This course will be located at NCAT's main research facility in Auburn, Alabama. To obtain more information on this course, please contact Stacie Hunter.