AbstractThe study reported herein investigates the effectiveness of nano aluminum trioxide (Al2O3) as a bituminous binder modifier. The study assesses the high- and intermediate-temperature performance of bituminous binders modified with three different percentages (0.5%, 1%, and 2%) of nano Al2O3. A field emission scanning electron microscope was utilized to study the dispersion of nano Al2O3 in bituminous binder. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis was used to understand the nature of the interaction between nano Al2O3 particles and bituminous binder. Different rheological approaches, like the Superpave rutting parameter, multiple stress creep and recovery test, and time-temperature sweep, were used to study the high-temperature performance of nano Al2O3–modified bituminous binders. All the methods undertaken in the current study to evaluate rutting susceptibility showed that nano Al2O3 showed modified binders had a very low propensity to accumulate permanent deformation. Fatigue performance evaluated using the Linear Amplitude Sweep test showed that the incorporation of nano Al2O3 enhanced fatigue performance. Nano Al2O3–modified bituminous binders were found to be storage stable as revealed by the storage stability test. The high-temperature thermal stability of the bituminous binders measured using thermogravimetric analysis showed an improvement after nano Al2O3 incorporation.

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