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Advanced Asphalt Research Laboratory

Rows of pieces of asphalt embedded in holes in the tops of smooth blocks, with a metal apparatus overhead aligned with the rows

The Advanced Asphalt Research Laboratory is a world-class, 1,600-square-foot research facility at Ohio University's Lancaster campus. Complementing the resources of the nearby Accelerated Pavement Load Facility (APLF), the lab is home to the hands-on training of students, technology transfer to the private sector and government, and advanced research. Research here focuses on design and analysis of flexible pavement, evaluation of the mechanical properties of each ingredient in a pavement mix, and physical modeling.

The Advanced Asphalt Research Laboratory (AARL) is equipped for the following testing:

  • new directions in asphalt research
  • complete SuperPave specifications (SuperPave is a new asphalt pavement designed to match material capabilities to actual conditions experienced by the roads.)
  • AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Pavement Design Guide methods
  • warm mix asphalt (new asphalt additives and mixes that allow longer working times at lower temperatures)
  • future changes in asphalt specifications
  • new sensor technologies for asphalt pavements

The laboratory has a full spectrum of test equipment to complement existing test equipment at Ohio University used to test concrete, aggregate, soil, plastics, steel, and other infrastructure materials.

The AARL’s full integration with ORITE’s other asphalt facilities and equipment — including the Accelerated Pavement Load Facility, test roads, and labs and equipment on other sites — allows for comprehensive roadway research and testing from the very beginning of the design process to the end of the roadway’s useful life. These facilities also develop and test new roadway materials.