The Indiana Department of Transportation has successfully used Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) for decades because of its economic and environmental benefits. Because of uncertainties regarding the types of aggregates contained in RAP and their resulting frictional properties, however, INDOT has until recently disallowed the use of RAP in asphalt surface mixtures. In addition, the hardened asphalt binder in the RAP could potentially increase the occurrence of thermal cracking. This research was conducted to explore the effects on RAP with poor or unknown aggregate qualities to establish maximum allowable RAP contents to provide adequate friction. The effects of RAP on thermal cracking were then investigated at the potential allowable RAP contents.

Laboratory testing showed that the addition of poor quality RAP materials did impact the frictional properties and cracking resistance of the mixtures, but that lower amounts of RAP had little effect. The frictional performance of the laboratory fabricated and field sampled RAP materials was acceptable at contents of 25% but may be questionable at 40%.

Field friction testing was also conducted on existing roadways with RAP to explore their field frictional performance. Several low volume roadways and one experimental interstate project were tested. The field results showed acceptable performance after 3 to 5 years of low volume traffic at RAP contents of 15-25% and after more than 10 years of interstate traffic with 15% RAP.

The low temperature testing showed an increased susceptibility to thermal cracking as the RAP content increased but the change in critical cracking temperature was relatively small at the 25% RAP level. At 40% RAP without a change in the virgin binder grade, the critical cracking temperature was about 6°C warmer than the control mixture. This finding supports the need for a binder grade change for RAP contents greater than 25%, as indicated in other research and as required by the current INDOT specifications.

Report Number



Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP), friction, polishing, thermal cracking

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version