The main objectives of this project were to review the available balanced-mix design (BMD) methodologies, understand the I-FIT and Hamburg Wheel Tracking Test (HWTT) test methods using INDOT asphalt mixtures, and to explore the application of these tests to both a BMD approach and as performance-related Quality Control (QC) and Quality Acceptance (QA) methods. Two QA mixture specimen types, plant-mixed laboratory-compacted (PMLC) and plant-mixed field-compacted (PMFC) were used in the determination of cracking and rutting parameters. Distribution functions for the flexibility index (FI) values and rutting parameters were determined for various mixture types. The effects of specimen geometry and air voids contents on the calculated Flexibility Index (FI) and rutting parameters were investigated. The fatigue characteristics of selected asphalt mixtures were determined using the S-VECD test according to different FI levels for different conditions. A typical full-depth pavement section was implemented in FlexPAVE to explore the cracking characteristics of INDOT asphalt mixtures by investigating the relationship between the FI values of QA samples with the FlexPAVE pavement performance predictions.

The FI values obtained from PMFC specimens were consistently higher than their corresponding PMLC specimens. This study also found that FI values were affected significantly by variations in specimen thickness and air voids contents, having higher FI values with higher air voids contents and thinner specimens. These observations do not agree with the general material-performance expectations that better cracking resistance is achieved with lower air voids content and thicker layers. Additionally, PG 70-22 mixtures show the lowest mean FI values followed by the PG 76-22 and 64-22 mixtures. The same order was observed from the ΔTc (asphalt binder cracking index) of INDOT’s 2017 and 2018 projects.

Finally, it was found that the HWTT showed reasonable sensitivity to the different characteristics (e.g., aggregate sizes, binder types, and air voids contents) of asphalt mixtures. Mixtures containing modified asphalt binders showed better rut resistance and higher Rutting Resistance Index (RRI) than those containing unmodified binders.

Report Number



pavement performance, BMD, I-FIT, HWTT, cracking resistance, rutting resistance, fatigue resistance, material quality, FlexPAVE, asphalt pavements, flexibility index, asphalt cracking, rutting, balanced mix design

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version