Using nanotechnology in asphalt paving has increased markedly to improve the
asphalt characteristics and increase the road life, especially with the significant
increase in traffic volumes. The present contribution evaluates the effects of ore
nanoparticles namely ilmenite and bentonite on the engineering properties and
performance of asphalt binder. The high-resolution transmission electron microscopy
(HRTEM) micrograph was used to characterize the investigated nanomaterials.
The nanoparticles were blended with asphalt binder with different percentages
(0–5% for ilmenite and 0–10% for bentonite by weight of asphalt binder) to
determine the appropriate mixing ratio that sustained the desired characteristics.
Different tests were conducted to examine the properties of modified asphalt
binder among which penetration, softening point, rotational viscosity, penetration
index (PI) and ductility. The results of our study revealed an increase in softening
point and rotational viscosity and decrease in binder penetration. Moreover, blending
of variable amounts of nanomaterials with the asphalt binders has improved
their physical properties compared with macroparticles blended and unmodified
binders as indicated by the penetration index and ductility test. The most significant
improvement in the modified binders was obtained by blending of 5% for two
types of nanoparticles. Finally, the rut depth was measured by wheel track test for
the modified asphalt mixture, with ilmenite and bentonite, to validate the obtained
results. The results show that the engineering performance of asphalt produced
from bitumen binder modified with nanoparticles is much better than conventional
asphalt and such binder-modified asphalt is strongly recommended for use on site.