The first objective of this research was to investigate temporal trends in the mechanical properties of base materials stabilized with asphalt emulsion and to assess the rate at which emulsion-treated base (ETB) design properties are achieved. The second objective of this research was to identify construction and environmental factors most correlated to specific mechanical properties of ETB layers and to determine which construction factors exhibit the greatest variability. Additional statistical analysis was performed to determine if significant differences existed between different test sections on a given project. In this research, three experimental sections were established along a pavement reconstruction project near Saratoga Springs, Utah. Field tests were performed to assess the structural properties of the ETB immediately following construction and at 2, 3, 7, and 14 days; 4 months; and 1 year. Measured values were plotted against time to determine trends in ETB strength development. Several statistical analyses were then performed on the collected data. Modulus values were consistently low in all three sections during the first two weeks of testing, increased dramatically by 4 months, and then decreased considerably by 1 year. During the first two weeks following construction, the average ETB structural coefficient was 0.04. Only two of the three sections reached the design structural coefficient of 0.25, which occurred after approximately 3 months; however, the average structural coefficient measured for all three sections after 1 year of curing, which included a winter, was only 47 percent of the design strength. The results of this research show that, while pavement capacity is sufficient at 4 months, it is severely reduced during the first two weeks and at 1 year. Trafficking under these reduced capacities is not recommended. Statistical analysis showed that gradation, binder change during emulsion treatment, and moisture content have the most significant impact on ETB structural properties. Gradation and binder change during emulsion treatment also exhibited significant variability; tighter specifications on material gradations and improved uniformity in emulsion distribution should therefore be considered. Because of the negative impacts of moisture on ETB strength development, construction should not be performed in conditions of excess moisture.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





asphalt emulsion, Clegg impact soil tester, dynamic cone penetrometer, emulsion-treated base, modulus, portable falling-weight deflectometer, reclaimed asphalt pavement, soil stiffness gauge, spatial variability, stabilization, stiffness, strength gain, temporal variability