The objectives of this research were 1) to examine correlations between compositional and structural properties of emulsion-treated base (ETB) layers, determine which of these factors exhibit the greatest spatial variability, and determine if significant differences exist between different test sections on a given project and 2) to investigate temporal trends in the structural properties of base materials treated with asphalt emulsion and to assess the rate at which ETB design properties are achieved. The research conducted in this study focused on testing of the ETB layer constructed on 7800 South (SR-48) in West Jordan, Utah. The research conducted in this study involved field and laboratory evaluations of spatial and temporal variability in properties of ETB. Regarding spatial results, the average modulus values of the ETB layer were unusually low for a typical stabilized base material and were in general even lower than the subgrade modulus values at this test site. All three sections had high moisture contents after compaction, with the moisture content of the ETB layer exceeding the specified optimum moisture content at many locations even before the emulsion was injected. One of the three test sections had higher percentages of reclaimed asphalt pavement and emulsion than the other two. The ETB compressive strength was very low throughout the entire year of testing, clearly demonstrating the consequences of inadequate emulsion curing associated with this project. The statistical analyses showed that higher pre-treatment moisture contents and higher amounts of binder added were associated with lower stiffness and strength, while higher wet densities were associated with higher stiffness and strength. The analyses also showed substantial variation in most response variables but comparatively low variation in predictor variables. Only four structural properties were significantly different between sections. Temporal testing was performed to monitor the properties of the ETB layer and to compare the ETB section to an adjacent untreated base course (UTBC) section. The ETB moisture content did not change significantly during the 1-year monitoring period, showing that drying of the ETB layer did not occur following placement of the hot mix asphalt surface. Furthermore, the analyses provided no evidence that the ETB layer experienced any sustained increase in strength as a result of emulsion curing; instead, the ETB modulus was shown to be greatly dependent on season, with higher ETB moisture contents and temperatures corresponding to lower ETB modulus values. Even during the winter when the ETB stiffness reached its peak, the modulus was still below the target value specified for this project. The statistical analyses indicated that the modulus values of the ETB and UTBC layers were not statistically different.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





asphalt emulsion, emulsion-treated base, full-depth reclamation, modulus, reclaimed asphalt pavement, stabilization, stiffness, strength gain