Analysis of asphalt concrete permeability data using representative pore size

P. J. Vardanega*, T. J. Waters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The permeability of asphalt concrete has been the subject of much study by pavement engineers over the last decade. The work undertaken has tended to focus on high air voids as the primary indicator of permeable asphalt concrete. This paper presents a simple approach for understanding the parameters that affect permeability. Principles explained by Taylor in 1956 in channel theory work for soils are used to derive a new parameter-representative pore size. Representative pore size is related to the air voids in the compacted mix and the D-75 of the asphalt mix grading curve. Collected Superpave permeability data from published literature and data collected by the writers at the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is shown to be better correlated with representative pore size than air voids, reducing the scatter considerably. Using the database of collected field and laboratory permeability values an equation is proposed that pavement engineers can use to estimate the permeability of in-place pavements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date10 Jul 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Asphalt concrete
  • Permeability
  • Grading
  • Air voids
  • Regression analysis
  • Binder

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