Unraveling the influence of fibers on aging susceptibility and performance of high content polymer modified asphalt mixtures

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High-Content SBS Polymer Modified Asphalt Mixtures (HCPMA) combined with fibers have gained popularity in porous pavement construction due to their superior performance. Although the aging behavior of HCPMA has been extensively studied, the impact of fibers on performance and aging susceptibility remains unclear. This research investigates the influence of two representative fibers (lignin and polyester) on the raveling, cracking, fatigue, and rutting resistance of HCPMA before and after aging using Cantabro loss tests, SCB strength tests, SCB fatigue tests, and Hamburg Wheel-Tracking tests. The results indicate that in the original state, polyester fiber slightly enhances HCPMA performance, while lignin fiber shows limited or even adverse effects on cracking, raveling, fatigue, and rutting resistance. However, both fibers exhibit a more pronounced enhancement effect after short- and long-term aging. FTIR analysis reveals that fiber addition does not significantly impact bitumen oxidation and polymer degradation. The excellent properties of High-Content SBS Polymer Modified Bitumen (HCPMB) in the original state create a "masking" effect that conceals the enhancement effect of fibers, which becomes more evident after
long-term aging. Consequently, it is recommended that the performance evaluation and design of open-graded asphalt mixtures containing HCPMB be based on post-aging performance.