Do different chemical and rheological properties act as effective and critical indicators for efficiency evaluation of rejuvenated bitumen?

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This study investigates the impacts of rejuvenator type/dosage and the aging degree of bitumen on the chemical and rheological properties of rejuvenated bitumen, and propose critical chemo-rheological indicators for evaluating rejuvenation efficiency. Moreover, the potential connections between essential chemical and rheological indices of rejuvenator-aged bitumen blends are explored. Results indicate that chemical indices show linear relationships with rejuvenator dosage and vary depending on the rejuvenator type and aging level of bitumen. All rejuvenators can regenerate certain rheological parameters of aged bitumen to varying degrees, but cannot restore the crossover modulus (Gc). Various rheological indices exhibit different correlations with rejuvenator dosage and sensitivity degrees to the discrepancy in rejuvenator type and aging degree of bitumen. Critical chemical and rheological indicators are proposed based on their sensitivity levels to influence factors, with the aromaticity index (AI), carbonyl index (CI), and sulfoxide index (SI) as effective chemical indices and the complex modulus (G*), crossover frequency (fc), and high-temperature master curve area (AMH) as critical rheological indices for rejuvenation efficiency evaluation. The study finds that the magnitude of rejuvenation efficiency for four rejuvenators is Bio-oil > Engine-oil > Naphthenic-oil > Aromatic-oil, and the linear correlations between the critical chemical and rheological indices, together with their rejuvenation percentages, are significantly affected by the rejuvenator type and aging level of bitumen.