Request for Proposal
Project 04-02
PG Binder Grade Selection for Airfield Pavements

Proposals Due August 5, 2005 at 4:00 P.M. CST

Airfield Asphalt Pavement
Technology Program (AAPTP)


From October 1987 to March 1993 the Strategic Highway Research Program conducted a $50 million research effort to develop new ways to test and specify asphalt binders. A major product from that work was the development of the performance graded asphalt specification for asphalt binders. This specification is now in use by most of the state DOTs. The specification and guidance provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) allows an engineer to base the selection of the proper binder grade on the climate (maximum upper and minimum lower in- service pavement temperatures) and the traffic level for the roadway being designed. In 1998 the Corps of Engineers conducted a study for the FAA to evaluate the products of the SHRP research and make recommendations to the FAA about the applicability of that research to airfield pavements. Their conclusion was that the SHRP asphalt binder specifications as written are "a significant advancement over current FAA asphalt binder selection criteria". However, they indicated that some changes in the PG selection criteria need to be made to reflect the requirements of heavy-duty airfield pavements. Guidance provided by the FAA to airfield designers is to use the grade being specified by the local DOTs for the construction of high volume highways.


The objective of this study is to develop technical guidance on the selection of a PG Binder for civilian and military airfield applications. This guidance must consider but not be limited to the following:

  1. Tire pressure and loading
  2. Channelized traffic
  3. Loading repetitions
  4. Pavement temperature both high and low
  5. Speed
  6. Depth in the HMA pavement
  7. Non-traffic areas (shoulders, blast pads, paved overruns, etc)
  8. Temperature reliability
  9. Grade bumping
  10. Modified binders

Phase I

Task 1 - Technology Review. This review will include as a minimum but not limited to the following:

  1. Review existing selection criteria for PG Binders and evaluate the application of existing criteria to airfields.
  2. Review of asphalt modifiers properties, advantages, disadvantages, concerns with their usage, recommendations on PG plus specifications.
  3. A discussion of the effect of different PG binders on the modulus of the HMA pavement.
  4. A discussion of the use of PG Binders for other applications with loadings similar to airfields such as port facilities.
  5. A discussion of grade-bumping and reliability criteria.
Task 2. This task will be divided into two parts. The first part will involve the development of a concept for developing criteria for selection of PG grades for airfields. The second part will present a concept for developing software so that any airfield can use their weather data to select the appropriate PG grade. The research agency will evaluate the concept for software development and make a recommendation for developing a computer program similar to LTTPBind for airfield pavements and make recommendations to the AAPTP with regard to the feasibility, cost and time for the development of the software. The information provided under this task will be used by the Technical Panel to determine if the development of the software will be accomplished. The software development is not to be included in the cost submitted with this proposal. Any software (including the source code) developed by the research agency will become the property of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Task 3. The research agency will submit a report that describes the results of Tasks 1 and 2. This report will present the results of the technology reviewed and will include a detailed plan for development of the guidance with a detailed outline for the final report. The report will also include a recommendation with regard to feasibility, cost, and time for the development of software similar to LTTPBind for selection of PG grades. This detailed plan must include as a minimum binder selection guidance and a discussion that considers the following.

  1. Tire pressure & tire loading (effect of extremes high tire pressures and wheel loadings)
  2. Channelized traffic (for example military vs. civilian airfields)
  3. Loading Repetitions (volume of airfield traffic and mixture)
  4. Pavement temperature both high and low
  5. Speed static, slow, high speed
  6. Depth in the HMA pavement structure
  7. Non-traffic areas (shoulders, blast pads, paved overruns, etc)
  8. Grade bumping
  9. Temperature reliability
  10. Modified binders
The research agency will present the results of Tasks 1 and 2 at a meeting (at a location directed by Project Technical Panel) of the Project Technical Panel after which the research agency will be provided direction for the completion of the project.

Phase II

Task 4. Work will be completed to develop a procedure for selecting PG grades for airfields as discussed in Phase I. Upon completion of the project a final report will be required. The research agency should submit a preliminary draft (eight hard copies and one electronic copy) for review by the Project Technical Panel. Upon completion of this review, comments will be provided to the research agency. Approximately one month after the research agency has received and reviewed the comments from the Project Technical Panel a meeting will be set up for the Project Technical Panel and the research agency to review the project findings and the final report. The research agency should be prepared to make a presentation at this meeting that will cover all aspects of the project. Within thirty days of this meeting, the research agency will submit to AAPTP a final report that incorporates the reviewers' comments and reflects editing by a competent technical editor. All reports will be submitted in both hard copy and electronic copy format. All written documentation will be prepared using Microsoft Word. All reports will be the property of the Federal Aviation Administration and will be supplied in a format that complies with the agency's Section 508 requirements for electronic documents. A policy statement for Section 508 can be found at, and the Section 508 website, a summary and list of standards, can be found at http://www.section50

Phase III

Task 5. Based on the results of Task 2, the Technical Project Panel may direct the research agency to develop the binder selection software. If the research agency is directed to develop this program it will be considered as additional cost to the project. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Progress reports

Quarterly progress reports (2 hard copies and an electronic copy in Microsoft Word format) are required from the research agency and are to be prepared on the basis of calendar quarters. The research agency will mail the 2 hard copies of the report directly to the AAPTP and will E-mail each of the members of the technical review panel a copy of the progress report. Each report will include the following: A cover letter providing (a) a clear and complete description of the work performed on each task during that quarter; (b) an outline of the work to be accomplished during the next quarter; (c) a description of any problem(s) encountered or anticipated that might affect the completion of the project within the designated time and fiscal constraints and (d) recommended solutions to problems identified in (c) if any exist.

Report Format

Follow the format for the final report shown here. Interim reports should follow the same format.


The evaluation considers the following: (1) the research agency's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach to the solution of the problems outlined in the RFP; (3) experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related areas; and (4) the breakdown of manpower and costs. The total funds available are made known in this problem statement, and line items of the proposed budget will be examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks.


The technical portion of the proposal should not exceed 20 pages.

Funds available: $150,000

Eight copies of proposal due no later than 4pm CST on August 5, 2005

Contract time: 14 months (Phase I -- 5 months, which includes 1 month for the AAPTP review and approval of the plan; Phase II -- 9 months, which includes 3 months for AAPTP to review and for the contractor to revise the final report.)

Staff responsibility: E. Ray Brown, 334-844-6228,

Authorization to begin work: Septembert 2005 -- estimated

Send proposals to the following address:

E. Ray Brown
277 Technology Parkway
Auburn, AL 36830

Maintained by Linda Kerr