Diatomite is an inorganic natural resource in large reserve. This study consists of two phases to evaluate the effects of diatomite on asphalt mixtures. In the first phase, we characterized the diatomite in terms of mineralogical properties, chemical compositions, particle size distribution, mesoporous distribution, morphology, and IR spectra. In the second phase, road performances, referring to the permanent deformation, crack, fatigue, and moisture resistance, of asphalt mixtures with diatomite were investigated. The characterization of diatomite exhibits that it is a porous material with high SiO2
content and large specific surface area. It contributes to asphalt absorption and therefore leads to bonding enhancement between asphalt and aggregate. However, physical absorption instead of chemical reaction occurs according to the results of FTIR. The resistance of asphalt mixtures with diatomite to permanent deformation and moisture are superior to those of the control mixtures. But, the addition of diatomite does not help to improve the crack and fatigue resistance of asphalt mixture.
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