The properties of asphalt pavement are damaged under the effects of moisture. The pH value and salt concentration of water are the key factors that affect the chemical and rheological properties of asphalt during moisture damage. Four kinds of water solutions, including distilled water, an acidic solution, alkaline solution and saline solution were used to investigate the effects of aqueous solute compositions on the chemical and rheological properties of asphalt. Thin-layer chromatography with flame ionization detection (TLC-FID), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) were applied to investigate the components, chemistry and rheology characteristics of asphalt specimens before and after water solute exposure. The experimental results show that moisture damage of asphalt is not only associated with an oxidation process between asphalt with oxygen, but it is also highly dependent on some compounds of asphalt dissolving and being removed in the water solutions. In detail, after immersion in water solute, the fraction of saturates, aromatics and resins in asphalt binders decreased, while asphaltenes increased; an increase in the carbonyl and sulphoxide indices, and a decrease in the butadiene index were also found from the FTIR analyzer test. The rheological properties of asphalt are sensitive to water solute immersing. The addition of aqueous solutes causes more serious moisture damage on asphalt binders, with the pH11 solution presenting as the most destructive during water solute exposure.
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