Background: Moisture damage and aging take place together in asphalt binder as it is
on road-pavement in service life and, therefore, quite challenging to overcome. Various
techniques, such as crumb rubber, fibers, etc. have been applied to improve the behaviour of
asphalt materials. The use of nanomaterials was found as one of the effective techniques to
develop temperature performances of asphalt binder.
Methods: This study investigated moisture damage and aging of asphalt binder mixing with the
carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The base binder was primarily
modified with 4% SBS polymer. Later on, CNTs were mixed in different percentages (i.e. 0.5%,
1%, and 1.5%) by weight with the 4% styrene–butadiene–styrene (SBS) modified binders. A
special functionalized (-NH3) AFM probe with spring constant 3.44 N/m was utilized to complete
Results: The results were compared with 4% SBS modified asphalt with and without CNT
addition. The adhesion forces of dry samples were found smaller as compared to wet and aged
asphalt samples of with and without CNT. However, the adhesion forces of wet and aged samples
with the investigated percentage of CNT performed considerably better than those without CNT.
Conclusion: This result indicated significant improvement of asphalt to overcome moisture
damage and aging owing to exposure in the outdoor environment as a paving material. This study
recommends any dosage (i.e. 0.5 to 1.5% by weight) of CNT with 4% SBS modified asphalt to
resist moisture damage and aging in the field.