WRI researchers are the experts in the chemistry and physical/rheological properties of petroleum asphalts. We’re expanding the understanding of how variations in material properties of asphalts, aggregates and additives affect their performance over time. Our work is providing users and producers with the tools for specifying materials to optimize highway service life.
Our research team includes organic, analytical, and physical chemists, civil and mechanical engineers, and technicians, all working with research-grade equipment, developing the knowledge, test methods and instrumentation that are empowering other professionals.
They bring together perspectives gained from the laboratory and the highway, from the Strategic Highway Research Program and succeeding programs, to work with state transportation departments, from the nano scale to the field scale. And over the years, this team has developed industry and government partnerships that link them throughout the asphalt community worldwide.
The Petersen Asphalt Research Conference, hosted by WRI since 1964 and the Pavement Performance Prediction Symposium are premier forums for educating researchers and practitioners about the latest knowledge in asphalt materials systems.
What’s more, WRI serves public and private clients through forensics, consulting and contract research. We see this as an opportunity to apply the skills gained through federally sponsored research and development to further expand the reach of the asphalt community. We routinely work with state transportation departments and industry to identify the causes of unexplained road failure and problems with asphalt, additives or asphalt–aggregate combination. We perform non-routine chemical and physical analyses of asphalt materials and conduct specialized research for highway, rail, and roofing applications.