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Techniques to Fingerprint Construction Materials (R06B)

Product Overview

Verifying that construction materials meet project specifications is necessary but can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. Some materials require extensive sampling and then testing in a laboratory setting. This often results in delays or taking shortcuts in getting test results for acceptance, which could impact product quality and long-term project performance. In the end, this all results in higher project costs, as delays, rework, and/or reduced performance equals money and can impact safety.

To combat this issue, state DOTs and transportation agencies can now use Techniques to Fingerprint Construction Materials (R06B), born from SHRP2—a program by the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to deliver solutions for transportation agencies that save lives, money, and time. R06B features two portable technologies that can probe specific construction materials in real time and right at the project site, saving time and costs stemming from delays.​

  • X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF) can be used to determine which chemical elements are present in a material and at what concentrations.
  • Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) looks at molecules and can be used to:
    • Identify curing compounds and other admixtures in wet cement prior to placement
    • Identify lime in asphalt
    • Detect miscellaneous modifiers in asphalt
    • Identify and quantify polymers in asphalt
    • Detect contaminants in soils and aggregates
​Presentations and Webinars
Related Materials and Information
Implementation Assistance Program
  • Three states implemented Techniques to Fingerprint Construction Materials as part of the Implementation Assistance Program (IAP) Round 7: Alabama, Maine, and Tennessee.​
Related Links

Testing the XRF technology and its ability to determine the chemical elements of the material and at what concentrations.

FTIR spectrometer testing an asphalt grain.