Performance Engineered Mixtures (PEM)

Participating state DOTs: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin

We have traditionally accepted concrete based on measurements like strength, slump, and air. These measurements, in their current form, have very limited correlation to future performance.

Recent developments in concrete testing technologies have yielded methods that are better predictors of long-term performance. It is the goal of the PEM transportation pooled fund project to bring these newer technologies to state agencies and to assist states in adoption of the test methods that will help them deliver on the promise of concrete durability.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), sixteen state departments of transportation, and four national associations representing the concrete paving industry have come together to fund this project. It is a coalition of federal, state, and industry leaders dedicated to maximizing pavement performance.

The National CP Tech Center has published a brochure describing its Performance Engineered Mixtures Program. PDF

About PEM

The PEM project is broken down into the three following tasks.

Task 1: Implementing What We Know
This task is intended to provide support to study participants with implementation of performance engineered paving mixtures within their states. Implementation will include education, training, and project-level support.

Task 2: Performance Monitoring and Specification Refinement
This task will provide field performance data for use in making decisions on specification limits in the areas of salt damage, transport, and freeze-thaw damage.

Task 3: Measuring and Relating Early Age Concrete Properties to Performance
This task will build upon the foundational work done to date in measurement technologies to design and control concrete pavement mixtures around key engineering properties. It is planned that work under this task will address improved testing methods for improved accuracy and reduced cost.

More information on Performance Engineered Mixtures can be found in the following National CP Tech Center MAP/Tech briefs and PDF presentation.

  • MAP Brief April 2017: Performance Engineered Mixtures (PEM) for Concrete Pavements. PDF
  • MAP Brief July 2017: Developing a Quality Assurance Program for Implementing Performance Engineered Mixtures for Concrete Pavements. PDF
  • Performance-Engineered Concrete Paving Mixtures (PEM): Delivering Concrete to Survive the Environment. PDF
Test Methods

These test methods that fall under the PEM umbrella and may be new to many agencies, contractors, testing labs, and consultants.

Vibrating Kelly Ball (V-Kelly)
Test Summary PDF
Test Procedure PDF
Watch the video

Super Air Meter (SAM)
Test Summary PDF
Test Procedure PDF
Watch the video
Slideshow (also includes Box Test) PDF

Box Test
Test Summary PDF
Test Procedure PDF
Watch the video
PDF Slideshow (also includes SAM) PDF

Maturity Method
Tech Brief PDF

Formation Factor via Surface Resistivity
Test Summary PDF
Test Procedure PDF
Watch the video

Links to Related Videos
Oregon State University’s Performance Engineered Concrete Mixtures Recorded Video Series
Tyler Ley’s YouTube Channel