The need to understand the mechanical properties and relation between the material and the damage that occurs during the service life of road pavement (low temperature cracking, fatigue cracks and rutting deformations) was the motivation behind the development of a new classification system known as Superpave: Superpave is an acronym for Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements.

This is a new, comprehensive asphalt mix design and analysis method, under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) established by U.S Congress in 1987 to improve the performance and durability of roads.

A unique feature of the Superpave system is that the tests are performed at temperatures and aging conditions that more realistically represent those encountered by in-service pavements. SHRP researchers developed new equipment standards as well as incorporated equipment such as DSR, PAV, VDO, BBR, RTFO