The Saturated Aging Tensile Stiffness (SATS) test was developed by Professor Andrew Collop and co-workers of University of Nottingham in the early part of this decade. The test is a combined ageing/ moisture sensitivity test to evaluate the performance of macadam coated binder course and base mixtures.
The test involves the position of core samples in a high pressure (21 bar air) and high temperature (85°C) environment for 4 days to prematurely age the sample. These samples are then tested in the Nottingham Asphalt Tester/ NU14 to measure the tensile strength of the core samples.
This test has been adopted by the Highways Agency as a compulsory QC test method for any asphalt that is supplied to them. This requirement came into force in autumn 2007. Due to the high pressures that are used in this test, the equipment must be constructed in a suitable fashion. This equipment is used by a number of leading asphalt suppliers in the UK.