Volume 31, Issue 6 (November 2003)
Investigation of Effects of Testing Methods on Characterization of Asphalt Concrete
A variety of testing methods are employed by researchers to characterize the fatigue performance of asphalt concrete. These testing methods need to be evaluated based on their performance to characterize the fundamental properties and field performance of mixtures. In this study, the indirect tensile tests and the uniaxial tests were investigated. The indirect tensile creep tests and the uniaxial tensile creep tests were performed on a North Carolina mix to study the characterization of the fundamental properties and on WesTrack mixes to study the characterization of field performance. It was found that that the values of creep compliance from the indirect tensile creep and the unaxial tensile creep tests on North Carolina mix cannot be compared favorably. Fracture energies from the indirect tensile strength tests on WesTrack mixes highly correlate with the field performances, while those from uniaxial direct tension tests did not match field performances. It is believed that anisotropicity could be the cause of differences in performance of the two test methods. It is disconcerting when researchers attempt to establish a constitutive relationship between the property parameters of mixtures and laboratory fatigue life using different testing methods, without knowing if the laboratory fatigue life from these testing methods really reflects field performance. Further research is needed to obtain a better understanding of different testing methods.