Volume 41, Issue 2 (March 2013)
Rate- and Temperature-Dependent Fracture Characteristics of Asphaltic Paving Mixtures
Cracking in asphaltic pavement layers causes primary failure of the roadway structure, and the fracture resistance and characteristics of asphalt mixtures significantly influence the service life of asphaltic roadways. A better understanding of the fracture process is considered a necessary step to the proper development of design-analysis procedures for asphaltic mixtures and pavement structures. However, such effort involves many challenges because of the complex nature of asphaltic materials. In this study, experiments were conducted using uniaxial compressive specimens to characterize the linear viscoelastic properties and semi-circular bending (SCB) specimens to characterize fracture behavior of a typical dense-graded asphalt paving mixture subjected to various loading rates and at different temperatures. The SCB fracture test was also incorporated with a digital image correlation (DIC) system and finite-element model simulations including material viscoelasticity and cohesive-zone fracture to effectively capture local fracture processes and resulting fracture properties. The test results and model simulations clearly demonstrate that: (1) the rate- and temperature-dependent fracture characteristics need to be identified at the local fracture process zone, and (2) the rate- and temperature-dependent fracture properties are necessary in the structural design of asphaltic pavements with which a wide range of strain rates and service temperatures is usually associated.