This paper describes the development of a fracture test for determining the fracture energy of asphalt concrete. The test will be used in combination with numerical analysis and field studies to obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms of reflective cracking in asphalt concrete overlays. A review of the literature revealed that a single-edge notched beam (SE(B)) test specimen was the most promising fracture test for the objectives of the reflective cracking study. Existing servohydraulic testing equipment was modified to perform the SE(B) test along with new loading fixtures, sensors, data collection, and analysis procedures. Preliminary tests were conducted to develop test procedures, to obtain a better understanding of crack-front characteristics, to investigate test repeatability, to examine variations of fracture energy with temperature, and to investigate mixed-mode fracture. The results from the tests follow expected trends and test variability appears to be within a range typical for asphalt concrete fracture testing.
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