This study investigated the cracking mechanism of Asphalt-Rubber Gap-graded (AR-Gap) mixtures with various material properties. The research focused on using a monotonic semicircular bending (SCB) test to estimate the cracking potential of AR-Gap mixtures at 0°C and 25°C. A total of 28 asphalt mixtures, including 27 AR-Gap mixtures and 1 conventional dense-graded (DG) mix, covering over 220 data points were utilized for evaluation. The outcome parameter, fracture toughness, KIC, calculated from the SCB test was used to compare and contrast the mixtures’ resistance to cracking at low and intermediate temperatures. At both test temperatures, the results indicated that AR-Gap mixtures have higher fracture resistance (~60 %) than the DG mix. Furthermore, statistical analyses confirmed that asphalt binder type, aggregate gradation, and binder content had significant effects on cracking performance. Aggregate gradation had a more pronounced effect on cracking performance than binder type, followed by binder content. In addition, a KIC predictive model was developed that had excellent statistical goodness-of-fit measures (R2 ≥ 90 %), which can be conveniently utilized in case of unavailability of the test setup. Overall, the findings revealed superior performance characteristics of AR-Gap mixtures that had high potential to resist cracking. Based on the various outcomes, the study was able to recommend aggregate gradation, binder type, and binder content as the parameters that would exhibit higher resistance against cracking failure. It is envisaged that this research would further the state of the art in designing crack-resistant asphalt mixtures.
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