Characterizing mechanical response of bio-modified bitumen at sub zero temperatures

Pouria Hajikarimi, Albert Onochie, Ellie H. Fini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cracks associated with large temperature fluctuation especially in cold regions are among prevalent pavement distresses. Binder rheology is typically found to the key factor affecting low temperature cracking resistance. Recognizing the importance of binder properties, many road authorities are requiring the use of special additives to enhance low temperature properties of binder to alleviate low temperature cracking problems. However, most of these modifiers are petroleum-based products with unstable price and depleting resources. Therefore, the asphalt industry is looking for renewable alternatives for modifying bitumen and improving its low temperature performance. Accordingly, this paper incorporates laboratory experiments and modeling to study merits of modifying bitumen with several bio-binders to enhance low temperature properties of bitumen. To investigate rheological properties at low temperatures, an extended bending beam rheometer test was used incorporating a simple fractional viscoelastic model based on the general power law. The data collected during loading and unloading portion of the test was used to evaluate the effect of introduction of bio-modifiers on low temperature properties of bitumen. The experimental results showed that introduction of bio-modifiers to bitumen significantly enhanced bitumen behavior both during creep loading and relaxation. The results of finite element modeling based on the extended bending beam rheometer geometry and boundary conditions proved that the simple fractional viscoelastic model can accurately characterize low-temperature mechanical behavior of bio-modified bitumen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117940
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - Apr 20 2020


  • Bio-modified bitumen
  • Extended bending beam rheometer
  • Finite element modeling
  • Fractional
  • Low temperature
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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