Evaluation of crack propagation properties of asphalt mixtures

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106 Scopus citations


Current failure criteria of asphalt pavements are either empirical or assume linear elastic material response and use a single load level to relate the number of load repetitions to fatigue failure. To better understand the crack propagation properties of asphalt pavements, laboratory tests and nonlinear analysis were performed to evaluate the low-temperature fracture parameters of conventional asphalt concrete and asphalt-rubber mixture. Two approaches based on nonlinear fracture mechanics, the compliance approach and the R-Curve approach, were used. Beam specimens were prepared with different binder contents and tested under three-point bending flexural conditions at two test temperatures. A closed-loop servohydraulic test system was used with the crack mouth opening as the control parameter. Nonlinear fracture parameters were obtained at different stages of crack propagation. Results show that the asphalt-rubber mixture has higher fracture toughness and consequently larger resistance to cracking than asphalt concrete. Also, the asphalt-rubber mixture is less sensitive to temperature than asphalt concrete. Increasing the binder content increased the toughness values for both asphalt concrete and asphalt-rubber mixture in most cases. The R-Curve approach provides a good measure of characterizing the fracture behavior of asphalt mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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