Developing a Model for the Effect of Temperature and Thickness of Asphalt Mixture on Fracture Toughness under Pure Mode I

Document Type : پژوهشی




A huge amount of money is spent every year on designing and constructing of asphalt pavements due to an increase in the number of vehicles and, consequently, a higher demand for constructions of new roads. In addition, overtime, different factors such as severe climates and roads traffic conditions create cracks on the road surface that also require spending money on roads maintenance. Thermal cracking is one of the major distress types in the cold regions. Further propagation of such cracks may occur because of tensile thermal stresses induced by temperature fluctuations which can result in pure mode I fracture mechanism in the asphalt pavement. This study aims to determine fracture toughness ( ) as a fundamental parameter for estimating the load bearing capacity of cracked pavements against crack propagation under mode I cracking in low temperatures. To this end, the asphalt mixtures were manufactured with AC 60/70 bitumen. Semi-circular bending (SCB) specimens with effective crack length (a=23 mm) have been prepared in three thickness (35, 50 and 65 mm). We collected data with conducting the fracture tests at three subzero temperatures (-5°C, -15°C and -25°C) and calculating the fracture toughness values using fracture loads. The results indicated that, in general, increasing speciments thickness and decreasing temperature increase fracture toughness. Finally, using MATLAB software, a model was developed to estimate the asphalt fracture toughness according to the two parameters of temperature and specimens thickness. It was determined that the proposed model can predict the values of fracture toughness in asphalt mixtures prepared on present study at the temperature and thickness range of the research.


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