Low Temperature Cracking of Asphalt Concrete Pavements

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  04/30/2004


This report investigates the low temperature behavior of asphalt pavements based on experimental results obtained for three mixtures used in the construction of cells 33, 34, and 35 at Mn/ROAD facility as well as field information acquired over the years at Mn/ROAD. As a result of this research, a new test method was developed to determine the low temperature fracture properties of asphalt mixtures based on tests performed on semi-circular specimens tested in bending. This method can be used to select materials with better fracture resistance and therefore better performance in the field. Two models were developed to predict the low temperature cracking performance of asphalt pavements. The first model predicts the crack spacing in asphalt pavements exposed to low temperatures based on continuum mechanics and the frictional restraint provided by the aggregate base. The second model predicts the accumulation of damage and the propagation of the crack through the asphalt layer as temperature drops based on cohesive zone model.

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