Numerical-experimental approach to characterize fracture properties of asphalt mixtures at low temperatures

Francisco Thiago Sacramento Aragão, Diego Arthur Hartmann, Yong Rak Kim, Laura Maria Goretti Da Motta, Mohammad Haft-Javaherian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


Fracture damage mechanisms are some of the most significant causes of structural failure in asphalt mixtures. Yet much research is still needed to understand properly the fracture process in such complex materials. The study reported in this paper investigated several experimental testing protocols available in the literature to characterize fracture properties of asphalt mixtures. Two bending tests (i.e., semicircular bending, single-edge notched beam) and one tension test (disk-shaped compact tension) were performed. An integrated approach that combined experimental tests and numerical simulations was applied to characterize fracture properties of a fine aggregate mixture. The experimental tests were simulated with a computational model on the basis of the finite element method, which was incorporated with material viscoelasticity and cohesive zone fracture. Two cohesive zone fracture parameters (i.e., cohesive strength, fracture energy) were determined through a calibration process until a good match between experimental and numerical results was observed. To illustrate the efficiency of the integrated numerical-experimental approach, fracture properties also were determined through a traditional methodology that used globally averaged material displacements far from the actual fracture process zone. The results indicated that different fracture properties at low temperatures might be obtained from simulations of a single test, regardless of the sample geometry or loading configuration. Through further testing and analysis, it is expected that the modeling approach employed in this work can provide meaningful insights into the effects of constituents on an overall mixture's performance, with significant savings in experimental cost and time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherNational Research Council
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780309295475
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Record
ISSN (Print)0361-1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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