Effect of factors affecting fracture energy of asphalt concrete at low temperature

Xinjun Li, R. Christopher Williams, Andrew F. Braham, Andrew F. Braham, Mihai O. Marasteanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Low temperature cracking is considered one of the primary distress modes of asphalt pavements built in northern climates. The detrimental effects of low-temperature cracking of asphalt pavements have motivated new work in fracture testing of hot-mix asphalt (HMA). A comprehensive study was conducted to investigate the effect of various factors on the fracture resistance of asphalt mixtures at low temperatures. The Semi-Circular Bending (SCB) and Disc-Shaped Compact Tension Test (DCT) fracture tests were performed at three low temperatures to measure the fracture energy for 28 asphalt mixtures, which represent a combination of factors including binder type, binder modifier, aggregate type, asphalt content and air voids. In this study, the analysis from the experimental data indicates that fracture energy is strongly dependent upon temperature and significantly affected by type of aggregate and binder modifier. The results of the analysis show the significance of air voids in the SCB test, but no statistical difference was found for the DCT test data. The analysis also illustrates that richer mixtures, ones with more asphalt than the design optimum, are not necessarily more crack resistant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-416
Number of pages20
JournalRoad Materials and Pavement Design
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dongre Raj, Sharma M.G., and Anderson D.A, “Development of Fracture Criterion for Asphalt Mixes at Low Temperatures”, Transportation Research Record 1228, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1989, p. 94-105.

Funding Information:
Wagoner M.P., Buttlar W.G., Paulino G.H., “Investigation of the Fracture Resistance of Hot-Mix Asphalt Concrete Using a Disk-Shaped Compact Tension Test”, Transportation Research Record 1929, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 2005, p. 183-192.

Funding Information:
Morrison G.R., Stel R.V.D., Hesp S.A.M., “Modification of Asphalt Binders and Asphalt Concrete Mixes with Crumb and Chemically Devulcanized Waste Rubber”, Transportation Research Record 1515, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1995, p. 56-63.

Funding Information:
Birgisson B., Roque R., Page G.C., “Performance-Based Fracture Criterion for Evaluation of Moisture Susceptibility in Hot-Mix Asphalt”, Transportation Research Record 1891, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 2004, p. 55-61.

Funding Information:
This research is sponsored by Federal Highway Administration National Pooled Fund Study 776. This support is gratefully acknowledged. The results and opinions presented are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsoring agencies.

Funding Information:
Hoare, T.R. and Hesp S.A.M., “Low-temperature Fracture Testing of Asphalt Binders”, Transportation Research Record 1728, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 2000, p. 36-42.

Funding Information:
Ioannides A M., “Fracture Mechanics in Pavement Engineering-The Specimen-Size Effect”, Transportation Research Record 1568, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1997, p. 10-16.


  • Asphalt mixture
  • Disc-shaped compacted tension test
  • Fracture energy
  • Fracture resistance
  • Low temperature cracking
  • Semi circular bend test


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