Indirect determination of size effect on strength of asphalt mixtures at low temperatures

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Low temperature cracking of asphalt pavements is a major distress in cold regions. Accurate assessment of strength of asphalt mixtures at low temperatures is of great importance for ensuring the structural integrity of asphalt pavements. It has been shown that asphalt mixtures behave in a quasibrittle manner at low temperatures and consequently its nominal strength strongly depends on the structure size. The size effect on the strength of asphalt mixtures can be directly measured by testing geometrically similar specimens with a sufficiently large size range. Recent studies have shown in theory that for quasibrittle structures, which fail at the macrocrack initiation from one representative volume element, the mean size effect curve can also be derived from the scaling of strength statistics based on the finite weakest link model. This paper presents a comprehensive experimental investigation on the strength statistics as well as the size effect on the mean strength of asphalt mixtures at -24 C. It is shown that the size effect on mean structural strength can be obtained by strength histogram testing on specimens of a single size. The present study also indicates that the three-parameter Weibull distribution is not applicable for asphalt mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Histogram testing
  • Scaling
  • Strength statistics
  • Weakest link model


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