On the representative volume element of asphalt concrete at low temperature

Mihai Marasteanu, Augusto Cannone Falchetto, Raul Velasquez, Jia Liang Le

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Abstract

The feasibility of characterizing asphalt mixtures’ rheological and failure properties at low temperatures by means of the Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR) is investigated in this paper. The main issue is the use of thin beams of asphalt mixture in experimental procedures that may not capture the true behavior of the material used to construct an asphalt pavement. For the rheological characterization, three-point bending creep tests are performed on beams of different sizes. The beams are also analyzed using digital image analysis to obtain volumetric fraction, average size distribution, and spatial correlation functions. Based on the experimental results and analyses, it is concluded that representative creep stiffness values of asphalt mixtures can be obtained from testing at least three replicates of the thin (BBR) mixture beams. Failure properties are investigated by performing strength tests using a modified Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR), capable of applying loads at different loading rates. Histogram testing of BBR mixture beams and of larger beams is performed and the failure distribution is analyzed based on the size effect theory for quasibrittle materials. Different Weibull moduli are obtained from the two specimens sizes, which indicates that BBR beams do not capture the representative volume element (RVE) of the material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-366
Number of pages24
JournalMechanics of Time-Dependent Materials
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

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Keywords

  • Asphalt concrete
  • Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR)
  • Low temperature
  • Rheology
  • Three-point bending creep test

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