A generalized Drucker–Prager viscoplastic yield surface model for asphalt concrete

Yuqing Zhang, Michelle Bernhardt, Giovanna Biscontin, Rong Luo, Robert L. Lytton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A generalized Drucker–Prager (GD–P) viscoplastic yield surface model was developed and validated for asphalt concrete. The GD–P model was formulated based on fabric tensor modified stresses to consider the material inherent anisotropy. A smooth and convex octahedral yield surface function was developed in the GD–P model to characterize the full range of the internal friction angles from 0° to 90°. In contrast, the existing Extended Drucker–Prager (ED–P) was demonstrated to be applicable only for a material that has an internal friction angle less than 22°. Laboratory tests were performed to evaluate the anisotropic effect and to validate the GD–P model. Results indicated that (1) the yield stresses of an isotropic yield surface model are greater in compression and less in extension than that of an anisotropic model, which can result in an under-prediction of the viscoplastic deformation; and (2) the yield stresses predicted by the GD–P model matched well with the experimental results of the octahedral shear strength tests at different normal and confining stresses. By contrast, the ED–P model over-predicted the octahedral yield stresses, which can lead to an under-prediction of the permanent deformation. In summary, the rutting depth of an asphalt pavement would be underestimated without considering anisotropy and convexity of the yield surface for asphalt concrete. The proposed GD–P model was demonstrated to be capable of overcoming these limitations of the existing yield surface models for the asphalt concrete.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3585–3601
JournalMaterials and Structures
Early online date1 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1617/s11527-014-0425-1


  • asphalt concrete
  • rutting
  • viscoplasticity
  • yield surface
  • drucker–Prager
  • anisotropy
  • convexity


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