Improved methodology to evaluate fracture properties of warm-mix asphalt using overlay test

Fan Gu*, Yuqing Zhang, Xue Luo, Rong Luo, Robert L. Lytton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study developed a reliable and repeatable methodology to evaluate the fracture properties of asphalt mixtures with an overlay test (OT). In the proposed methodology, first, a two-step OT protocol was used to characterize the undamaged and damaged behaviors of asphalt mixtures. Second, a new methodology combining the mechanical analysis of viscoelastic force equilibrium in the OT specimen and finite element simulations was used to determine the undamaged properties and crack growth function of asphalt mixtures. Third, a modified Paris's law replacing the stress intensity factor by the pseudo J-integral was employed to characterize the fracture behavior of asphalt mixtures. Theoretical equations were derived to calculate the parameters A and n (defined as the fracture properties) in the modified Paris's law. The study used a detailed example to calculate A and n from the OT data. The proposed methodology was successfully applied to evaluate the impact of warm-mix asphalt (WMA) technologies on fracture properties. The results of the tested specimens showed that Evotherm WMA technology slightly improved the cracking resistance of asphalt mixtures, while foaming WMA technology provided comparable fracture properties. In addition, the study found that A decreased with the increase in n in general. A linear relationship between 2log(A) and n was established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-18
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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