Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Selection and performance evaluation of a test method to assess thermal cracking resistance of asphalt-aggregate mixtures Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vt150m68p

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  • Thermal distress in asphalt concrete pavements is a widespread problem around the world. Thermal cracking can be divided into two modes of distress: low temperature cracking and thermal fatigue cracking. Low temperature cracking results from extremely cold temperatures; thermal fatigue cracking results from daily temperature cycles. Low temperature cracking is attributed to tensile stresses induced in the asphalt concrete pavement as the temperature drops to an extremely low temperature. If the pavement is cooled, tensile stresses develop as a result of the pavement's tendency to contract. The friction between the pavement and the base layer resists the contraction. If the tensile stress equals the strength of the mixture at that temperature, a micro-crack develops at the surface of the pavement. Under repeated temperature cycles, the crack penetrates the full depth and across the asphalt concrete layer. The thermal stress restrained specimen test (TSRST) was identified as an accelerated laboratory test to evaluate the thermal cracking resistance of asphalt concrete mixtures. The TSRST system developed at OSU includes a load system, data control/acquisition system and software, temperature control system, and specimen alignment stand. The overall system is controlled by a personal computer. A TSRST is conducted by cooling an asphalt concrete specimen at a specified rate while monitoring the specimen at constant length. A typical thermally-induced stress curve is divided into two parts: relaxation and non-relaxation. The temperature at which the curve is divided into two parts is termed the transition temperature. The temperature at fracture is termed the fracture temperature and the maximum stress is the fracture strength. An extensive number of TSRSTs over a wide range of conditions were performed to investigate the thermal cracking resistance of asphalt concrete mixtures. The TSRST results provided a very strong indication of low temperature cracking resistance for all mixtures considered. A ranking of mixtures for low temperature cracking resistance based on the TSRST fracture temperature was in excellent agreement with a ranking based on the physical properties of the asphalt cements. It is highly recommended that the TSRST be used in mix evaluation to identify low temperature cracking resistance of asphalt concrete mixtures. The TSRST showed very promising results regarding the effect of all variables which are currently considered to affect the low temperature cracking of mixtures. The variables considered to have significant affect on the low temperature cracking resistance of mixtures in this study include asphalt type, aggregate type, degree of aging, cooling rate, and stress relaxation.
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