3D Finite Element Analysis of HMA Overlay Mix Design to Control Reflective Cracking

Source: arXiv


This study examines the effectiveness of HMA overlay design strategies for
the purpose of controlling the development of reflective cracking. A parametric
study was conducted using a 3D Finite Element (FE) model of a rigid pavement
section including Linear Viscoelastic (LVE) material properties for the Hot Mix
Asphalt (HMA) overlay and non-uniform tire-pavement contact stresses. Several
asphalt mixtures were tested in the surface, intermediate, and leveling course
of the HMA overlay. Results obtained show that no benefits can be anticipated
by using either Polymer-Modified (PM) or Dense-Graded (DG) mixtures instead of
Standard Binder (SB) mixtures in the surface or intermediate course. For the
leveling course, the use of a PM asphalt binder was found beneficial in terms
of mitigating reflective cracking. As compared to the SB mix, the use of PM
asphalt mixture in the leveling course reduced the level of longitudinal
tensile stress at the bottom of the HMA overlay above the PCC joint by
approximately 30%.

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