Use of molecular dynamics to investigate self-healing mechanisms in asphalt binders
Date of Original Version
The fatigue-cracking life of an asphalt mixture measured in the laboratory is generally a small fraction of the fatigue-cracking life observed in the field. One of the reasons for this large difference is the self-healing property of asphalt binders. Self-healing is a process that reverses the growth of fatigue cracks during rest periods between load applications. A thorough understanding of the healing mechanism is required to accurately model and predict the influence of healing on the fatigue-cracking life of asphalt mixtures. Previous studies have used experimental evidence to demonstrate a correlation between chemistry of asphalt functional groups, such as chain length and branching, and healing measured in asphalt binders. One of the mechanisms of healing is the self-diffusion of molecules across the crack interface. This paper demonstrates the use of molecular simulation techniques to investigate the correlation of chain length and chain branching to self-diffusivity of binder molecules. The findings reported in this paper are consistent with observations reported in previous studies and expand on the understanding of the relationship between molecular architecture, self-diffusivity, and self-healing properties of asphalt binders. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Bhasin, Amit, Rammohan Bommavaram, Michael L. Greenfield, and Dallas N. Little. "Use of molecular dynamics to investigate self-healing mechanisms in asphalt binders." Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 23, 4 (2011): 485-492. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0000200.