Prediction of damage behaviors in asphalt materials using a micromechanical finite-element model and image analysis

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A study of the micromechanical damage behavior of asphalt concrete is presented. Asphalt concrete is composed of aggregates, mastic cement, and air voids, and its load carrying behavior is strongly related to the local microstructural load transfer between aggregate particles. Numerical simulation of this micromechanical behavior was accomplished by using a finite-element model that incorporated the mechanical load-carrying response between aggregates. The finite-element scheme used a network of special frame elements each with a stiffness matrix developed from an approximate elasticity solution of the stress and displacement field in a cementation layer between particle pairs. Continuum damage mechanics was then incorporated within this solution, leading to the construction of a microdamage model capable of predicting typical global inelastic behavior found in asphalt materials. Using image processing and aggregate fitting techniques, simulation models of indirect tension, and compression samples were generated from surface photographic data of actual laboratory specimens. Model simulation results of the overall sample behavior and evolving microfailure/ fracture patterns compared favorably with experimental data collected on these samples. Journal of Engineering Mechanics © ASCE.

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Journal of Engineering Mechanics