Analysis of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Linear Viscoelastic and Bimodular Properties Using Uniaxial Compression and Indirect Tension (IDT) Tests

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Virginia Tech

The major Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA) input for mechanistic-empirical (M-E) flexible pavement design is the dynamic complex modulus obtained from either the uniaxial or triaxial compressive dynamic modulus test. Furthermore, as part of the performance-based mix design process, the triaxial dynamic modulus has been selected to predict rutting and fatigue cracking, and the Indirect Tension (IDT) creep compliance test to predict low-temperature thermal cracking.

The creep compliance and dynamic modulus are measured responses (viscoelastic functions) of viscoelastic materials under transient and cyclic loading, respectively. Under the assumptions of linearity, linear viscoelastic functions are equivalent. Moreover, these properties should be the same whether they are obtained from a uniaxial compressive or IDT test.

For this dissertation, we tested the applicability of linear viscoelastic (LVE) theory to HMA mixes and determined whether HMA need to be modeled as a bimodular material to analyze IDT creep compliance test results. The need to model HMA as a bimodular material is a result of a number of studies that suggest that HMA tensile and compressive properties are different.

A testing program was developed to experimentally measure the uniaxial compression, and IDT creep compliance, and the uniaxial compression dynamic modulus for different HMA mixes. The uniaxial compressive creep compliance and dynamic modulus master curves are constructed and the shift factors obtained from each test are compared. Interconversion between the creep compliance and dynamic modulus experimental results confirm the applicability of LVE theory for the HMA mixes investigated. Based on the applicability of LVE theory, a methodology to determine HMA LVE properties from the combined creep compliance and dynamic modulus test results was developed.

As a practical application that is relevant to the M-E flexible pavement design procedure, LVE theory was used and compared to proposed approximate methods to perform the conversion of testing frequency to loading time. Specifically, dynamic modulus results were converted to relaxation modulus, creep compliance, and resilient modulus.

Finally, the HMA IDT creep compliance test results at low and intermediate temperature (<20oC) were successfully analyzed using a HMA bimodular material model based on the Ambartsumyan model. The difference between the compressive modulus and the modulus calculated from the IDT test using Hondros' stress distribution is calculated. In addition, a method to determine the compressive-to-tensile modulus ratio using uniaxial compressive and IDT test results is illustrated for one of the tested HMA mixes.

Creep Compliance, Indirect Tension, Generalized Maxwell Model, Generalized Kelvin Model, Dynamic Complex Modulus, Bimodular