2024 journal article

Modeling damage caused by combined thermal and traffic loading using viscoelastic continuum damage theory


author keywords: Pavement; Asphalt mixture; Thermal cracking; Fatigue cracking; Viscoelastic continuum damage model; VECD; S-VECD
Source: Web Of Science
Added: April 15, 2024

Various engineering models have been proposed to mitigate fatigue cracking associated with thermal and traffic loadings, which are the two primary fatigue cracking mechanisms that negatively affect the service life of asphalt pavement. Thermal fatigue cracking is induced by cycles of temperature changes with relatively long time periods, which can be regarded as slow frequency sinusoidal loading. Traffic fatigue cracking is induced by numerous vehicle load repetitions and is often characterized using fast frequency sinusoidal loading. These two loading types occur simultaneously in the field. In order to investigate how to properly model the damage due to these two loading types, a set of tests that vary the load, frequency, and mode of testing was designed to mimic the scenarios that asphalt pavements experience under thermal loading and traffic loading separately and under the combined and simultaneous effects of both thermal and traffic loading. The viscoelastic continuum damage (VECD) model was applied to simulate the changes in material integrity under each condition. After determining the appropriate configuration for the proposed prediction model, the material integrity predictions were found to be accurate for the fast frequency tests but less accurate for the slow frequency tests. This difference is attributable to plasticity being a much more significant factor under slow frequency conditions than under fast frequency conditions. For the tests combining both fast and slow frequency conditions, the material integrity results oscillated continuously. It was postulated that these oscillations were due to the recovery mechanisms of asphalt concrete such as nonlinearity and healing. When the simplified viscoelastic continuum damage (S-VECD) model was applied, which does not consider the material's recovery characteristics, the predicted material integrity was able to match the overall trend observed in the tests. Ultimately, a new way to model combined damage simultaneously under two cracking mechanisms (thermal fatigue cracking and traffic fatigue cracking) is introduced in this paper.