Fatigue Cracking Performance of Local Superpave Asphalt Concrete Mixtures


In Iraq, fatigue cracking is considered to be the most important type of distress affecting the performance of asphalt concrete pavements on major state highways. This research describes the results of a laboratory study of the fatigue response of a typical Iraqi asphalt concrete mixes to define the effects of degree of compaction (as measured by air-void content), asphalt content, temperature and aging on this performance parameter. To achieve the objective of this research, the Nottingham flexural fatigue test is considered and Superpave mix design requirements are employed. Test specimens of (400 mm length by 63 mm width and 50 mm height) were sawed from slabs of the mixes prepared to the target air-void contents by rolling wheel compaction. Controlled - procedure. The tests were conducted at temperatures of 10±1°C (50±2°F), 20 ±1°C (68±2°F) and 30±1°C (86±2°F) and at a frequency of loading of 10 Hz. The long term aging experiment employed a full factorial design as well, with three asphalt contents, two aging periods, two air-void contents and three test temperatures for a nominal total of 36 tests were performed. Local material properties, stress level and environmental impacts were considered for this aspect. It was concluded that for strain – controlled testing, an increase in term aging results in a decrease in laboratory fatigue life and a decrease in mix stiffness, and an increase in test temperatures within the range tested results in an increase in laboratory fatigue life and a decrease in mix stiffness. Finally, a series of recommendations are presented for enhancing the fatigue performance of Iraqi pavements including changes to current construction quality assurance procedures.