An integrated approach to measure and model fatigue damage and healing in asphalt composites



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This study presents a test and analysis method to determine both damage and healing characteristics of asphalt composites using the same test specimen. The test involves applying multiple stretches of load cycles, each separated by a period of zero load introduced at several different levels of reduced stiffness. The analytical procedure involves (1) using modified correspondence principles to transform the time-dependent physical quantities (stress, strain and energy density) into time-independent pseudo-elastic quantities, and then (2) using viscoelastic continuum damage mechanics to quantify damage and healing properties of the material based on the transformed quantities. The results obtained using two different asphalt mortars subjected to uniaxial and shear load cycles confirmed the findings from the previous researchers that the characteristic pseudo stiffness versus damage relationship for a given material is independent of testing conditions. More importantly, this study demonstrated that the aforementioned relationship was also independent of the rest periods introduced intermittently during the cyclic tests. Results also show that healing defined in terms of the change in the internal state variable for damage represents the true healing potential of a material. Furthermore, healing properties obtained using the proposed test method (a) agreed with the properties obtained using a more rigorous protocol with multiple test specimens, and (b) were independent of the loading conditions used to induce fatigue damage. These observations strongly suggest that the proposed method can be used to predict damage and healing properties for any arbitrary loading condition from properties determined using the proposed protocol.