Response of asphalt matrix under multi-axial stress state



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The pavement system is subjected to complex stress states under vehicular loading. A combination of axial and shear stress has been identified as a potential cause of top down cracking (or more precisely near surface cracking) in asphalt surface. Therefore, in terms of modeling the material response a pertinent question is whether the typical one-dimensional viscoelastic properties of the material are affected by a multi-axial stress state. Such changes are referred to as interaction non-linearity. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether or not asphalt composites are susceptible to such interaction effects. The study was conducted using fine aggregate matrix (FAM), which comprises graded sand and asphalt binder. To provide multi-modal loading, the rectangular prismatic FAM specimens were used with the Arcan apparatus. This apparatus ensures low bending stress and offers adjustments in the setup to provide different proportions of axial and shear stress. Finite element modeling was done to evaluate the stress state for different orientations of the sample in the Arcan apparatus. For measurement of strain, the study used digital image correlation (DIC), which is an optical, non-contact measurement technology. The strain thus measured was used to compute shear compliance. Fitting parameters of the shear compliances were estimated for power-law and Prony series for different loading orientations. When compared, the measured shear compliances do not show perceivable variation with respect to different proportion of axial stress applied in conjunction. However, further testing with different temperatures and other magnitudes of shear stress is necessary. This study is the first step to allow modeling of stress and crack propagation behavior near the pavement surface where complex stress state is present.