Thermal Cracking Properties of Asphalt
A new ASTM International standard will provide a test method for determining thermal cracking properties of asphalt mixtures through the measurement of thermally induced stress and strain. ASTM’s road and paving materials committee (D04) developed the standard, which will soon be published as D8303.
Asphalt pavement in cold climatic regions are highly susceptible to thermal cracking. The objective of this new test method is to determine the thermal engineering properties of asphalt mixtures by measuring the thermally induced stress and strain, to then design thermal cracking resistant asphalt mixtures. Using asphalt mixtures with resistance to thermal cracking in the construction of asphalt pavements in cold climatic regions would lead to long lasting roads and low maintenance costs.
“Temperature variations and rates will directly influence the stiffness, strength, and thermal-volumetric properties of the asphalt mixture; hence affecting the pavement resistance to thermal cracking,” says ASTM member Murugaiyah Piratheepan, a research scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno.“Therefore, an accurate characterization of the asphalt mixture properties is essential to the design of thermal cracking resistant asphalt mixtures and to the fundamental modeling of thermal cracking of asphalt pavements.”
Piratheepan notes that the new standard will be useful to government agencies, asphalt pavement owners, design laboratories, and asphalt mixture producers.
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