Towards a Uniform Fracture Mechanics-Based Framework for Flexible Pavement Design
Cracking is an important potential failure mechanism for pavement structures. By combining a strain energy-based fracture criterion with conventional fracture mechanics based on the Energy Ratio (ER) concept, crack growth in asphalt can be investigated, and a low temperature Thermal Cracking model (TCMODEL) can be introduced. This thesis presents the implementation of the Florida cracking model into a Mechanistic-Empirical (ME) flexible pavement design framework. An improved analysis procedure for better converting raw data from the Superpave Indirect Tensile Test (IDT) into fundamental viscoelastic properties of the asphalt mixture allows for calibration of the TCMODEL. This thesis involves a detailed review of Florida cracking model and TCMODEL. Finally, a MATLAB tool is prepared for the thermal cracking model to investigate the cause and effect of the problems.
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