Meso-scale Finite Element Model of Crack Propagation in Cement Treated Base Materials

Cement Treated Base (CTB) pavement has been widely used at different climatic regions all over the world, and could stay for a life-long period when the stress level remained controlled under the fatigue limit. Although much attention had been paid to the study of macroscopic performance of CTB in the prior research, the mesoscale study of this highly heterogeneous quasi-brittle material is rather limited. In this paper, a two-dimensional (2D) mesoscale crack propagation model of CTB assumed as a three-phase material composed of aggregate, cement mortar and interface transitional zones (ITZ) was developed through Finite Element method (FEM) with cohesive elements. Digital image processing (DIP) methods and vectorization processing were utilized to create a 2D heterogeneous numerical fracture model using the digital image obtained through scanning. The zero-thickness cohesive elements with traction-separation laws were inserted into both the cement mortar and the aggregate–cement interfaces to simulate the potential micro-crack in cohesive zone model (CZM) with the help of a MATLAB program. The load-displacement curves and the fracture patterns of the model were obtained, and the tensile strength was calculated, which were compared with the result of the laboratory test. The load-displacement curves, crack geometry, and tensile strength were proved to be a satisfactory agreement between FE analyses and experimental test. Different cohesive parameters were assigned to the crack propagation FE models to study mesoscale material properties, which provides an effective way to study mesoscale parameters.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AFS80 Standing Committee on Stabilization of Geomaterials and Recycled Materials.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Dong, Qiao
    • Yuan, Jiawei
    • Jahanzaib, Ahmad
    • Cui, Xuqiu
    • Ni, Fujian
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 5p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01698453
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-05550
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 2 2019 3:41PM