Numerical Analysis of Reflective Cracking in an Asphalt Concrete Overlay over a Flexible Pavement

Previous studies have typically illustrated the three cracking mechanisms: (1) thermally induced fatigue due to a horizontal movement, (2) traffic induced fatigue due to vertical differential movement, and (3) surface initiated cracking due to the curling/warping of underlying slabs. Although these mechanisms are commonly observable for asphalt concrete overlay over both flexible and rigid pavements, the behavior and response of asphalt concrete (AC) overlay over a flexible pavement may be somewhat different from those over a rigid pavement due to their different characteristics of material and structure. Approximately 94% of 2.27 million miles of paved roads in the United States are overlaid with asphalt concrete. The mechanism of reflective cracking in AC overlays over flexible pavements has not been separately differentiated. Moreover, the bonding condition between AC overlays and flexible pavements is commonly assumed as bonded condition, although the interface condition can vary. This paper investigates the reflective cracking mechanism in an AC overlay over flexible pavements under different loading conditions by using a finite element (FE) analysis with bonded and unbonded conditions. The FE simulations also include partial top-down cracking conditions in the underlying flexible pavement. Deformed crack shapes and the highest stress concentration under traffic loading were investigated so that the initiation and propagation of reflective cracking are clearly understood.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 67-74
  • Monograph Title: Design, Analysis, and Asphalt Material Characterization for Road and Airfield Pavements

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01535074
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784478462
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 21 2014 3:02PM