Three-dimensional microstructural modelling of coupled moisture-mechanical response of asphalt concrete
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2015 Taylor & Francis. Three-dimensional (3D) microstructural representation of asphalt concrete subjected to moisture diffusion and mechanical loading is simulated and analysed. The continuum moisture-mechanical damage mechanics framework and the moisture damage constitutive relationship developed by the authors are used in this study to couple the detrimental effects of the mechanical loading and moisture diffusion on the complex response of asphalt concrete. A 3D finite element (FE) microstructural representation of a typical asphalt concrete is used for these simulations. The 3D microstructure is reconstructed from slices of two-dimensional X-ray computed tomography images that consist of the matrix and the aggregates. Results show that the generated 3D FE microstructure along with the coupled moisture-mechanical constitutive relationship can be effectively used to simulate the overall thermo-hygro-mechanical response of asphalt concrete. The analyses provide insight into the impact of the microstructure on the overall response of asphalt concrete.