Microstructure and fracture in asphalt mixtures using a boundary element approach Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper describes the use of the displacement discontinuity boundary element method to model the microstructure of asphalt mixtures. The problem of indirect tension test (IDT) was used to demonstrate the application of the method in the modeling of the cracking behavior of asphalt mixtures. An IDT sample was modeled by three sets of displacement discontinuity boundary elements based on location and function: (1) on the periphery of the specimen, (2) inside the specimen to represent the aggregate structure, and (3) internal fracture path elements inside the aggregate structure. The mastic was modeled by a nonlinear failure law. The simulation of the cracking behavior of the IDT test with this method showed a good agreement with laboratory observations. The predicted stress-strain curves matched the experimental results for both vertical compressive stress and horizontal tensile stress. Crack patterns from these simulations were also similar to the patterns observed visually in the laboratory. In summary, explicit fracture modeling has shown promise as a tool for studying the crack growth and localization of asphalt mixtures. ASCE.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Birgisson, B., Soranakom, C., Napier, J., & Roque, R.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Birgisson, B||Soranakom, C||Napier, JAL||Roque, R

publication date

  • April 2004