Long-term cracking performance of asphalt mixtures is heavily influenced by asphalt binder rheology, and changes in binder stiffness, ductility, and aging condition significantly affect the cracking resistance of the corresponding asphalt mixture. This study evaluated the effectiveness of several common and recently developed binder rheological indices in capturing the effects of binder performance grade (PG) and source, recycled binder content, recycling agent (rejuvenator) dose, and long-term aging. These binder rheological indices included the Superpave intermediate-temperature PG (PGI), the Glover-Rowe (G-R) parameter, the crossover temperature (Tδ = 45°), the rheological index (R-value), and ΔTc. This study also directly compared the binder rheological indices with the cracking performance of corresponding asphalt mixtures to explore possible correlations and their robustness. Asphalt mixture cracking performance was evaluated using the Illinois Flexibility Index Test (I-FIT) for intermediate-temperature cracking, and the disk-shaped compact tension (DCT) test and the uniaxial thermal stress and strain test (UTSST) for low-temperature cracking.
Results indicated that all the binder rheological indices (except PGI) consistently captured the effects of binder blend composition and proportions and aging condition, with a few exceptions. Results also showed that the G-R parameter, the crossover temperature (Tδ = 45°), and ΔTc had the best correlation to asphalt mixture and field core cracking performance as compared with other rheological indices (PGI and R-value), with ΔTc demonstrating the overall best correlation to mixture cracking performance.