Investigation of the fracture resistance of hot-mix asphalt concrete using a disk-shaped compact tension test

Michael P. Wagoner, William G. Buttlar, Glaucio H. Paulino, Philip Blankenship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


In recent years the transportation materials research community has focused a great deal of attention on the development of testing and analysis methods to shed light on fracture development in asphalt pavements. Recently it has been shown that crack initiation and propagation in asphalt materials can be realistically modeled with cutting-edge computational fracture mechanics tools. However, much more progress is needed toward the development of practical laboratory fracture tests to support these new modeling approaches. The goal of this paper is twofold: (a) to present a disk-shaped compact tension [DC(T)] test, which appears to be a practical method for determining low-temperature fracture properties of cylindrically shaped asphalt concrete test specimens, and (b) to illustrate how the DC(T) test can be used to obtain fracture properties of asphalt concrete specimens obtained from Held cores following dynamic modulus and creep compliance tests performed on the same specimens. Testing four mixtures with varied composition demonstrated that the DC(T) test could detect the transition from quasi-brittle to brittle fracture by testing at several low temperatures selected to span across the glass transition temperatures of the asphalt binder used. The tendency toward brittle fracture with increasing loading rate was also detected. Finally, the DC(T) test was used in a forensic study to investigate premature reflective cracking of an isolated portion of pavement in Rochester, New York. One benefit of the DC(T) test demonstrated during testing of field samples was the ability to obtain mixture fracture properties as part of an efficient suite of tests performed on cylindrical specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1929
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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