Fracture and viscoelastic properties of asphalt binders during fatigue and rest periods

Shihui Shen, Xin Lu, Yuqing Zhang, Robert Lytton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Viscoelastic asphalt binder plays an important role in bonding individual aggregate particles and contributes to the durability and stability of asphalt pavement. When asphalt binder is subjected to cyclic loading, deformation and fracture may develop simultaneously within it, leading to the deterioration of material properties and eventually fatigue failure. Research has found that some degree of recovery may develop if rest periods are applied after fatigue deterioration. However, it is not clear whether such recovery is caused by fracture healing, viscoelastic recovery, or both. This paper presents an analysis to differentiate the contributions of fracture healing and viscoelastic recovery to the asphalt binder during rest periods. It also evaluates the damage caused by deformation and fracture during a fatigue process. It is found that viscoelastic recovery plays an important role in the instant increase in the dynamic shear modulus at the beginning of the rest period. The effect of fracture healing on dynamic shear modulus recovery is more dominant in the long term. A healing index is developed based only on the fracture healing of asphalt binder, excluding the effect of viscoelastic recovery. It can be used to evaluate the true healing properties of different asphalt binders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Testing and Evaluation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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