Compact tension test for fracture characterization of thin bonded asphalt overlay systems at low temperature

Sarfraz Ahmed, Eshan V. Dave, William G. Buttlar, Behzad Behnia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Asphalt overlays provide an economical means for treating deteriorated pavements. Thin bonded overlay (TBO) systems have become popular options for pavement rehabilitation. In addition to functional improvements, these systems ensure a high degree of waterproofing benefits. Conventional asphalt concrete fracture tests were developed for pavements with homogeneous asphalt concrete mixtures, and typically their thicknesses exceed 50 mm (2 inch). The use of spray paver technology for construction of TBOleads to continuously varying asphalt binder content, up to approximately one-third of the layer thickness. Commonly utilized fracture test geometries for asphalt concrete include the single-edge notched beam, tension, or C[T], test geometry for field cores as well as laboratory-fabricated composite specimens. Laboratory testing using the proposed procedure clearly showed distinction in the fracture characteristics for specimens prepared with varying material compositions. The capability of distinguishing different materials combined with stable crack growth makes the proposed testing procedure ideal for fracture characterization of thin and graded pavement systems. Statistical analysis of test data revealed that the proposed C[T] test procedure is capable of detecting differences in fracture energy results across a wide range of pavement systems and yields a low test variability. Finite element simulations of the test procedure further indicate the suitability of the test procedure aswell as demonstrating a procedure for extraction of fundamental material properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1220
Number of pages14
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Asphalt
  • Cohesive zone
  • Compact tension
  • Finite element
  • Fracture characterization
  • Fracture energy
  • Functionally graded
  • Nonhomogeneous
  • Pavement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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