Cooling cycle effects on low temperature cracking characteristics of asphalt concrete mixture

Behzad Behnia, William G. Buttlar, Henrique Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of cooling cycles on the low temperature behavior of asphalt concrete mixtures is investigated using a recently developed acoustic emission (AE) test device. In an attempt to link the local AE response of the asphalt mixtures to the pavement global response obtained through mechanical tests, the AE-based results were validated using traditional mechanical pavement performance testing methods namely, the disk-shaped compact tension [DC(T)] test and the indirect tensile test (IDT) method. Field-aged pavement cores, which were expected to have a gradient in binder aging properties (more aging near the surface of the pavement), were collected and tested. Test results revealed that significant damage resulted from cyclic cooling, effecting the fracture energy and stress relaxation ability of the asphalt mixture. The AE results collected were consistent with the results obtained using the DC(T) and the IDT test methods. The so-called Felicity effect was observed by evaluating AE activity occurring in a sample subjected to multiple cooling cycles and an AE based healing index was introduced to evaluate the amount of healing that resulted from warming cycles. Low temperature induced microdamage was also investigated using X-ray computer micro-tomography, in an effort to better understand the physical nature of microcracking in asphalt mixtures at low temperatures and the source of AE emissions detected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1359-1371
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2014


  • Acoustic emission
  • Cooling cycle
  • DC(T)
  • Felicity effect
  • Healing index
  • IDT
  • Kaiser effect
  • Low temperature cracking
  • Mechanical performance tests
  • Non-destructive tests
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Cooling cycle effects on low temperature cracking characteristics of asphalt concrete mixture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this