Development of a full-Scale approach to predict overlay reflective crack

Zehui Zhu, Imad L. Al-Qadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resurfacing a moderately deteriorated Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavement with asphalt concrete (AC) layers is considered an efficient rehabilitation practice. However, reflective cracks may develop shortly after resurfacing because of discontinuities (e.g. joints and cracks) in existing PCC pavement. In this paper, a new accelerated full-scale testing approach was developed to study reflective crack growth in AC overlays. Two hydraulic actuators were used to simulate a moving dual-tire assembly with a loading rate of more than five-thousand-wheel passes per hour. A load cycle consists of three steps, simulating a tire approaching, moving across, and leaving a PCC discontinuity. Experiments were conducted to compare the reflective crack behaviour of two overlay configurations. Both test sections were fully cracked in less than an hour. The initiation and propagation of reflective cracks were explicitly documented using crack detectors in conjunction with a camera. The proposed full-scale testing protocol offers a repeatable and efficient approach to systematically investigate the effects of various overlay configurations, thus enabling the identification of optimal design against reflective cracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2310095
JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • Asphalt overlay
  • crack growth
  • full-scale test
  • reflective crack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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