Finite element cohesive fracture modeling of airport pavements at low temperatures

Hyunwook Kim, William G. Buttlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low temperature cracking induced by seasonal and daily thermal cyclic loads is one of the main critical distresses in asphalt pavements. The safety of aircraft departure and landing becomes a crucial issue in runways when thermal cracks occur in airport pavements. The low-temperature fracture behavior of airport pavements was investigated using a bilinear cohesive zone model (CZM) implemented in the finite element method (FEM). Nonlinear temperature gradients of pavement structures were estimated based on national weather data and an integrated climate prediction model. Experimental tests were conducted to obtain the numerical model inputs such as viscoelastic and fracture properties of asphalt concrete using creep compliance tests, indirect tensile strength tests (IDT), and disk-shaped compact tension (DC(T)) tests. The finite element pavement fracture models could successfully predict the progressive crack behavior of asphalt pavements under the critical temperature and heavy aircraft gear loading conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalCold Regions Science and Technology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Asphalt pavements
  • Cohesive zone model
  • Finite element method
  • Fracture
  • Viscoelastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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