Spiral cracking pattern in asphalt materials

Behzad Behnia, William G. Buttlar, Henrique Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present work for the first time reports observations and modeling to characterize three-dimensional spiral-shaped fracture patterns in a bi-axially stressed layer of asphalt material bonded to an aluminum substrate. Five different asphalt materials with different fracture characteristics are investigated. A logarithmic spiral model was found to mathematically represent the 3D helix-shaped cracks observed. A spiral tightness parameter is proposed for the characterization of spiral fracture patterns in asphalt. Results of acoustic emission and compact tension tests are also presented and employed in the evaluation of observed spiral cracks. The shape of spirals are found to be influenced by the fracture properties of the asphalt materials tested and appear to be independent of the thickness and shape of the test sample. The embrittlement temperature and fracture energy of tested asphalt materials were found to correspond to the characteristic parameters of spiral cracks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-615
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials and Design
StatePublished - Feb 15 2017


  • Acoustic emission test
  • Asphalt materials
  • Compact tension test
  • Embrittlement temperature
  • Spiral cracking pattern
  • Spiral tightness parameter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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