Numerical Investigation to Quantify the Rate of Damage within Mortar Bituminous Materials: Modeling of Cracks Initiation and Propagation
Asphalt concrete is highly used to construct pavement layers in the civil engineering field. It is defined as a complex medium composed of aggregates (inclusions), mortar (matrix) and air void. The mortar itself is a mixture of fillers, sand and bitumen. Furthermore, mortar is the phase that links the coarse aggregates. In general, fracture of asphalt concrete occurs within mortar or among aggregate-mortar interface. Therefore, two types of fracture can be identified, i.e., adhesive and cohesive damages. The first type is occurred among the interface of aggregate-mortar. The second is taken place within the mortar. This paper presents numerical investigations of the damage initiation and stiffness degradation within the asphalt concrete matrix. Numerical simulations were carried out to investigate, firstly, how damage is initiated and developed, and then, to simulate how cracks can be initiated and propagated within this material. Cohesive finite elements method was adopted to simulate fracture. For adhesive damage, the model was represented by one rectangular aggregate that is linked to the asphalt concrete thanks to a thin layer of the mortar. For cohesive damage, the model was considered as a thick layer of the mortar in between two coarse aggregates. The applied loading was derived from the speed of traffic vehicle. A comparative analysis between four mortars was conducted. The effect of loading and the type of mortar on damage initiation and stiffness degradation will be shown. Moreover, the initiation and propagation of cracks as function of loading and stiffness modulus will be illustrated.