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Microstructure and mechanical behavior of asphalt mixture based on freeze-thaw cycle

Ning Wang (College of Civil Engineering, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China)
Haitao Zhang (College of Civil Engineering, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China)
Huizhong Xiong (College of Civil Engineering, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China)

Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures

ISSN: 1573-6105

Article publication date: 18 May 2021

Issue publication date: 7 June 2021

105

Abstract

Purpose

In order to unravel the evolution of microstructure characteristics and the change of mechanical properties of bituminous mixture in the freezing and thawing environment in cold region, this study starts from macroscopic experiments and analyzes the changes in mechanical properties of asphalt mixtures before and after freezing and thawing in detail. On this basis, the displacement of key particles in the structure of asphalt mixture under the action of external forces (before and after freezing and thawing) is simulated through the combination macroscopic and microscopic methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The climate in China exhibits high complexity and diversity, divided into five zones based on the temperature difference from south to north. Considering that the significant effect of geography and natural climate on the design, construction and maintenance of asphalt pavement, the criterion for the road construction at different areas should be highly different.

Findings

The results show that the mechanical properties of asphalt mixture greatly decrease due to the influence of freeze-thaw, and the displacement of key particles in the structure of asphalt mixture (several representative particle sizes were selected through experiments) is obviously observed because of the action of external force. By analyzing the variation of several key particle sizes after freezing-thawing cycle, the gradation standard of asphalt mixture aggregate suitable for cold area was obtained. The research results have certain theoretical and practical value for the design and application of asphalt mixture in cold area.

Originality/value

The results show that the mechanical properties of asphalt mixture greatly decrease due to the influence of freeze-thaw, and the displacement of key particles in the structure of asphalt mixture (several representative particle sizes were selected through experiments) is obviously observed because of the action of external force. By analyzing the variation of several key particle sizes after freezing-thawing cycle, the gradation standard of asphalt mixture aggregate suitable for cold area was obtained. The research results have certain theoretical and practical value for the design and application of asphalt mixture in cold area.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully appreciate the supports from the province key laboratory of road in Northeast Forestry University and the foundations for the project of National Science Foundation of China (E080703) and the project of Heilongjiang Traffic and Transportation Department.

Citation

Wang, N., Zhang, H. and Xiong, H. (2021), "Microstructure and mechanical behavior of asphalt mixture based on freeze-thaw cycle", Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 760-774. https://doi.org/10.1108/MMMS-10-2020-0262

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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