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Comparison of Mechanical Responses of Asphalt Mixtures under Uniform and Non-Uniform Loads Using Microscale Finite Element Simulation

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Institute of Highway Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, D52074 Aachen, Germany
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Institute for Automotive Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, D52074 Aachen, Germany
3
Institute for Urban and Pavement Engineering, Technical University of Dresden, D01187 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(19), 3058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12193058
Received: 23 August 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 18 September 2019 / Published: 20 September 2019
Continuously increasing traffic volumes necessitate accurate design methods to ensure the optimal service life and efficient use of raw materials. Numerical simulations commonly pursue a simplified approach with homogeneous pavement materials and homogeneous loading. Neither the pavement geometry nor the loading is homogeneous in reality. In this study, the mechanical response of the asphalt mixtures due to homogeneous loads is compared with their mechanical response to inhomogeneous loads. A 3D finite element model was reconstructed with the aid of X-ray computed tomography. Sections of a real tire’s pressure distribution were used for the inhomogeneous loads. The evaluation of the material response analyzes the stress distribution within the samples. An inhomogeneous load evokes an increased proportion of high stresses within the sample in every case, particularly at low temperatures. When comparing the two types of loads, the average stresses on the interior (tension and compression) exhibit significant differences. The magnitude of the discrepancies shows that this approach yields results that differ significantly from the common practice of using homogeneous models and can be used to improve pavement design. View Full-Text
Keywords: asphalt mixture; non-uniform load; microstructure; digital image processing; finite element method asphalt mixture; non-uniform load; microstructure; digital image processing; finite element method
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Lu, G.; Wang, C.; Liu, P.; Pyrek, S.; Oeser, M.; Leischner, S. Comparison of Mechanical Responses of Asphalt Mixtures under Uniform and Non-Uniform Loads Using Microscale Finite Element Simulation. Materials 2019, 12, 3058.

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