Generally, various kinds of cracks are the main type of distresses during the service period of asphalt pavements. To save maintenance costs and improve the crack resistance of asphalt pavements effectively, this paper presents a unique design method for the material composition of small particle-size (SPS) asphalt mixture for controlling cracks in asphalt pavement. First, Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA)-II was designed as a basic gradation according to the A.N. Talbot curve and SMA-II-1, SMA-II-2 and SMA-II-3 were designed according to the Superpave mix design method, the Bailey method and the Particle interference theory, respectively. Second, based on Marshall test results, the optimal fiber content and optimal asphalt content of three gradations were determined. Then, the influence of the passing rate of 1.18-mm sieve and 0.075-mm sieve on the air voids of SMA-II and the influence of the filler-asphalt ratio on the performance of SMA-II were investigated, and an appropriate range of filler-asphalt ratio was obtained. Finally, a high-temperature performance test, a water stability test, and a skid resistance test demonstrate that the overall performance of SMA-II can satisfy the specifications. A low-temperature bend test and analysis of bending strain energy density show that SMA-II with a crumb rubber modifier and a polymer fiber has better crack resistance performance than SMA-I (SBS-modified mixture). Life-cycle cost analysis shows the economic advantage of SPS asphalt thin overlays over traditional AC-13 thin overlays.
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