Measurement of material properties related to self-healing based on continuum and micromechanics approach
The ability of an asphalt mix to heal is an important property that influences the overall fatigue performance of the mix in the field. Micro damage healing in an asphalt mix is a function of several factors such as the physical and chemical properties of the binder, properties of the mixture, level of damage prior to the rest period during which healing occurs, duration of the rest period, temperature, and pressure. This thesis presents details from a two-part study that addresses the following aspects. In the first part of this study, a DSR based test method was developed to measure inherent healing in asphalt binder and a modified form of the Avrami equation was used to model it. In the second part of this study, an experimental and analytical method based on viscoelastic continuum damage theory was developed to characterize the healing in an asphalt composite (fine aggregate matrix) as a function of the level of damage prior to the rest period and the duration of the rest period. The intrinsic healing of three different asphalt binders was measured at three different temperatures and two aging conditions and it was further demonstrated to be the sum of two components: instantaneous strength gain immediately upon wetting and time dependent strength gain. The intrinsic healing results obtained from the DSR tests were demonstrated to be in agreement with the hypothesis that time dependent intrinsic healing increases with an increase in temperature and decreases with aging of the asphalt binder. The overall healing was measured in four different fine aggregate matrix (FAM) asphalt mixes and various tests were performed to quantify overall healing at isothermal and short term aged test conditions. Additionally two different verification tests were also conducted to demonstrate that the percentage healing measured using the proposed method are independent of the sequence of loading or rest periods. Finally, the overall healing results were demonstrated to support the hypothesis that the healing characteristics determined using the proposed test method can be treated as a characteristic material property.