Active Mitigation of Low-Temperature Cracking in Asphalt Pavements

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    Asphalt pavements in cold regions are often exposed to low-temperature cracking distress. The driving mechanism for this type of damage is usually an isolated event of fast surface cooling in combination with low-temperature levels. Another common characteristic of pavements in cold regions is the need for salting or mechanical clearing operations (or both) to address ice and snow events. An emerging solution to the latter issue is embedded heating systems—comprising of electric heating elements. These are commonly installed to help melt snow or prevent the accumulation of surface ice. This paper investigated an additional potential benefit of such heating systems—the ability to mitigate the development of low-temperature cracks. Thermomechanical calculations were carried out for an idealized pavement system modeled as a linear viscoelastic half-space. First, simulated winter-weather conditions were imposed to generate a surface crack at some point in time for a pavement without heating. Then after, the simulations were repeated—but with an active heating system. For the case considered, it is found that cracking can be potentially mitigated by the heating system if activated approximately half-an-hour before the time at which crack would occur.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the RILEM International Symposium on Bituminous Materials
    Publication date2021
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-46455-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    EventRILEM International Symposium on Bituminous Materials 2020 - Lyon, France
    Duration: 14 Dec 202016 Dec 2020


    ConferenceRILEM International Symposium on Bituminous Materials 2020
    SeriesR I L E M Bookseries


    • Asphalt pavement
    • Low-temperature cracking
    • Embedded electric heating
    • Linear viscoelasticity


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