Rutting is one of the well-recognized road surface distresses in asphalt concrete pavements that can affect the pavement service life and traffic safety. Previous studies have shown that the shear strength of asphalt concrete pavements is a fundamental property in resisting rutting. Laboratory investigation has shown that improving the shear strength of the asphalt concrete mix can reduce surface rutting by more than 30%, and the SUPERPAVE mix design method has acknowledged the importance of the shear resistance of asphalt mixes as a fundamental property in resisting deformation of the pavement. An in situ shear strength testing facility was developed at Carleton University, and a more advanced version of this facility is currently under development in cooperation with the Transportation Research Board and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. In using this facility, a circular area of the pavement surface is forced to rotate about a normal axis by applying a torque on a circular plate bonded to the surface. The pavement shear strength is then related to the maximum torque. This problem has been solved mathematically in the literature for a linear, homogeneous, and isotropic material. However, the models for other material properties are mathematically complicated and are not applicable to all cases of material properties. Therefore, developing a model that can accurately analyze the behaviour of asphalt concrete pavements during the in situ shear test has proven pivotal. This paper presents the development of a three-dimensional finite element model that can simulate the forces applied while measuring the shear strength of the asphalt concrete pavement. A comparison between the model results and those obtained from available analytical models and field measurements proved the accuracy of the developed model.

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Keywords Asphalt, Finite element, In situ testing, Modelling, Pavement, Shear strength
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Journal Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering
Bekheet, W. (W.), Hassan, Y, & Halim, A.O. (2001). Modelling in situ shear strength testing of asphalt concrete pavements using the finite element method. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 28(3), 541–544. doi:10.1139/cjce-28-3-541