Effects of Aggregate Mesostructure on Permanent Deformation of Asphalt Mixture Using Three-Dimensional Discrete Element Modeling
This paper investigated the effects of aggregate mesostructures on permanent deformation behavior of an asphalt mixture using the three-dimensional (3D) discrete element method (DEM). A 3D discrete element (DE) model of an asphalt mixture composed of coarse aggregates, asphalt mastic, and air voids was developed. Mesomechanical models representing the interactions among the components of asphalt mixture were assigned. Based on the mesomechanical modeling, the uniaxial static load creep tests were simulated using the prepared models, and effects of aggregate angularity, orientation, surface texture, and distribution on the permanent deformation behavior of the asphalt mixtures were analyzed. It was proven that good aggregate angularity had a positive effect on the permanent deformation performance of the asphalt mixtures, especially when approximate cubic aggregates were used. Aggregate packing was more stable when the aggregate orientations tended to be horizontal, which improved the permanent deformation performance of the asphalt mixture. The influence of orientations of 4.75 mm size aggregates on the permanent deformation behavior of the asphalt mixture was significant. Use of aggregates with good surface texture benefitted the permanent deformation performance of the asphalt mixture. Additionally, the non-uniform distribution of aggregates had a negative impact on the permanent deformation performance of the asphalt mixtures, especially when aggregates were distributed non-uniformly in the vertical direction.
Keywords: asphalt mixture, aggregate mesostructure, permanent deformation, discrete element method