Investigation of asphalt joint compaction using discrete element simulation
Constructing high quality asphalt joints plays a vital role in preventing premature failures of pavements. Previous studies suggested that many construction parameters directly and indirectly influence the quality of asphalt joints. Due to uncertainties about the influence of each parameter on the quality of the finalised joints, closer and more detailed studies are still needed for achieving further improvements in this field. This study investigates the possible impacts of thickness, bottom layer roughness, joint interface geometries and compaction techniques on the particle flow of a coarse structured mixture during compaction. Therefore, discrete element method (DEM) was utilised to evaluate the influence of each construction parameter on the interlock between the cold and the hot side of an asphalt pavement joint. The results helped to explain earlier experimental findings about the joints and revealed potential for further laboratory and field investigations.
Keywords: asphalt joints, discrete element simulation, compaction