Modeling of the permanent deformation characteristics of SMA mixtures using discrete element method
Recently, significant advancements in the modeling of asphalt concrete have been made in micromechanics to describe the behavior and performance of asphalt pavements using the properties of their component materials. On the other hand, this approach has great potential benefits in the field of asphalt technology for reducing or eliminating costly tests to characterize asphaltic mixtures. In this study, two-dimensional Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) was employed to investigate the deformation characteristics of Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA). Instead of the randomly generated initial models Image processing techniques were employed to make it possible to compare the actual and virtual test results. For this purpose, a series of Unconfined Dynamic Creep tests were also carried out in the laboratory according to British Standards. It has been concluded that the developed 2D-model can well predict the deformation characteristics of SMA mixes, however the results of simulations under-predict the accumulated permanent strain obtained through laboratory tests.
Keywords: asphalt concrete, discrete element, permanent deformation, sma