Jun Liu

Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Daba S. Gedafa


Asphalt pavement distresses reduce the comfort, safety, and efficiency of operations. In North Dakota, low temperature cracking, fatigue cracking and rutting are three common types of distress. The main objective of this thesis is to test, analyze, compare and evaluate low temperature cracking, fatigue cracking, rutting and moisture resistance of field and laboratory mixes that are commonly used in North Dakota. The effects of using Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) performance in terms of cracking and rutting was also investigated.

Low-temperature cracking, fatigue cracking, rutting and moisture damage resistance were determined using Disc shaped compact Tension (DCT), Semi Circular Bend Test (SCB), Asphalt Pavement Analyzer (APA) and Indirect Tensile Test (IDT). Field mix and raw materials for laboratory mix were obtained from seven districts in North Dakota, a total of 20 projects. Field mixes were replicated in the laboratory for seven of the 20 projects, one project from each district. Mixes were compacted using Superpave Gyratory Compactor (SGC) at 7±0.5% air voids. Three specimens each for low-temperature and fatigue cracking, and four specimens for rutting were tested for all projects. In addition six specimens were tested for moisture damage resistance for one project in each district. At least total of 354 samples are made.

Test results showed that for the virgin mix, PG 58H-28 was the most rut resistant. PG 64S-28 and PG 58-28 showed similar fatigue cracking performance. PG 58H-28 and PG 64S-28 had better low- temperature cracking resistance performance. For 10-20% RAP mix, PG 58S-34 was the most rut resistant, PG 58V-28 was the most low-temperature and fatigue cracking resistant. For 25%

RAP mixes, PG 58S-28 had similar rutting and low temperature cracking resistance performance, higher fatigue cracking resistance performance than virgin mix. Lab mixes had better fatigue cracking resistance whereas field mixes had higher flexibility indices. Also, lab mixes had better low-temperature performance than field mixes. The fracture energy reduces with the increase in RAP percentages in general. For 20% and 40% RAP mixes the fracture energies was 26% and 22% less than the virgin HMA, respectively.