Assessment of Asphalt Mixture Disk-Shaped Compact Tension Test Indexes for Reflective Cracking Performance

Academic Article


  • Abstract Disk-shaped compact tension (DCT) testing is a commonly used low-temperature fracture test to determine the cracking resistance of asphalt mixtures. The current testing specification only considers the fracture energy (Gf) from load-crack mouth opening displacement test data. However, Gf does not directly take into consideration the behavior of the post peak region of the curve, which may indicate the mixture’s ability to resist crack propagation and provide insight into fracture processes (e.g., crack growth velocity). It is possible to have two DCT specimens with similar Gf values but dramatically different load-displacement responses. The main focus of this paper is to make a comparative evaluation of various performance indexes developed for DCT fracture testing with respect to field reflective cracking performance of 10 full-scale asphalt concrete overlay test sections. This study evaluates Gf in addition to three other indexes: fracture strain tolerance (FST), rate-dependent cracking index (RDCI) and a proposed DCTIndex from Minnesota Department of Transportation that considers the post peak load-displacement behavior. An equivalent performance index approach is adopted to make comparisons of test sections with varying overlay structures in terms of thickness and material properties. Results from this study showed there was relatively good agreement between all equivalent laboratory performance indexes in identifying the best and worst performing overlay sections, according to normalized field performance indexes after approximately three years of service. In general, the equivalent FST and RDCI laboratory indexes rank test sections similarly, while equivalent Gf and DCTIndex have comparable ranking.
  • Authors

  • Haslett, Katie E
  • Dave, Eshan
  • Sias, Jo E
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 2022
  • Published In


  • disk-shaped compact tension
  • equivalent index
  • field performance
  • laboratory performance
  • performance indexes
  • reflective cracking
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 755
  • End Page

  • 769
  • Volume

  • 50
  • Issue

  • 2