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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Ruggedness of Laboratory Tests to Assess Cracking Resistance of Asphalt Mixtures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27421.
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1 SUMMARY Cracking is a primary mode of distress in asphalt pavements and is currently one of the primary concerns of most departments of transportation (DOTs). At the same time, asphalt mix designs are becoming more complex due to the increased use of recycled materials, recycling agents, binder additives/modifiers (such as recycled plastics), and multiple warm mix asphalt technologies. DOTs recognize the need for reliable and implementable cracking tests to ensure asphalt mixture performance and ultimately extend the life of asphalt pavements. National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 09-57, Experimental Design for Field Validation of Laboratory Tests to Assess Cracking Resistance of Asphalt Mixtures, selected multiple candidate cracking tests and developed experimental designs for ruggedness testing, field validation, and round-robin testing. The ruggedness testing was completed under NCHRP 09-57A (Phases I and II), and the findings, revised test standards, and conclusions of NCHRP 09-57A are summarized in NCHRP Research Report 987: Ruggedness of Laboratory Tests for Asphalt Mixture Cracking Resistance https://doi.org/10.17226/26528). The objective of this research was to reassess the availability of materials and performance data of the field sections originally proposed by NCHRP 09-57 in 2015. The scope of work included four major parts: (1) assemble all published information related to field validation of the four cracking tests (IDEAL cracking test, disk-shaped compact tension test, Illinois flexibility index test, and overlay test); (2) reassess the availability of materials and performance data of the field sections originally proposed by NCHRP 09-57; (3) identify alternative field sections as needed; and (4) recommend final candidate field sections for validating laboratory cracking tests.

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Cracking and durability issues of asphalt pavements have been primary concerns of departments of transportation the last two decades. Several modes of asphalt pavement cracking exist—fatigue, top-down, reflective, and thermal—and all are influenced by thermal loading, traffic loading, or a combination of both.

NCHRP Web-Only Document 389: Ruggedness of Laboratory Tests to Assess Cracking Resistance of Asphalt Mixtures, from TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program, documents existing field validation efforts for these four modes of cracking.

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