Numerical simulation of crack propagation in flexible asphalt pavements based on cohesive zone model developed from asphalt mixtures

Pengfei Liu, Jian Chen, Guoyang Lu, Dawei Wang, Markus Oeser, Sabine Leischner

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


To give engineers involved in planning and designing of asphalt pavements a more accurate prediction of crack initiation and propagation, theory-based models need to be developed to connect the loading conditions and fracture mechanisms present in laboratory tests and under traffic loading. The aim of this study is to develop a technical basis for the simulation of fracture behavior of asphalt pavements. The cohesive zone model (CZM) approach was applied in the commercial FE software ABAQUS to analyze crack propagation in asphalt layers. The CZM developed from the asphalt mixtures in this study can be used to simulate the fracture behavior of pavements and further optimize both the structure and the materials. The investigations demonstrated that the remaining service life of asphalt pavements under cyclic load after the initial onset of macro-cracks can be predicted. The developed CZM can, therefore, usefully supplement conventional design methods by improving the accuracy of the predicted stress states and by increasing the quality, efficiency, and safety of mechanical design methods by using this more realistic modeling approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1278
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Asphalt pavement
  • Cohesive zone method
  • Crack propagation
  • Finite element method
  • Pavement design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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