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Developments in 3D surfacing seals FE modelling

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A surfacing seal may not be considered a thin homogeneous bituminous layer and thus cannot be designed on the basis of material bulk properties. As a result, common design methodologies are of no value in seal design. Seals are thus designed on the basis of empirical methods or engineering judgement. The introduction of new tyre types, the increase in traffic loads and the introduction of new types of bitumen and modifiers ask for fundamental insight into seal behaviour. Hereto a 3D meso-mechanical FE model of a seal was developed. The model represents the seal as it is, i.e. aggregates sitting in a binder and partially worked into the base. Individual aggregates are loaded by forces that follow from a moving tyre. This paper shows that full insight into the stresses and strains that develop in the various relevant structural components of the seal is obtained. It is discussed how this insight may be used for seal design.
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Keywords: bitumen; finite element model; mesoscale; moving tyre; surfacing seal

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2010-02-01

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