Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Civil Engineering

Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Eshan V. Dave

Second Advisor

Jo Sias. Daniel


In recent years, there has been a shift towards implementing performance based pavement specifications (PBPS) to increase reliability of asphalt concrete mixture specifications and enhance service lives of roadways. Several of the performance indices used in PBPS are based on the asphalt mixture fracture tests. There is an increasing need for a better understanding the effects of temperature and loading rate interdependency for fracture properties of asphalt mixtures. The goal of this study is to build upon previous work conducted during a Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURF) project entitled, “Exploration of Temperature and Loading Rate Interdependency for Fracture Properties of Asphalt Mixtures,” as well as to incorporate ongoing research studies at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). There are many proposed fracture indices including Fracture Energy (Gf), Illinois Flexibility Index (FI), Toughness Index (TI), Nflex, and Fracture Strain Tolerance (FST). The objective of this study is to evaluate different fracture indices and their variations with changes in test temperature and loading rates. Results from Semi-Circular Bend (SCB) fracture tests on five asphalt mixtures (from Vermont and Virginia) are being evaluated. All mixtures represent same aggregate maximum sizes and consist of varying amounts of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP). Conclusions will be drawn on the effectiveness of each fracture index to distinguish and appropriately rank mixtures as well as on the variations of these indices with changes in test temperature and loading rates. On basis of this study, use of crack mouth opening displacements for fracture index calculations is recommended obtain better distinction of cracking performances between mixtures.