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Top-down cracking in Washington State asphalt concrete wearing courses Uhlmeyer, Jeff S et al

By: Uhlmeyer, Jeff SPublication details: Transportation Research Record, 2000Description: nr 1730, s. 110-16Subject(s): USA | Flexible pavement | Cracking | Longitudinal | | Wearing course | | Depth | Thickness | 33Bibl.nr: VTI P8167:1730Location: Abstract: For years, pavement engineers within the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) have observed that longitudinal and fatigue (multiple-interconnected) cracks in their thicker asphalt concrete (AC) pavements appeared to crack from the top of the wearing course downward. Often, the cracks stop at the interface between the wearing course and the underlying bituminous layers (a depth of about 50 mm). Studies done elsewhere in the United States and internationally have reported similar results. The results of extensive coring that WSDOT routinely collects in its pavement rehabilitation process were compared in a study. WSDOT normally cores AC pavements to determine thickness for use in mechanistic-empirical design. In addition to coring for AC thickness, specific information noting surface-initiated (top-down) cracking with the crack depth or full-depth cracking was noted. WSDOT observed top-down cracking occurring in the thicker sections, with thinner sections cracking full depth. Top-down cracking generally started within 3 to 8 years of paving for pavement sections that were structurally adequate and were designed for adequate equivalent single-axle loads.
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For years, pavement engineers within the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) have observed that longitudinal and fatigue (multiple-interconnected) cracks in their thicker asphalt concrete (AC) pavements appeared to crack from the top of the wearing course downward. Often, the cracks stop at the interface between the wearing course and the underlying bituminous layers (a depth of about 50 mm). Studies done elsewhere in the United States and internationally have reported similar results. The results of extensive coring that WSDOT routinely collects in its pavement rehabilitation process were compared in a study. WSDOT normally cores AC pavements to determine thickness for use in mechanistic-empirical design. In addition to coring for AC thickness, specific information noting surface-initiated (top-down) cracking with the crack depth or full-depth cracking was noted. WSDOT observed top-down cracking occurring in the thicker sections, with thinner sections cracking full depth. Top-down cracking generally started within 3 to 8 years of paving for pavement sections that were structurally adequate and were designed for adequate equivalent single-axle loads.

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