Reflective cracking is considered one of the most important issues that causes premature deterioration of composite pavements. Many types of mitigation methods have been studied in the past. However, they are either not effective in delaying the reflective cracking, or they only extend the service life by a few years. To address this critical issue and significantly extend the service life of the composite pavement, in this research, a ductile interlayer made of engineered cementitious composites (ECC) was proposed. It was hypothesized that by adding a thin layer of highly ductile ECC material between the existing pavement and overlay, reflective cracking could be arrested by the ductile interlayer. This study experimentally evaluated the effectiveness of ECC as an interlayer system. A laboratory test protocol was designed to simulate repeated traffic loads to measure the fatigue performance of ECC interlayer system. The strain field and reflective cracking were monitored using digital image correlation (DIC) technique. It was found that the composite pavement specimens with ECC interlayer provided significantly higher fatigue life as compared to the control specimens without an interlayer. The failure mode also changed from single reflective crack to multiple cracks in overlaid HMA mixtures. The results indicated that ECC could be used as a potential effective interlayer system to retard or mitigate reflective cracking.
Zhang, Q., Khattak, M., & Das, A. (2019). Mitigating Reflective Cracking Through the Use of a Ductile Concrete Interlayer. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/transet_pubs/47