Application of SCB Test and Surface Free Energy Method in Evaluating Crack Resistance of SBS Modified Asphalt Mixes

Document Type: Research Papers


1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.



Cohesion properties of the binder matrix within asphalt mixes and adhesion characteristics of the asphalt binder and aggregate particles are the two major mechanisms resisting against cracking in asphalt mixes. This study is focused on estimating crack resistance of asphalt mixes at intermediate temperatures through evaluation of cohesion and adhesion properties of binder-aggregate systems using Surface Free Energy (SFE) method. Semi-Circular Bending test (SCB) was used to support the SFE analysis. SFE measurements were performed applying Sessile Drop test method. A Granite aggregate type and two asphalt binders (PG64-16, PG58-22) containing various amounts of SBS polymer were used to produce six groups of asphalt mixes. Cohesion and adhesion energies obtained from SFE analysis and Flexibility Indexes and Fracture Energies determined in SCB test showed the positive effect of SBS on performance of asphalt mixes at intermediate temperatures, although the effectiveness of SBS modification was more pronounced with SCB parameters. A linear regression was performed and a strong correlation was observed between SFE results and SCB parameters.



AASHTO, T. 124. (2016). AASHTO TP 124: Standard method of test for determining the fracture potential of asphalt mixtures using Semicircular Bend Geometry (SCB) at intermediate temperature, Washington, D.C.

Aflaki, S. and Tabatabaee, N. (2009). “Proposals for modification of Iranian bitumen to meet the climatic requirements of Iran”, Construction and Building Materials, 23(6), 2141-2150.

Al-Qadi, I.L., Abauwad, I.M., Dhasmana, H. and Coenen, A.R. (2014). Effects of various asphalt binder additives/modifiers on moisture-susceptible asphaltic mixtures, Illinois Center for Transportation.

Artamendi, I. and Khalid, H.A. (2006). “A comparison between beam and semi-circular bending fracture tests for asphalt”, Road Materials and Pavement Design, 7(sup1), 163-180.

Cong, L., Peng, J., Guo, Z. and Wang, Q. (2017). “Evaluation of fatigue cracking in asphalt mixtures based on surface energy”, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 29(3), D4015003.

Elseifi, M.A., Mohammad, L.N., Ying, H. and Cooper III, S. (2012). “Modeling and evaluation of the cracking resistance of asphalt mixtures using the semi-circular bending test at intermediate temperatures”, Road Materials and Pavement Design, 13(sup1), 124-139.

Ghabchi, R., Singh, D. and Zaman, M. (2014). “Evaluation of moisture susceptibility of asphalt mixes containing RAP and different types of aggregates and asphalt binders using the surface free energy method”, Construction and Building Materials, 73, 479-489.

Hakimelahi, H., Saadeh, S. and Harvey, J. (2013). “Investigation of fracture properties of California asphalt mixtures using semicircular bending and beam fatigue tests”, Road Materials and Pavement Design, 14(sup2), 252-265.

Hefer, A.W., Bhasin, A. and Little, D.N. (2006). “Bitumen surface energy characterization using a contact angle approach”, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 18(6), 759-767.

Hejda, F., Solar, P. and Kousal, J. (2010). “Surface free energy determination by contact angle measurements, A comparison of various approaches”, Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of Doctoral Students, 1-4 June, Prague, 10, 25-30.

Howson, J., Masad, E., Little, D. and Kassem, E. (2012). “Relationship between bond energy and total work of fracture for asphalt binder-aggregate systems”, Road Materials and Pavement Design, 13(sup1), 281-303.

Kim, S., Sholar, G.A., Byron, T. and Kim, J. (2009). “Performance of polymer-modified asphalt mixture with reclaimed asphalt pavement”, Transportation Research Record, 2126(1), 109-114.

Koc, M. and Bulut, R. (2013). “Assessment of a sessile drop device and a new testing approach measuring contact angles on aggregates and asphalt binders”, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 26(3), 391-398.

Kwok, D.Y. and Neumann, A.W. (1999). “Contact angle measurement and contact angle interpretation”, Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, 81(3), 167-249.

Mohammad, L.N., Kim, M. and Challa, H. (2016). Development of performance-based specifications for Louisiana asphalt mixtures, Final Report 558, Louisiana Transportation Research Center, Louisiana.

Moraes, R., Velasquez, R. and Bahia, H. (2017). “Using bond strength and surface energy to estimate moisture resistance of asphalt-aggregate systems”, Construction and Building Materials, 130, 156-170.

Ozer, H., Al-Qadi, I.L., Lambros, J., El-Khatib, A., Singhvi, P. and Doll, B. (2016a). “Development of the fracture-based flexibility index for asphalt concrete cracking potential using modified semi-circle bending test parameters”, Construction and Building Materials, 115, 390-401.

Ozer, H., Al-Qadi, I.L., Singhvi, P., Bausano, J., Carvalho, R., Li, X. and Gibson, N. (2018). “Prediction of pavement fatigue cracking at an accelerated testing section using asphalt mixture performance tests”, International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 19(3), 264-278.

Ozer, H., Al-Qadi, I.L., Singhvi, P., Khan, T., Rivera-Perez, J. and El-Khatib, A. (2016b). “Fracture characterization of asphalt mixtures with high recycled content using Illinois semicircular bending test method and flexibility index”, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2575), 130-137.

Taherkhani, H. (2016). “Investigation of asphalt concrete containing glass fibers and nanoclay”, Journal of Civil Engineering Infrastructures, 49(1), 45-58.

Taherkhani, H. and Afroozi, S. (2017). “Investigating the performance characteristics of asphalt concrete containing nano-silica”, Journal of Civil Engineering Infrastructures, 50(1), 75-93.

Tan, Y. and Guo, M. (2013). “Using surface free energy method to study the cohesion and adhesion of asphalt mastic”, Construction and Building Materials, 47, 254-260.

Zhou, Z., Gu, X., Ni, F., Li, Q. and Ma, X. (2017). “Cracking resistance characterization of asphalt concrete containing reclaimed asphalt pavement at intermediate temperatures”, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2633), 46-57.