Contact mechanics based solution to predict modulus of asphalt materials with high porosities

Hong Zhang, Kumar Anupam, Tom Scarpas, Cor Kasbergen, Sandra Erkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Asphalt mixtures with high porosities (known as porous asphalt (PA) mixes) are becoming a popular choice among road authorities as it provides better skid resistance while also reducing tire-pavement noises. Towards the design and manufacture of PA mix pavement, the evaluation of the mechanical properties of PA mixes is of great importance. To predict the mechanical properties of PA mixes, micromechanical models have been considered as an effective tool. In most research studies, continuum-based micromechanical models, i.e. the Self-consistent model, the Mori-Tanaka model, etc. are widely used to predict the stiffness of asphalt mixtures. However, the limitation of these models is that they cannot describe the characteristics of individual particles and thus they cannot provide accurate predictions. On the other hand, the discrete-based micromechanical model (DBMM) which simulates a granular material as an assembly of bonded particles seems to be a promising alternative. Limited research studies have focused on studying the utilization and the applicability of this model for asphalt mixes. Therefore, this paper aims to propose a framework to use DBMM and to evaluate its performance in estimating a PA mix's stiffness. Based on the obtained results, both the merits and limitations of this model were highlighted.

Original languageBritish English
Article number109752
JournalMaterials and Design
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Discrete-based micromechanical model
  • Effective modulus
  • Porous asphalt mixes


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