Field performance of top-down fatigue cracking for warm mix asphalt pavements

Shenghua Wu, Haifang Wen, Weiguang Zhang, Shihui Shen, Louay N. Mohammad, Ahmed Faheem, Balasingam Muhunthan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


As a result of repeated rehabilitation efforts over the past few decades, often asphalt pavements have become deep-strength pavements. Consequently, top-down cracking has become a primary distress type. In particular, the top-down cracking performance of warm mix asphalt (WMA) pavements, i.e. how does it compare with similar hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavements is largely unclear mainly due to the lack of field performance data. This paper presents an effort of monitoring the top-down cracking performance of 28 pavement projects including WMA pavements and their corresponding HMA control pavements with service lives ranging between 4 and 10 years. These pavements cover different climate zones, WMA technologies, service years, pavement structures and traffic volume levels. Two rounds of distress surveys were conducted at a two-year interval, and the material (asphalt binder and mixture) properties of the pavements were determined using field cores. The top-down cracking performance of the HMA and WMA pavements was compared based on the first and second round distress surveys. It was found that the HMA and WMA pavement in general exhibited comparable performance. The significant determinants (material properties) for top-down cracking were determined, which were vertical failure deformation of mixes measured at 20 °C from indirect tension test.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • field performance
  • hot mix asphalt (HMA)
  • top-down cracking
  • vertical failure deformation
  • Warm mix asphalt (WMA)


Dive into the research topics of 'Field performance of top-down fatigue cracking for warm mix asphalt pavements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this