Etude expérimentale et numérique du comportement au gel et au dégel des enrobés bitumineux partiellement saturés

Abstract : Massive development of potholes occurring in bituminous pavements was observed during winters over short time laps characterized by temperature alternating between positive and highly negative values along with rainfalls. This led us to seek for a specific mechanism of degradation of asphalt concrete (AC) layers, related to the behavior of partially saturated AC subjected to freeze. Two types of laboratory tests were performed under traction free and restrained strain conditions to study the behavior of AC within this context, incorporating lime additive in some mix design formulations. These tests showed the development of large swelling strains or stresses induced by the phase change of pore water into ice. Additional tests using MRI allowed us to visualize this phenomenon from inside the material specimens. Based on these tests, we developed a thermoviscoelastic constitutive law including phase change for partially saturated AC. A Finite Element (FE) program was implemented (FreeFem++) to introduce the developed law instructural calculations; this FE code handles the coupling between mechanics and the heat equation, also taking into account the phase change through the latent heat of crystallization of pore water. After validating the software, this numerical tool was utilized to compute the response of bilayer bituminous structures representative of the upper layers of a pavement. The results obtained show the development of highfrost-induced pull-out stresses located at the interface between the layers, likely to explain the formation of potholes. A test carried out on a bilayer sample confirmed the weakening of the interface right after the first frost cycle.
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van Thang Vu. Etude expérimentale et numérique du comportement au gel et au dégel des enrobés bitumineux partiellement saturés. Génie civil. École centrale de Nantes, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017ECDN0049⟩. ⟨tel-02149945⟩

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