Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Braham, Andrew F

Abstract

For such a large country as the US, adequate road transportation is a vital necessity that ensures the safety, prosperity, and development of the people. Covering 94% of the two million miles of paved roads and highways, asphalt concrete is essential to this country. This is one reason why it is crucial to understand the potential and limitations of asphalt concrete. Unfortunately, material testing is a costly and time consuming ordeal. Consequently, numerical modeling of asphalt testing using computer software has been successfully developed in the last decades. These models corroborate those obtained in the lab but are intended as complements and not alternatives to lab testing. Simulations of asphalt concrete, however, have traditionally assumed homogeneous material properties and used this assumption to run multiple deterministic scenarios, disregarding the heterogeneous nature of asphalt concrete. This project’s purpose is to implement the element of material uncertainty in simulations in order to provide more reliable results. Laboratory data gathered from the University of Arkansas in addition to stochastic techniques being developed by Dr. Silvia Caro at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, are used to improve these simulations. Patterns in the internal microstructure of the material are studied and probabilistic techniques are used to generate probable internal configurations of the asphalt specimens, which will be used as inputs into the models. It is anticipated that results from numerical models that consider these various possible internal structures will therefore be more reliable and representative of actual lab results.

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