Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering

Advisor 1

Zhanping You

Committee Member 1

Jacob Hiller

Committee Member 2

Qingli Dai

Committee Member 3

Xinfeng Xie


In recent years, chip seal has gained increasing popularity as one of the pavement preservation techniques. It has been found to be a cost-effective strategy in various projects. However, there are some aspects that remain unclear, such as the precise asphalt application ratio in chip seal and its performance under different conditions. Specifically, the lack of a test method for chip seal's tensile and shear bond performance contributes to this uncertainty. Therefore, the primary objective of this dissertation is twofold: firstly, to develop a laboratory performance evaluation of chip seal, and secondly, to analyze the factors influencing its performance using the DEM (Discrete Element Method) modeling approach. By accomplishing these goals, we seek to shed light on the reasons behind chip seal's performance and identify the factors that significantly impact its effectiveness.

This dissertation presents a novel method for assessing the tensile and shear bond performance of both hot rubber chip seal and conventional emulsion asphalt chip seal under various laboratory conditions. The study examines the influence of cyclic load and freeze-thaw cycles on chip seal's shear and tensile bond performance. Furthermore, the evaluation extends to the performance of the chip seal at various application rates using a three-dimensional discrete element model, considering factors such as asphalt thickness, aggregate shape, and azimuth angle. Additionally, the research explores another application of chip seal as a stress absorbing membrane interlayer (SAMI). An assessment is conducted on a resurfacing project that incorporates a rubber modified asphalt mixture with a stress absorbing membrane interlayer. The benefits of chip seal in enhancing cracking resistance as a stress absorbing membrane interlayer are evaluated through the Disc-shaped compact tension (DCT) test. Lastly, the dissertation investigates the use of stress absorbing membrane interlayers in asphalt pavement to prevent pavement cracking. Predictions are made regarding the SAMI layer's effect on pavement cracking performance based on a DEM-FEM coupling model. The rutting resistance and fatigue cracking resistance of the SAMI layer are compared with those of a conventional asphalt overlay to determine the improvement it offers.

Available for download on Wednesday, November 27, 2024