Adhesion Performance of Rubber Modified Asphalt in Chip Seal: A Molecular Dynamic Study

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Chip seals are widely used for asphalt pavement maintenance, yet the understanding of the interaction between asphalt and aggregates embedded in the asphalt layer remains limited. This paper aims to quantify the interaction between asphalt and aggregate at the microscope level to better understand their adhesion performance in chip seals. Rubber-modified and neat asphalt models are established and verified based on various parameters, including density, viscosity, solubility, glass-transition temperature (Tg), and cohesive energy density (CED). Subsequently, nanoindentation simulation is employed to analyze the adhesion force and interface stress between aggregates and asphalt, considering different embedded depths and pull-off speeds. The adhesion energy between asphalt and silica is also calculated. The results indicate that rubber-modified asphalt exhibits lower density, CED, solubility parameters, and Tg while having higher viscosity than neat asphalt. The adhesion force and interface stress display a quadratic relationship with embedded depths and pull-off speeds. Furthermore, the bond between rubber-modified asphalt and silica is stronger than that between neat asphalt and silica. These findings advance the comprehension of asphalt-aggregate adhesion in chip seals and offer insights for optimizing chip seal design through molecular simulation, thereby potentially enhancing asphalt pavement performance.

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Materials (Basel, Switzerland)