Non-destructive modulus testing and performance evaluation for asphalt pavement reflective cracking mitigation treatments

    Can CHEN Affiliation
    ; Shibin LIN Affiliation
    ; Ronald Christopher WILLIAMS Affiliation
    ; Jeramy Curtis ASHLOCK Affiliation


Reflective cracking is a common type of pavement distress, which manifests as cracks in an underlying layer propagating through to the surface of a pavement structure. To minimize reflective cracking of asphalt layers in composite pavements, four treatments are commonly used: standard/full rubblization, modified rubblization, crack and seat, and rock interlayer. The four types of treatment were evaluated to determine their effectiveness in mitigating reflective cracking via non-destructive Falling Weight Deflectometer tests and Surface Wave Method tests to measure layer modulus, along with field pavement performance surveys. It is found that moduli measurements from Surface Wave Method tests have reduced uncertainty comparing to those from Falling Weight Deflectometer tests, (2) the moduli of thin rock interlayers were captured by Surface Wave Method, but missed by Falling Weight Deflectometer. In addition, the Surface Wave Method results show that (1) crack and seat treatments provide the highest moduli, followed by modified rubblization, and (2) standard rubblization and rock interlayers provide moduli that are slightly lower than the other two treatments. Pavement performance survey was also conducted concurrently with the in-situ modulus tests. Based on the results of this study, modified rubblization and rock interlayer treatments are recommended for mitigation of reflective cracking.

Keyword : concrete rubblization, Falling Weight Deflectometer, reflective cracking, surface wave method

Published in Issue
Mar 27, 2018
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Al-Qadi, I., Buttlar, W. G., & Baek, J. (2009). Cost-effectiveness and performance of overlay systems in Illinois. Volume 2: Guidelines for Interlayer System Selection Decision When Used in HMA Overlays. Illinois Center for Transportation Series No. 09-045.

Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa – APAI. (2012). The Iowa asphalt report – the rise of the interlayer. Published by Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa, summer report, 2012, Ames, Iowa.

Alexander, D. R. (1992). In-situ material characterization for pavement evaluation by the spectral analysis of surface waves method. Technical Report-GL-92-10. US Army Corps of Engineers.

Antigo. (2017). Rubblization. Retrieved from

Bardet, J. P., Ichii, K., & Lin, C. H. (2000). User’s manual for EERA. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Southern California.

Chen, X. W., Zhang, Z. J., & Lambert, J. R. (2013). Field performance evaluation of stone interlayer pavement in Louisiana. Transportation Research Board Conference, CD-COM, Washington, D.C., 2013.

Chen, C., Williams, R. C., Marasinghe, M. G., Omunderson, J., Schram, S., & Buss, A. (2015). Assessment of composite pavement performance by survival analysis. Journal of Transportation Engineering, 141(9).

Ceylan, H., Gopalakrishnan, K., & Kim, S. (2008). Performance evaluation of rubblized pavements in Iowa. Final Report, IHRB Project TR-550. Institute for Transportation, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

Federal Highway Administration – FHWA. (2000). LTPP manual for falling weight deflectometer measurements operational feld guidelines. FWHA-LTPP Technical Support Services Contractor, Beltsville, Maryland.

Federal Highway Administration – FHWA. (2003). Distress identification manual for the long-term pavement performance program. Publication No.: FHWA-RD-03-031. Virginia, USA.

Gucunski, N., Sauber, R., Maher, A., & Rascoe, C. (2009). Modulus of rubblized portland cement concrete from surface wave testing. Transportation Research Record, No.2104 (pp. 34-41).

Hayter, A. J. (1984). A proof of the conjecture that the Tukey-Kramer multiple comparisons procedure is conservative. The Annals of Statistics 12(1), 1-104.

Heckel, L. B. (2002). Rubblizing with bituminous concrete overlay – 10 years’ experience in Illinois. Report No. IL-PRR-137. Illinois Department of Transportation, Springfield, Illinois.

Iowa Department of Transportation – Iowa DOT. (2010). Section 4120: Granular Surfacing and Granular Shoulder Aggregate. Retrieved from

Jansen, J. (2006). Rubblization vs. crack and seat. Presentation at 2006 Great Iowa Asphalt Conference, 2006, Des Moines, Iowa.

Korsgaard, H. C., Pedersen, J. P., Rasmussen, M., & Königsfeldt, S. (2005). Rehabilitation by cracking and seating of concrete pavement optimized by FWD analysis. International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Road, Railway and Airfields, Norway.

Li, C., Ashlock, J. C., Lin, S., & Vennapusa, P. (2017). In-situ multi-layered nonlinear modulus reduction characteristics of stabilized unpaved roads by surface wave and falling weight deflectometer method. Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C, USA.

Lin, S. (2014). Advancements in active surface wave methods: modeling, testing, and inversion. PhD dissertation, Iowa State University.

Lin, S., & Ashlock, J. C. (2011). A Study on issues relating to testing of soils and pavements by surface wave methods. Proceedings 38th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Non-destructive Evaluation. Burlington, USA.

Lin, S., & Ashlock, J. C. (2015). Comparison of MASW and MSOR for surface wave testing of pavements. Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics, 20(4), 277-285.

Lin, S., Ashlock, J. C., Kim, H., Nash, J., Lee, H. D., & Williams, R. C. (2015). Assessment of nondestructive testing technologies for quality control/quality assurance of asphalt mixtures. Report, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa, USA.

Lin, S., Ashlock, J. C., & Williams, R. C. (2016). Nondestructive quality assessment of asphalt pavements based on dynamic modulus. Construction and Building Materials, 112, 836-847.

Mallick, R. B., Bradley, J. E. & Nazarian, S. (2006). In-place determination of stiffness of subsurface reclaimed layers in thin surface hot-mix asphalt pavements. Transportation Research Record, No. 1949 (pp. 11-19).

Nazarian S. (1984). In situ determination of elastic moduli of soil deposits and pavement systems by spectral-analysis-of-surface-waves method. PhD Thesis, 1984, The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved from

Park, C. B., Miller, R. D., & Xia, J. (1998). Imaging dispersion curves of surface waves on multichannel record: technical program with biographies. SEG, 68th Annual Meeting (pp. 1377-1380). New Orleans, USA.

Ryden, N., Ulriksen, P., Park, C. B., & Miller, R. D. (2002). Portable Seismic Acquisition System (PSAS) for Pavement MASW. Proceedings of the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems.

Ryden, N., & Mooney, M. A. (2009). Analysis of surface waves from the light weight deflectometer. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 29(7), 1134-1142.

Von Quintus, L. H., Mallela, J., Lytton, L. R. (2010). Techniques for mitigation of reflective cracks. FAA Worldwide Airport Technology Transfer Conference, 2010, Atlantic City, USA.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Wisconsin DOT. (2007). Facilities Development Manual. Retrieved from