Continuum-based micromechanical models for asphalt materials: Current practices & beyond

Hong Zhang*, Kumar Anupam, Tom Scarpas, Cor Kasbergen, Sandra Erkens, Loay Al Khateeb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


The mechanical properties of asphalt mixture are always required for the evaluation of the durability of pavements. In order to obtain these properties without conducting expensive laboratory tests and using calibrated empirical models, research studies have been carried out to develop micromechanics-based models. Continuum-based micromechanical models (CBMM), which are developed based on continuum mechanics, have increasingly been utilized to estimate the mechanical properties of asphalt materials based on the fundamental properties of individual constituents. These analytical models are expected to provide reliable predictions without the need for extensive computational facilities. Although the utilization of CBMM has been presented by several past studies, most of the studies do not provide a concise and critical review of these models. Therefore, in this paper, a complete review of CBMM was presented. Commonly used CBMM were introduced in detail and their advantages and disadvantages were discussed and compared. Comprehensive summaries and critical discussions about their current utilization and limitations for predicting the mechanical properties of asphalt materials were given. Further modifications and new development for addressing the limitations were extensively described and discussed. In the end, research challenges were highlighted and future recommendations from different perspectives were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119675
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Asphalt materials
  • Continuum-based micromechanical models
  • Effective stiffness


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