Crumb rubber modified bitumen (CRMB) can be considered as a binary composite system where rubber particles are embedded in the bitumen matrix. The bitumen-rubber interaction process (mainly swelling) significantly changes the mechanical properties of both bitumen and rubber phases. This study aims to predict the complex moduli of CRMB binders with more representative constituent parameters using micromechanical models. To achieve this goal, frequency sweep tests using a dynamic shear rheometer were performed on the liquid phase of CRMB and swollen rubber samples to represent the essential properties of bitumen matrix and rubber inclusion. In addition, the numerical swelling model was developed to estimate the effective volume concentration of rubber after swelling. Results show that the liquid phases of CRMB are stiffer and more elastic than the neat bitumen while the swollen rubber is softer and more viscous than the dry rubber. The effective volume concentration of rubber can increase to 2.126 times as the blend percentage based on the finite element analysis. Using the liquid phase of CRMB binder and swollen rubber properties as the micromechanical model inputs yield more accurate predictions. The used four micromechanical models predict well at higher frequencies while underestimating the complex modulus at lower frequencies.
- Complex modulus
- Crumb rubber modified bitumen
- Finite element model