The Minnesota Department of Transportation, similar to most state agencies, relies on volumetrics for their asphalt mix designs. Although volumetric specifications are necessary for a quality asphalt concrete mix, little or no effort is placed on performance-based specifications. These specifications utilize mechanical tests to predict in-service performance of a mix. Research efforts are needed to explore the current availability of performance tests, their suitability, and their usage by state agencies. This thesis focuses on collecting information on both currently practiced and state of the art performance tests, and their suitability for performance prediction in cold-climate regions.
Desirable criteria were developed to analytically discover the most promising test(s) currently available for cracking prediction. A comprehensive literature review found an exhaustive amount of tests available, with varying levels of effectiveness. Although no test is perfect, there are tests that have promise. Through comparative evaluation, the Disk-Shaped Compact Tension Test, Semi-Circular Bend Test, and Indirect Tensile Test were found to be the most viable tests available. Other tests researched showed promise on some criteria, but were not well-rounded enough to be considered viable.