Interface shear resistance is a measure of the bonding between two layers under shear loading. Adequate interface shear resistance and long-term bonding of the surface to the underlying pavement are critical to the performance of pavement structures. Interface shear strength is a function of adhesion, friction and aggregate embedment or interlock and is commonly modelled as a Mohr–Coulomb type envelope. Measurement of interface shear resistance can be performed in the field on full-scale pavements, in the laboratory on cores recovered from the surface or in the laboratory using samples prepared in the laboratory. However, laboratory testing of cores recovered from the field is likely to be more reliable and repeatable than field testing. There is a large range of test methods and procedures for the measurement of interface bond. These test methods are generally grouped into three main loading mechanisms; axial tension, torsional shear and direct shear. Direct shear tests offer a more comprehensive assessment of the full interface strength. The interface’s resistance to shear can be characterised by its strength, modulus/stiffness or work/energy. The results are affected by the test protocol, tack coat type and application rate, test temperature, applied normal stress and rate of loading, interface condition and post-construction trafficking. Of these, the test temperature is the most influential factor. A number of studies have reported contradictory and conflicting conclusions with regard to the importance of various factors and conditions on the different measures of interface shear resistance. Such inconsistent findings likely stem from the complicated interaction between the various interface conditions and testing protocols. The fundamental factors affecting monotonic interface strength are now reasonably well understood. The focus of future research is expected to be on shear fatigue performance of interfaces.
International Journal of Pavement Engineering / Vol. Article in press