Evaluating measured tire contact stresses to predict pavement response and performance Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent research has indicated that measured contact stress distributions under radial truck tires are highly complex. These stress distributions help to explain near-surface distresses that have become more prevalent since the inception of radial tires, indicating that realistic contact stresses must be considered when pavement response and performance are evaluated. However, because of the complexities involved in measuring contact stresses under tires, obtaining these measurements directly on real pavements is not possible. Consequently, contact stress measurements have been made on systems having rigid foundations with embedded sensors. Therefore, determining whether tire contact stresses measured on a rigid foundation are significantly different from contact stresses under the same tire on an actual pavement is critical. Finite element analyses conducted indicated that both vertical and lateral tire contact stresses measured on rigid foundations accurately represent the contact stresses for the same tire on typical asphalt pavement structures. Some minor differences were observed for thin (50-mm surface) pavements on weak bases, but the correspondence in terms of both distribution and magnitude was still very good. The conclusion was that contact stresses measured by devices with rigid foundations appear to be suitable for predicting response and performance of highway pavements.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Roque, R., Myers, L. A., & Birgisson, B.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Roque, R||Myers, LA||Birgisson, B

publication date

  • January 2000