SA-CrackPro New Finite Element Analysis Tool for Pavement Crack Propagation Academic Article uri icon


  • Crack propagation is a critical process in both reflective- and fatigue-cracking distress mechanisms. Computation of the stress intensity factor (SIF) at the crack tip provides the basis for crack propagation analysis. Because of the three-dimensional (3-D) nature of a cracked pavement and traffic loading, the best choice for calculating the SIF is 3-D finite element (FE) programs. However, the 3-D FE solutions are often expensive because of a large number for equations and a matrix with comparatively large bandwidth. Sometimes 3-D analyses may overload the available computer capability when the pavement structure is complex. To address these problems, a new FE analysis tool named SA-CrackPro was developed and is discussed in this paper. SA-CrackPro is essentially a two-dimensional SIF calculation program that incorporates a semian-alytical (SA) method. SA-CrackPro can provide the same satisfactory computations and results as a 3-D FE program at a much faster speed and with much fewer computer resource requirements. To simulate the pavement layer interface and load-transfer conditions at the joints (or cracks), thin-layer elements were introduced. To model crack propagation sufficiently and accurately, FE automeshing and remeshing techniques were proposed and implemented in the program. The accuracy of the program was verified through comparisons with a commercial 3-D FE package, ANSYS. Finally, the application of the program is demonstrated to conclude the paper.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hu, S., Hu, X., Zhou, F., & Walubita, L. F.

citation count

  • 14

publication date

  • January 2008