Modeling mechanistic responses in asphalt pavements under three-dimensional tire-pavement contact pressure Academic Article uri icon


  • A three dimensional finite element program incorporating actually measured vertical tire-pavement contact pressure (TPCP) was utilized for modeling the mechanistic responses in asphalt concrete (AC) layers by simulating various vehicle motions: stationary and non-stationary (i.e. in acceleration or deceleration mode). Analysis of the results indicated the following items. 1) It is critical to use the vertical TPCP as the design control criteria for the tensile strains at the bottom of the AC layer when the base layer modulus is lower in magnitude (e.g. <400 MPa); however, when the base layer modulus is higher in magnitude (e.g. >7 000 MPa), the horizontal TPCP and the tensile strains in the X-direction at the surface of the AC layer should also be considered as part of the design response criteria. 2) The definition of "overload" needs to be revised to include tire pressure over-inflation, i.e., a vehicle should be considered to be overloaded if the wheel load exceeds the specification and/or the tire inflation pressure is higher than the specification. 3) Light trucks have more structural impact on the strain responses and pavement design when the thickness of the surfacing AC layer is thinner (e.g. <50 mm). 4) The acceleration of a vehicle does not significantly impact the AC surface distresses such as rutting at the top of the upgrade slopes or intersections; however, vehicle deceleration can dramatically induce horizontal shear strains and consequently, aggravate shoving and rutting problems at the highway intersections. Evidently, these factors should be taken into account during mechanistic stress-strain modeling and structural design of asphalt pavements. 2011 Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hu, X., & Walubita, L. F.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • February 2011