Finite Element Modeling of Stresses inside a Raised Pavement Marker during Tire–Marker Impacts Academic Article uri icon


  • Retroreflective raised pavement markers (RRPMs) supplement other pavement markings to provide guidance to road users. The poor durability of many RRPMs in the field indicates a need to develop improved laboratory testing procedures. This requires identifying critical locations and magnitudes of stresses inside the markers during the tiremarker impacts that happen on roads. The goal of this research was to investigate stresses inside an RRPM model under tiremarker impact and to analyze the effect of external factors. Tiremarker impacts were modeled and simulated through the use of the finite element tools Hypermesh and LS-DYNA. The simulated critical locations and estimates of magnitudes of stresses inside the markers were identified. According to the simulations, the critical stresses lie on the top edges of the marker, perpendicular to the traffic direction. It was found that the stresses increase inside the markers as the tire load is increased. In addition, relatively high stresses were seen as the location of the impact moves away from the center of the marker. The angle of impact was found to affect the tensile stresses inside the markers, with higher angles causing greater tensile stresses. On the basis of the simulations, no consistent effect of the tire speed was found on the stresses inside the markers. These findings point toward requirements for improved testing standards. It is believed that a laboratory procedure that can replicate these internal stresses should result in a test with the ability to predict actual field performance more accurately.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Y., Agrawal, R. P., Schrock, S. D., & Tong, J.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Yunlong||Agrawal, Ravi P||Schrock, Steven D||Tong, Jiaxin

publication date

  • January 2007