Stiffness of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) in flexible pavement is largely dependent of temperature, mode of testing and age of pavement. Accurate measurement of HMA stiffness is thus quite challenging. This study determines HMA stiffness based on Finite Element Model (FEM) and validates the results using field data. As a first step, stiffnesses of different layers of a pavement section on Interstate 40 (I-40) in New Mexico were determined by Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) test. Pavement temperature was not measured at that time due to lack of temperature probe. Secondly, a FE model is developed in ABAQUS. Stiffness of the base, subbase and subgrade were taken from the FWD test output obtained from the first step. As HMA stiffness largely varies with temperature it was assigned trial and error approach. Thirdly, horizontal strain and vertical stress at the bottom of the HMA and temperature at different depths of the pavement were measured with installed sensors on the whole day on December 25th, 2012. Fourthly, outputs of FEM were correlated with measured stress-strain responses. After a number of trials a relationship was developed between the trial stiffness of HMA and measured mid-depth HMA temperature. At last, the obtained relationship between stiffness and temperature is verified by further FWD test when pavement temperature was recorded. A promising agreement between them is observed. Therefore, conclusion can be drawn that linear elastic FEM can accurately predict the stiffness and the structural response of flexible pavement.
This study evaluates the back calculation of stiffness of a pavement section on Interstate 40 (I-40)in New Mexico through numerical analysis. Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) test has been conducted on a section on I-40. Layer stiffness of the pavement has been backcalculated by a backcalculation software, ELMOD, using the FWD test data. Commercial finite element software, ABAQUS, has been used to develop the Finite Element Model (FEM) of this pavement section. Geometry and layer thickness are collected from field coring. Input parameters i.e. stiffnesses of different layers of the pavement are used as the backcalculated ones. Resulting surface deflections at different radial distances from the FEM analysis are compared with field FWD deflection values. It shows close agreement between the FEM and FWD outputs. Therefore, the FWD test method can be considered to be a reliable test procedure for evaluating the in situ stiffness of pavement material.
This study investigates the effect of moisture conditioning on the Indirect Tensile Strength (ITS) of asphalt concrete. As a first step, cylindrical samples of 100 mm diameter and 50 mm thick were prepared using a Superpave gyratory compactor. Next, the samples were conditioned using Moisture Induced Susceptibility Test (MIST) device at different numbers of moisture conditioning cycles. In the MIST device, samples are subjected water pressure through the sample pores cyclically. The MIST conditioned samples were tested for ITS. Results show that the ITS does not change significantly with MIST conditioning at the specific pressure and cycles adopted in this study.
This study presents the moisture variations of unbound layers from April 2012 to January 2014 in the Interstate 40 (I-40) pavement section in New Mexico. Three moisture probes were installed at different layers inside the pavement which measure the continuous moisture variations of the unbound layers. Data show that the moisture contents of unbound layers are typically constant throughout the day and month unless there is rainfall. Moisture contents of all unbound layers change with rainfall. Change in ground water table may affect the moisture content of unbound layers which has not been investigated in this study. In addition, the Level 3 predictions of moisture contents using the Pavement Mechanistic- Empirical (ME) Design software were compared and found quite reasonable. However, results presented in the current study may not be applicable for pavement in other regions.