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Mid-America Transportation Center

Impact of Truck Loading on Design and Analysis of Asphaltic Pavement Structures-Phase IV

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Yong Rak Kim (ykim3@unl.edu (402)472-1727)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    This goal of this research is to advance current practices in the selection of paving materials and design-analysis methods of pavement structures based on more realistic fundamentals of the effects of heavy-load trucks on pavement damage and performance. Trucking is the most dominant component of U.S. freight transportation, and is expected to grow significantly in the future. Better protection of highway infrastructure against heavy-load trucks is therefore necessary, and success can be achieved by a more accurate and realistic understanding of pavement performance associated with damage. Toward this end, a series of research efforts has been conducted by the PI for three fiscal years (FY 2009 to FY 2011) through the MATC research grant program. Research outcomes clearly demonstrated that a realistic characterization of paving materials and tire loading configurations, which are not rigorously implemented in the current design-analysis program, is a necessary fundamental for achieving accurate predictions of pavement damage such as rutting and cracking. Inaccurate predictions of pavement damage result in significant errors in the design of pavement structures, as well as in the prediction of pavement performance. As an extension of the previous projects, we herein propose “Phase IV” in order to study pavement cracking (e.g., fatigue cracking and thermal cracking) in more in-depth, significant detail, including mode-, rate-, and temperature-dependent fracture behavior. The mode-, rate-, and temperature-dependent fracture behavior of asphalt materials in pavements has not yet been carefully studied by the asphaltic materials/pavement community due to many technical challenges, in spite of its large impact on pavement damage-related performance. Findings from Phase IV will certainly improve actual practices in the selection of more engineered paving materials and the more advanced implementation of current design and analysis methods.
    Research Objective
    This research aims to better understand the effects of heavy-load trucks on pavement damage and performance. More specifically, this study targets a more realistic performance prediction of pavement cracking (fatigue cracking and thermal cracking) by employing an integrated experimental-computational approach to characterize the rate-, mode-, and temperature-dependent fracture behavior of asphaltic materials in pavements. Findings from this research are expected to improve actual practices in the selection of more engineered paving materials and in more advanced implementation of current design and analysis methods, which will eventually contribute to safer, more efficient, more effective, and more sustainable U.S. roadway infrastructure.
    Potential Benefits
    The proposed effort will provide a better understanding of the effects of heavy-load trucks on the overall structural performance and damage characterization of asphaltic roadways. In addition, this research will advance current practices in the selection of asphaltic paving materials that are more cost-effective and resistant to pavement cracking, based on better a understanding of material-mixture-structure behavior. More appropriate use and future advancements of the mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG) for pavement analysis and design can also be achieved based on proper incorporation with mechanistic approaches.
    Abstract
    The goal of this research is to advance current practices in the selection of paving materials and design-analysis methods of pavement structures based on more realistic fundamentals of the effects of heavy-load trucks on pavement damage and performance. Trucking is the most dominant component of U.S. freight transportation, and is expected to grow significantly in the future. Better protection of highway infrastructure against heavy-load trucks is therefore necessary, and success can be achieved by a more accurate and realistic understanding of thepavement performance associated with damage. In particular, this study targets a more realistic performance prediction of pavement cracking (fatigue cracking and thermal cracking). To meet the objective, the rate-, mode-, and temperature-dependent fracture behavior of asphaltic materials is characterized based on an integrated experimental-computational approach. Appropriate fracture tests are conducted, and the experimental efforts are then integrated using advanced computational modeling. Findings from this research are expected to improve actual practices in the selection of more engineered paving materials and in more advanced implementation of current design and analysis methods, which will eventually contribute to safer, more efficient, more effective, and more sustainable U.S. roadway infrastructure.
    Project Amount
    $ $59,857