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Pavement Structural Assessment using Finite Element Modeling and Mechanistic Geotechnical Tools


In road construction, the in situ material properties, roadway design and construction practices all have impact on its final quality and its life cycle performance. To better understand performance risk of roadways, numerical modeling of pavements can be used. This paper presents the results of a project that involved taking borehole core samples of the as-built roadway and conducting a full suite of geotechnical and mechanistic tests on the in situ materials. The material constitutive properties were then used as inputs into a finite element model to provide structural responses and therefore insight into the expected road performance.
This paper summarizes the findings where potential performance issues are expected due to variable in situ conditions as identified during construction. The in situ road condition was modelled based on the material properties characterized and theoretical field state condition scenarios specific to this roadway. The finite element model characterized the effect of the in situ variability under typical truck loading specified for the road as well as climatic conditions typical of the area. The results of the modelling investigation showed significant variation in structural primary responses. Based on the primary response profiles of the various road segments modelled under realistic Canadian field state conditions, the in situ variability is expected to have highly variable life cycle structural performance.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Innovation in Geotechnical and materials Engineering
Berthelot, C.
Soares, R.
Guenther, D.
Haichert, R.
Podborochynski, D.
Marjerison, B.