Vehicle-Pavement Interaction

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Several aspects of vehicle-pavement interaction have been studied and discussed in this thesis. Initially the pavement response is studied through a quasi-static and a dynamic computationally efficient framework under moving traffic loads. Subsequently, a non-stationary stochastic solution has been developed in order to account for the effect of pavement surface deterioration on pavement service life.The quasi-static procedure is based on a superposition principle and is computationally favourable, as it requires only a reduced incremental problem to be solved numerically. Using the developed framework, the effect of vehicle configuration and traffic characteristics on the damage induced in pavements is investigated numerically. It is shown that the developed numerical model provides a more accurate explanation of different distress modes.In the dynamic approach the pavement roughness and vehicle suspension system are linked to a dynamic pavement model in order to account for the dynamic effects of vehicle-pavement interaction on pavement response. A finite element method is employed in order to establish the response function for a linear viscoelastic pavement structure with dynamic effects taken into account. The developed computational procedure is applied to evaluate the effect of the pavement surface roughness on the pavement structure response to truck traffic loadings.Furthermore, the deterioration trends for the flexible pavement surface have been investigated based on field measurements of longitudinal profiles in Sweden. A predictive function is proposed for surface deterioration that is based on the average gradient of yearly measurements of the road surface profiles in Swedish road network. The developed dynamic framework is further elaborated to a non-stationary stochastic approach. The response of the flexible pavement is given for a non-stationary random case as the pavement surface deteriorates in pavement service life, thus influencing the magnitude of the dynamic loads induced by the vehicles. The effect of pavement surface evolution on the stress state induced in the pavement by moving traffic is examined numerically.Finally the effect of surface deterioration on pavement service life has been investigated and discussed in the thesis by incorporating the proposed prognostic surface deterioration model into a ME design framework. The results are discussed for different case studies with different traffic regimes. It was indicated that the predicted pavement service life decreases considerably when the extra dynamic loads, as a result of pavement surface deterioration, has been taken into account. Furthermore, the effect of performing a predictive rehabilitation process (i.e. resurfacing) has been studied by employing a LCC framework. The application of preventive maintenance was shown to be effective, especially when the deterioration rate is high.