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Title: Flexible pavement analysis by the three-dimensional finite element method
Authors: Palmerton, John B.
Keywords: Finite element method
Flexible pavements
Pavement deflection
Runway pavements
Soil mechanics
Pavement systems
Computer programs
Static loads
Publisher: Soils and Pavements Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Miscellaneous Paper
Abstract: The investigation reported herein was a preliminary study to evaluate the applicability of three-dimensional finite element analysis for predicting the behavior of pavement systems. Since many pavement problems are not reducible to plane behavior, this new analysis technique should provide a good basis for future analysis of complicated pavement systems. The finite element computer program used in this study is designated SOLSAP and was originally developed to investigate the three-dimensional behavior of earth and earth-rock dams. It was used in this study to investigate the effect of a static load application (similar to that produced by the C-5A aircraft) on a flexible pavement section that had been previously field-tested at the U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station. SOLSAP considers both nonlinear stress-strain behavior and nonlinear volume characteristics. Deflections measured in the previous field study are compared with those calculated by program SOLSAP. The agreement is quite good considering the many idealizations and assumptions introduced into the three-dimensional finite element analysis. These idealizations include the crudeness of the mesh, the choice of material properties, and the application of the wheel loads in a single step. Nevertheless, the results serve to demonstrate the feasibility of applying the three-dimensional finite element method to predict pavement behavior.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Paper

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