Reliability-Based Analysis and Design of Flexible Airfield Pavements

by Robert H. Sues, Applied Research Associates, Inc, Raleigh, United States,
Yuan Jie Lua, Applied Research Associates, Inc, Raleigh, United States,
Susan M. Dass, Applied Research Associates, Inc, Raleigh, United States,
James Murfee, Applied Research Associates, Inc, Raleigh, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Airport Pavement Innovations—Theory to Practice

Abstract: This paper illustrates, a new reliability-based procedure to analyze existing pavements and design new pavements that is being developed by the U.S. Air Force. The procedure uses a rigorous and computationally efficient multi-nested Monte-Carlo simulation (MCS) analysis methodology to obtain damage probability as a function of service life. In this methodology, the outer loop is a direct simulation and the inner loops employ stratified sampling procedures to maximize computational efficiency. The procedure differs significantly from earlier probabilistic analysis methods in that it takes into account load repetitions from different aircraft type, variability in environmental conditions over the pavement lifetime, spatial variability of material properties, engineering model prediction error, and it considers how cumulative damage in both the asphalt and subgrade at multiple pavement locations contributes to the overall pavement reliability. In addition, the procedure considers aircraft wander effects in an exact manner that does not use traditional pass-to-coverage ratios, which are based on stress distribution in the subgrade. Reliability-based analysis and design provides the framework for incorporating the degree of design conservatism as an option and can also be used to determine whether or not existing pavements require upgrade and what optimal future inspection intervals should be. Post-processing of the probabilistic analysis results can be used to determine the contribution of the different failure modes, aircraft, loadings and environmental conditions to the probability of failure. These results provide valuable insight into how to improve future pavement designs and also demonstrate where additional research is needed. Studies to date show that the most critical research area is in improving our understanding of pavement damage accumulation mechanisms.

Subject Headings: Pavement design | Asphalt pavements | Airport and airfield pavements | Failure analysis | Material properties | Pavement condition | Errors (statistics) | Probability | Aircraft and spacecraft | Europe | Monaco | Monte Carlo

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