Evaluation of Elastic Layered Theory for Airfield Pavements, Using Nondestructive Testing and In-Place Response Measurements

by Dennis R. Hiltunen, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, United States,
James R. James, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, United States,
Reynaldo Roque, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, United States,
Albert J. Bush, III, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Airport Pavement Innovations—Theory to Practice

Abstract: Airfield pavement deflections measured under actual aircraft loads were compared to predictions based upon elastic layer theory and moduli backcalculated from failing weight deflectometer (FWD) deflections. The predictions were reasonable in the vicinity of the aircraft load, but became progressively worse with distance away from the load. Elastic layer models of the FWD and the test aircraft suggested that the differences were due to a stiffening of the subgrade material under the heavier aircraft loading. In addition, elastic layer models revealed that inaccurate deflection predictions would also to an underestimation of the actual load carrying capacity of an existing airfield pavement. For the test conditions described, it was concluded that elastic layer theory used in conjunction with moduli from conventional FWD backcalculation will not accurately model airfield pavement response under actual aircraft loads.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Pavement deflection | Elastic analysis | Aircraft and spacecraft | Load factors | Load bearing capacity | Model tests | Load tests

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