American Society of Civil Engineers

Three-Dimensional Pavement Analysis with Nonlinear Subgrade Materials

by Chen-Ming Kuo, (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Natl. Cheng Kung Univ., No. 1, University Rd., Tainan, 70101, Taiwan. E-mail: and Chien-Wei Huang, (Grad. Student, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843)

Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Vol. 18, No. 4, July/August 2006, pp. 537-544, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The nonlinear models of pavement base and subgrade were briefly reviewed. Subroutines of the three-dimensional finite-element analysis in the ABAQUS package were developed for nonlinear behavior of a coarse-grained base and subgrade. The programs were validated by comparing them with the theoretical-solution-based program BISAR and the 2D finite-element program ILLI-PAVE. Significant discrepancy was found between the 3D analysis and the 2D axisymmetric analysis, especially for the deformation results. It was also found that the stiffness matrices of the nonlinear materials were not symmetrical, which causes accuracy problems in those programs based on 2D axisymmetry formulations. The results of nonlinear analysis and linear analysis were also compared. It was concluded that the determinations of the resilient modulus for the linear models is critical to interpret the behaviors of nonlinear materials.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Three-dimensional analysis
Finite element method
Fine-grained soils
Coarse-grained soils