American Society of Civil Engineers

Determining Effects of Layer Bonding and De-Bonding on Perpetual Pavements

by Rafiqul A. Tarefder, M.ASCE, (Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, MSC01 1070, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001. E-mail: and Damien Bateman, (Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, MSC01 1070, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131. E-mail:

pp. 192-199, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Emerging Technologies for Material, Design, Rehabilitation, and Inspection of Roadway Pavements
Abstract: This study investigates de-bonding of asphalt concrete (AC) layers in flexible pavements and determines how de-bonding affects the performance of these pavements using mechanistic models. At present, all flexible pavement design methods assume that there is complete bonding between all AC layers. In complete bonding conditions, the strain at the base of the asphalt layer are transferred to the asphalt layer below, and the displacement at these locations is equal. These assumptions are made to facilitate the modeling of AC pavements. However, in reality, these assumptions are not completely satisfied. Materials in each layer are not identical so the response to traffic loading is different. Using complete bonding conditions in flexible pavement design thus reduces design reliability due to increasing traffic volumes, traffic speed, and tire pressure. Current mechanistic-empirical analysis shows that 90% of the pavements presented in this study fail by top-down cracking if de-bonding occurs between the AC layers. Bottom-up cracking and AC rutting also increase significantly in de-bonded environments. This study recommends the development of a model that accounts for partial bonding/de-bonding in flexible pavement design.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Flexible pavements