Effect of Load Placement on Rigid Pavement Behavior

by Harvey J. Treybig, (A.M.ASCE), Res. Engr.; Center for Highway Res., Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX,
W. Ronald Hudson, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Dean of Engrg.; Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX,
B. F. McCullough, Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 4, Pg. 681-702

Document Type: Journal Paper


Portland cement concrete pavements are subjected to a variety of loads during their life; however, existing design practices utilize a single so called critical load position for designing pavements. This load is normally the corner or edge load for jointed highway pavements and the interior load for continuously reinforced highway pavements. It is essential that the entire spectrum of loads using the facility be considered. With analytical techniques formerly available, this was difficult; however, at the present time the availability of discrete-element methods makes it possible to consider the effect of a wide range of load sizes, arrangement, and placement on critical stresses and deflections and thus predicted life. This paper presents a study of the sensitivity of pavement behavior as indicated by maximum stress levels and the resulting expected pavement performance relative to the position of the load on the slab. The findings are compared to existing design practice.

Subject Headings: Critical loads | Pavement design | Stress analysis | Load factors | Concrete pavements | Load and resistance factor design | Lifeline systems | Highways and roads

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