Pavement Design by Elastic Layer Theory

by Walter R. Barker, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,
Carlos R. Gonzalez, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Aircraft/Pavement Interaction: An Integrated System


The U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station has been developing methodology by which airport/airfield pavements can be designed based on elastic layered analysis for the Federal Aviation Administration, the U. S. Air Force, and the U. S. Army. The effort involves selecting computer models, assembling the various elements, and writing the supporting computer software. The results of the efforts are presented in two parts. Elastic layer theory provides a tool that can be a part of a procedure for design of airport pavements. The theory is the basis of several computer models for predicting the response of pavements to applied loads. The response parameters are used to predict the performance of the pavements in actual service. Part 1 presents the approach to handling the various parameters, the simplifying assumptions, and the criteria for predicting performance. A major obstruction to the acceptance of the elastic layer method for pavement design has been the requirement of a mainframe computer and the complex ways that the numerous parameters are handled. To this end, programs have been written for aiding in material characterization, inputting data to the elastic layer model, cumulating damage for different life segments, and displaying results. Part 2 presents each of the programs in terms of purpose, usage, and output. Results from the design procedure will be presented to illustrate the capability of the method.

Subject Headings: Pavement design | Computer models | Parameters (statistics) | Plastic design | Elastic analysis | Materials characterization | Airport and airfield pavements | Pavement overlays

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