By Eng.

Mohamed Hamdallah Elshaer

Introduction . Background on Stress and strain in

flexible pavements.
Review of Multi-Layer Computer

Program and comparison between them.
Distress analysis for Flexible



The first asphalt road was constructed in

the US about 100 years ago in New Jersey.
There are currently about 2.2 million miles

of roadway surfaced by asphalt concrete Pavements (Huang, 1993).






bituminous and granular Materials .

A typical flexible pavement section can be






Consisting of asphalt layers resting on soil layers having different material properties
Methods of designing flexible pavements

can be classified into several categories :
Empirical method with or without a soil test,

limiting shear failure, and the mechanistic

Currently, the design of flexible pavements is largely empirical (Helwany et al, 1998; Huang, 1993). However, mechanistic design is becoming more prevalent, which requires the accurate evaluation of stresses and strains in pavements due to wheel and axle loads.

Force per unit area

Load P σ = = Area A
Units: MPa, psi, ksi Types: bearing, shearing , axial

Ratio of deformation caused by load to the

original length of material

ε =

Change in Length Original Length


∆L L

Units: Dimensionless


σ Stiffness = stress/strain = ε
Stress, σ
 For elastic materials

E 1 Strain, ε

o Modulus of

o Elastic Modulus

Stress vs. Strain of a Material in Compression

Poisson’s Ratio

• •



mid-1960s, have been

pavement refining


mechanistically based design methods. While the mechanics of layered systems are well developed, there remains much work to be done in the areas of material characterization and failure criteria.

• The horizontal strain is used to predict and






pavements, the current failure criteria used are the horizontal tensile strain at the bottom of the asphalt concrete layer and the vertical strain at the top of the subgrade layer .

• While test methods and failure criteria for
predicting fatigue cracking are maturing.

The development of the current subgrade

failure criteria, which limits the amount of vertical strain on top of the subgrade, is based primarily on limited data from the AASHO Road Test (Dormon and Metcalf 1965).

• Similarly the vertical strain at the top of the
subgrade is used to predict and control permanent pavement deformation structure (rutting) by of the shear caused

deformation in the upper subgrade.

In general, there are 3 approaches that
can be used to compute the stresses and strains in pavement structures:  Layered elastic methods.  Two-dimensional (2D) finite element modeling.  Three-dimensional (3D) finite element modeling.

 The layered elastic approach :
is the most popular and easily understood procedure. • In this method, the system is divided into an arbitrary number of horizontal layers (Vokas et al. 1985). • The thickness of each individual layer and material properties may vary from one layer to the next. • But in any one layer the material is assumed to be homogeneous and linearly elastic.

• Although the layered elastic method is more easily implemented it still than has finite severe element methods,

limitations: materials must be homogenous and linearly elastic within each layer, and the wheel loads applied on the surface must be axi-symmetric. • For example, it is very hard to rationally accommodate material non-linearity and incorporate spatially varying tire contact

For 2D finite element analysis :
• plane strain or axis-symmetric conditions are generally assumed. • Compared to the layered elastic method, the practical applications of this method are greater, as it can rigorously handle material anisotropy, material nonlinearity, and a variety of boundary conditions (Zienkiewicz and Taylor, 1988). • Unfortunately, 2D models can not accurately capture non-uniform tire contact

For 3D finite element analysis :

• To overcome the limitations inherent in 2D
modeling approaches, 3D finite element models are widespread. becoming more


3D FE analysis, we can study the of flexible tire pavements pavement under contact varying

response spatially

Deflection (∆)
Change in length. Deformation. Units: mm, mils (0.001 in).

 Background on Stress and strain in flexible pavements :

structural main


includes material and

three for


characterization , theoretical model structural response, environmental conditions.

 Three aspects of the material behavior






analysis (Yoder and Witczak, 1975):

• • •

The relationship between the stress and strain (linear or nonlinear). The time dependency of strain under a constant load (viscous or non-viscous). The degree to which the material can recover strain after stress removal (elastic or plastic).

 Theoretical response models for the







continuum mechanics approach. The model can be a closed-formed solution or a numerical analytical approach.
 Various theoretical response models have

been developed with different levels of sophistication from analytical solutions

 Environmental conditions :

• Can have a great impact on pavement
 Two of the most important environmental

factors included in pavement structural analysis are temperature and moisture variation.


action, the combination of high

moisture content and low temperature can lead to both frost heave during freezing and then loss of subgrade support during thaw significantly weakening the structural capacity failures. of the pavement leading to structural damage and even premature


addition, both the diurnal temperature cycle and moisture gradient have been shown experimentally and analytically to

This study will focus on the second


The theoretical model for pavement

analysis. Environmental conditions are not considered in the pavement model and the pavement materials are assumed to be linear elastic.

Pavement Response models
Flexible and rigid pavements respond to

loads in very different ways. Consequently, different theoretical models have been developed for flexible and rigid pavements.

Structural Response Models analysis methods for AC and PCC Different
AC Base Subgrade PCC Slab Subgrade

•Layered system behavior. • All layers carry part of load.

• Slab action predominates. • Slab carries most load.

Distribution of Wheel Load
Wheel Load

Hot-mix asphalt Base Subbase Natural soil

Pavement Responses Under Load
Axle Load


ε SUR


Base/Subbase Subgrade Soil

ε SUB

Response models for flexible

Single Layer Model :
Boussinesq (1885) was the first to examine

the pavement's response to a load.

series of equations was proposed by

Boussinesq to determine stresses, strains, and deflections in a homogeneous, isotropic, linear elastic half space with modulus E and Poisson’s ration ν subjected to a static point

As can be seen, the elastic modulus does

not influence any of the stresses and the vertical normal stress z σ and shear stresses are independent of the elastic parameters. Boussinesq's equations were originally developed for a static point load.  Later, Boussinesq's equations were further extended by other researchers for a uniformly distributed load by integration (Newmark, 1947; Sanborn and Yoder,

His theory is still considered a useful tool

for pavement analysis and it provides the basis for several methods that are being currently used.
Yoder and Witczak (1975) suggested that

Boussinesq theory can be used to estimate subgrade stresses, strains, and deflections when the modulus of base and the

Pavement surface modulus, the equivalent

“weighted mean modulus” calculated from the measured surface deflections based on Boussinesq’s equations, can be used as an overall indicator of the stiffness of pavement (Ullidtz, 1998).

One-Layer System

One-Layer System(Cylindrical Coordinates)

Formulas for Calculating Stresses

Burmister’s Two-layer Elastic

Models :


typically with






materials on top instead of a homogeneous mass as assumed in Boussinesq’s theory.
Therefore, a

better theory is needed to

analyze the behavior of pavements.

Burmister (1943) was the first to develop

solutions to calculate stresses, strains and displacement in two-layered flexible pavement systems (Figure 1.1).

Figure 1.1 Burmister’s Two Layer System (Burmister, 1943)






Burmister’s models include: 1.The pavement system consists of several layers; isotropic, elastic each and layer linearly and is homogeneous, elastic with an Poisson’s ratio


(Hooke’s law). 2. Each layer has a uniform thickness and infinite dimensions in all horizontal directions, resting on a semi-infinite elastic

3. Before the application of external loads, the pavement system is free of stresses and deformations. 4. All the layers are assumed to be

weightless. 5. The dynamic effects are assumed to be negligible. 6. Either of the two cases of interface

 fully bonded: at the layer interfaces, the

normal stresses, shear stresses, vertical displacements, and radial displacements are assumed to be the same. There is a discontinuity in the radial stresses r σ since they must be determined by the respective elastic moduli of the layers.
 frictionless interface: the continuity of

shear stress and radial displacement is replaced by zero shear stress at each side

gure 1.2 Boundary and Continuity Conditions for Burmister’s Two Layer System


derived the stress and displacement equations for two-layer pavement systems from the equations of elasticity for the three-dimensional problem solved by Love (1923) and Timeshenko (1934). To simplify the problem, Burmister assumed Poisson's ratio to be 0.5.
He found the stresses and deflections

were dependent on the ratio of the moduli of subgrade to the pavement (E

The ratio of the radius of bearing area

to the thickness of the pavement layer (r/h 1). For design application purpose, equations for surface deflections were also proposed:
 Flexible load bearing:

W = 1. 5 pr/ E2  * Fw

where: W: the surface deflection at the center of a circular uniform loading .  p: pressure of the circular bearing . E2 : elastic modulus of the subgrade layer . Fw : deflection factor .  Influence curves of deflection factor were proposed for a practical range of values of

• Displacement coefficient I∆z

• Vertical stress influence coefficient σ z/p, for a=h

Multi-layer Elastic Models :
To attain a closer approximation of an

actual pavement system, Burmister extended his solutions to a three-layer system (Burmister, 1945) and derived analytical expressions for the stresses and displacements.

and Fox (1951) presented an extensive tabular summary of normal and radial stresses in three-layer systems at the intersection of the axis of symmetry

The variables considered in their work

were the radius of the uniformly loaded circular area, the thickness of the two top layers, and the elastic moduli of the three layers.
Jones (1962) extended Acum and Fox’s

work to cover a much wider range of the same parameters.
Peattie (1962) presented Jones’s table in

graphical form and brought convenience in analysis and design of pavement for

The above cited research considered the

pavement to be either a 2 or 3 layer system with a concentrated normal force or a uniformly distributed normal load.
Therefore, vehicle thrust (tangential loads)

and non-uniform considered. cases.




Poisson’s ratio of 0.5 was assumed in most Schiffman (1962) developed a general

His solution provides an analytical theory

for the determination of stresses and displacements of a multi-layer elastic system subjected to non-uniform normal surface loads, tangential surface loads, rigid, semi-rigid and slightly inclined plate bearing loads.
Schiffman presented the equations in an

asymmetric cylindrical coordinate system (Figure 1.3). Each layer has its separate

Figure 1.3 Element of Stress in a Multi-layer Elastic System (Schiffman, 1962)

Figure 1.4 N-layer Elastic System (Schiffman, 1962)

Advantages and Disadvantages

of Layered Elastic Analysis
Advantages Disadvantages 1. high-performance computers • This assumption makes it difficult to analyze layered 2. elastic method can be systems consisting of nonextended to multiple-layer system with any number of linear such as untreated sublayers bases and sub-grade angular 3. Layered elastic models are materials. widely accepted and easily • This difficulty can be implemented overcome by using the finite 4. accurately approximate the element method response of the flexible • All wheel loads applied on the pavement systems. top of the asphalt concrete 5. each layer is homogenous . have to be axi-symmetric

Multi-Layer Computer Program
Computer programs KENLAYE R Notes Can be applied to layered systems under single, dual, dual-tandem wheel loads with each layer's material properties being linearly elastic , non-linearly elastic or visco-elastic. Based on the computed stresses . was developed by FHWA to analyze pavement structures up to five different layers under 20 multiple wheel loads (Kopperman et al., 1986).


CHEVRON was developed by the Chevron research company and is based on linear elastic theory. The original program allowed up to five structural layers with one circular load area (Michelow, 1963). Revised versions now accept more than 10 layers and up to 10 wheel loads (NHI, 2002).




This software is capable of determining the stresses, strains, and deflections in a layered elastic system (semiinfinite) under a circular surface loads. It can be used to analyze up to 5 layers, 20 loads, and 50 evaluation points . is a multi-layer linear elastic program developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (Van Cauwelaert et al., 1989). The current versions have the capability of analyzing more than ten layers with more than ten loads . Several numerical programs have been developed to model flexible pavement systems. Raad and Figueroa (1980) developed a 2-D finite element program. Nonlinear constitutive relationships were used for pavement materials and the Mohr-Coulomb theory was used as the failure criterion for subgrade soil in ILLI-PAVE.



can be used to analyze a multiple-layered elastic pavement structure under a single- or dual-wheel load The number of layers can not exceed five. In DAMA, the sub-grade and the asphalt layers are considered to be linearly elastic and the untreated subbase to be non-linear. program that combines known MnPAVE is a computer empirical relationships with a representation of the physics and mechanics behind flexible pavement behavior . The mechanistic portions of the program rely on finding the tensile strain at the bottom of the asphalt layer, the compressive strain at the top of the subgrade, and the maximum principal stress in the middle of the aggregate BISAR 3.0 is capable of calculating : base layer . Comprehensive stress and strain profiles. Deflections. Horizontal forces . Slip between the pavement layers via a shear spring compliance at the interface.




CIRCLY software is for the mechanistic analysis and design of road pavements. CIRCLY uses state-of-the-art material properties and performance models and is continuously being developed and extended. CIRCLY has many other powerful features, including selection of:  cross-anisotropic and isotropic material properties;  fully continuous (rough) or fully frictionless (smooth) layer interfaces.  a comprehensive range of load types, including vertical, horizontal, torsional, etc. isnon-uniform surface contact stress distributions. for  a user-friendly, non-linear finite element program the analysis sub-layering of unbound granular materials.  automatic of flexible pavements. The program computes displacements, stresses and strains within the pavement due to a single circular wheel load.

Typical input :
• Material properties: modulus and m • Layer thickness • Loading conditions: magnitude of load, radius, or contact pressure.

Typical output :
• Stress σ • Strain ε • Deflection Δ

Example AC Fatigue Criterion

 Problem No. 1

Relation bet. Depth & Hz. tensile strain which predict the Fatigue Cracking

 Problem No. 3

Relation bet. Depth & Hz. tensile strain which predict the Fatigue Cracking

Example Subgrade Strain Criterion for Rutting

 Problem No. 1

Relation bet. Depth & Vl. Comp. strain which predict the Rutting

 Problem No. 3

Relation bet. Depth & Vl. Comp. strain which predict the Rutting

Example Pavement (6” Base)

Example Pavement (10” Base)

Example Pavement (14” Base)

New Approaches for Stresses Analysis
Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD): Deflections measured from (FWD) field were used to approximate layer moduli of all pavement sections.

Measurement of Surface Deflection
NDT Load NDT Sensors

Typical FWD Equipment
Dynatest KUAB


NDT Load

Surface Base / Subbase

Layer Characteristics E1 E2 E3 µ1 µ2 µ3 D1 D2

Subgrade Soil

Backcalculation Programs
     




KENPAVE Software
Four separate programs LAYERINP KENLAYER SLABSINP KENSLABS Program installation - CD

Everstress Software
Reference: WSDOT Pavement Guide, Volume

3, “Pavement Analysis Computer Software and Case Studies,” June 1999. Specific interest is on Section 1.0 “Everstress— Layered Elastic Analysis.” Download from WSDOT


Everstress Software
This software is capable of determining

the stresses, strains, and deflections in a layered elastic system (semi-infinite) under a circular surface loads. It can be used to analyze up to 5 layers, 20 loads, and 50 evaluation points. Material properties can be either stress dependent or not.
E = K1(θ)K2

Everstress Software
Prepare Input Data: This menu option allows

creation of a new file or start with an existing file. Analyze Pavement: This menu option performs the actual analysis and requires an input data file. Print/View Results: This menu option lets the user view the output on the screen or print.

x 6” y 1 2
Subbase 12.0 inches

HMA 3.1 inches Stabilized Base 6.0 inches




Solution for an elastic multilayer system

under a circular load; superposition principles were used for multiple wheels Linear elastic, nonlinear elastic, or viscoelastic Damage analysis up to 12 periods

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