Third M.I.T. Conference on Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics June 14–17, 2005  

A two-dimensional elastic model of pavements with thermal failure discontinuities

H.M. Yin, W.G. Buttlar*, G.H. Paulino
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Newmark Laboratory, 205 North Mathews Avenue, IL 61801, USA

  Full Text
Elastic fields of a pavement resting on a granular base are studied considering the presence of existing thermal failure discontinuities (thermal cracks) typically observed in cold climates. The analysis endeavors towards the accurate prediction of crack spacing in asphalt pavements. A two-dimensional theoretical solution is derived and validated by comparison to numerical simulations. A simple method for obtaining an approximation of crack spacing is presented, which involves comparison of elastic fields to material tensile strength. The shear stress distribution can be used to predict the propensity towards debonding along the interface of the pavement surface and an underlying granular layer. An extension of this work to rigorously consider crack initiation and crack propagation using a cohesive zone fracture model and a viscoelastic constitutive model for the bulk material is underway.

Keywords:  Elastic fields; Pavements; Discontinuity spacing; Thermal stress; Low temperature cracking; Tensile strength

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