Development of Domain Analysis to Predict Multi-Axial Flexible Airfield Pavement Responses Due to Gear and Environmental Loadings

Angeli Gamez, Jaime A. Hernandez, Imad L. Al-Qadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flexible pavement design procedures use maximum mechanistic strains to predict service life via empirical transfer functions. The conventional method of using predefined point locations for potential damage may not accurately represent realistic pavement scenarios. For instance, flexible airfield pavement analysis mainly considers the critical strain at the bottom of the asphalt concrete (AC), which may not characterize near-surface cracking potential. In lieu of point strains, domain analysis, a new method, accounts for the multi-axial behavior of pavements, as inherently excited by three-dimensional (3-D) and nonuniform aircraft tire–pavement contact stresses. Initially applied on highway pavements considering truck tire loading, this approach is an initial breakthrough for implementing domain analysis on flexible airfield pavements; in this study, A-380 and F-16 landing gear tire loads were considered. As anticipated, speed and temperature had significant influence on cumulative domain stress and strain ratios. The decrease in speed and increase in temperature not only increased the cumulative ratios up to 1.81, but nonlinearity of the problem became more prevalent at worst loading conditions (8 kph and 45°C). Minimal difference in ratios for F-16 cases suggests that the National Airport Pavement Test Facility pavement structure became less sensitive to conditions under low loads. Point response analysis revealed that critical strains were not significantly influenced by the tire-inflation pressure, for example, tensile strain at the bottom of the AC only increased up to 13.6% (considering 8 kph speed), whereas domain analysis quantified the increase with respect to 3-D stress or strain states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-335
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number40
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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