In-situ validation of three-dimensional pavement finite element models

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Mechanistic-based pavement design guides gained popularity in the last decade. Accurate computation of stress, strain, and the deformation field within pavement, which are used in pavement design guides, is important to realistically predict pavement performance over the design life. The layered elastic theory and finite element method (FEM) are commonly used to compute the critical responses of pavement structure. Although the layered elastic theory analysis is relatively faster and easier to implement, it hinders real loading and pavement material characterization. Therefore, FEM has become more attractive to pavement researchers for investigating pavement behavior under tire loading since the last two decades. Although several studies have been conducted for developing FE model for pavement, limited work has been done to validate the finite element (FE) models using in-situ pavement responses. This study presents an advanced three-dimensional (3-D) pavement FE model validated using four pavement sections. Good agreement was noted between the FE analysis results and pavement field instrument responses to loading, especially for vertical pressures and horizontal tensile strains in the transverse direction. When using proper material characterization parameters and accurate tire loading, the FE model is capable of realistically simulating tire-pavement interaction in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Roles of Accelerated Pavement Testing in Pavement Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering, Environment, and Economics
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319427973
ISBN (Print)9783319427966
StatePublished - Sep 15 2016


  • Finite element analysis
  • Flexible pavement
  • Mechanistic pavement design approach
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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