Turning Maneuver Effect on Near-Surface Airfield Pavement Responses

Angeli Gamez, Imad L. Al-Qadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Airport pavement structures experience heavy aircraft tire loading through a localized contact area. Distributed three-dimensionally and non-uniformly, tire-pavement contact stresses directly influence the near-surface behavior of flexible airfield pavements. The resulting high shear stress levels induced by aircraft tire loading may lead to instability through shoving or slippage cracking. As the tire turns during taxiing, the risk of near-surface damage is exacerbated. In this study, numerical modeling of an inverted pavement system and a conventional flexible pavement structure loaded with a single tire from the A-380 landing gear was developed. The analysis matrix included two tire-inflation pressures, two speeds, and rolling conditions that varied from free-rolling to two turning maneuvers. Two analysis approaches were performed: 1) use of traditional critical point strains, and 2) domain analysis, which characterizes bulk pavement behavior using multiaxial stresses and strains. The critical strains, which are used as inputs for airfield pavement design, changed negligibly under varying tire turning conditions despite the asymmetric contact stress distribution. On the other hand, domain analysis not only captured the asymmetric pavement behavior, but also identified that altering the tire movement from a free-rolling condition to turning could induce a significant increase in the potential damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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