The effect of loading time on flexible pavement dynamic response: A finite element analysis

Hao Yin, Mansour Solaimanian, Tanmay Kumar, Shelley Stoffels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Dynamic response of asphalt concrete (AC) pavements under moving load is a key component for accurate prediction of flexible pavement performance. The time and temperature dependency of AC materials calls for utilizing advanced material characterization and mechanistic theories, such as viscoelasticity and stress/strain analysis. In layered elastic analysis, as implemented in the new Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG), the time dependency is accounted for by calculating the loading times at different AC layer depths. In this study, the time effect on pavement response was evaluated by means of the concept of "pseudo temperature." With the pavement temperature measured from instrumented thermocouples, the time and temperature dependency of AC materials was integrated into one single factor, termed "effective temperature." Via this effective temperature, pavement responses under a transient load were predicted through finite element analysis. In the finite element model, viscoelastic behavior of AC materials was characterized through relaxation moduli, while the layers with unbound granular material were assumed to be in an elastic mode. The analysis was conducted for two different AC mixtures in a simplified flexible pavement structure at two different seasons. Finite element analysis results reveal that the loading time has a more pronounced impact on pavement response in the summer for both asphalt types. The results indicate that for reasonable prediction of dynamic response in flexible pavements, the effect of the depth-dependent loading time on pavement temperature should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-288
Number of pages24
JournalMechanics of Time-Dependent Materials
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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