The development and verification of a pavement response and performance model for unbound granular pavements
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The research presented in this thesis covers the development, calibration and verification of two thin surfaced unbound granular pavement models: one model to predict the response of a pavement to loading by the monotonic application of a single load event (Response model) and the other model to predict the accumulation of permanent deformation of the pavement when it is subjected to a large number of load applications (Performance model). The response model was developed using the finite element method and used an anisotropic stress dependent stiffness model to represent the granular and subgrade materials. The models were verified with an extensive set of stress, strain and surface deflection measurements collected at the CAPTIF facility. The calibrated models were able to predict the subsurface response of the pavement to a range of dual tyre and FWD load levels (23-72 kN). It was found that the measured stress and strain response of the pavement was different under the two loading mechanisms. It was also found that a particular response at a point in the pavement was linear with respect to load. The performance model was based on similarities observed in the performance of granular materials in both laboratory and full-scale experiments. When the specimen or pavement was showing a steady state response, it was found that the rate of accumulation of permanent deformation was related to the resilient strain. This relationship was then used to predict the deformation of CAPTIF pavements based on the outputs from the response model. The application of laboratory derived models required the use of shift functions to be able to be successfully used in replicating field measurements, this was expected given the differences in boundary conditions and loading mechanisms for the laboratory and field systems.
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