Conventional Pavements and Perpetual Pavements: A Rational and Empirical Approach
AdvisorWhite, Thomas D.
CommitteeAllen, Edward B.
Lacy, Thomas E.
McAnally, William H.
A study has been conducted to compare conventional pavements and perpetual pavements with a particular emphasis on perpetual pavements. One of the main drawbacks of conventional pavements and motivations for this work is the maintenance required for hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavements with sub-drainage systems. Perpetual pavements, as the name suggests, are designed with a long life. However, this is a relatively new concept and there are still many unknowns concerning their performance. This dissertation was written to answer some of the questions. The study examines structural response and performance of perpetual pavements. Also, deterioration and performance of perpetual pavements will be contrasted to conventional pavements. Empirical data from the National Center of Asphalt Technology (NCAT) Test Track study was obtained, analyzed and used as a basis for evaluating theoretical models. Computational models for both conventional and perpetual pavements were constructed and analyzed using the general purpose finite element analysis software ABAQUS. Geometry, materials and loading are modeled with sufficient accuracy. This research examined several types of responses of perpetual pavements. It extends the traditional criteria of pavement distress by suggesting that longitudinal strain at the surface of a pavement HMA layer as an important criterion. Shear strain was studied and it provides a reasonable explanation of some distresses in pavements. By studying the FEA results from conventional and perpetual pavements and a thorough investigation of the thickness effects, it provides some rationale on why strain at the top of thick pavements is critical. The effects of dynamic wheel loadings are presented. Finally, the effect of environment, specifically temperature and moisture, on perpetual pavements are studied.