Advancement of pavement design for practical use incorporating climatic effects for unbound pavements with thin seals

Every year, Federal and State governments spend billions on road pavement rehabilitation because of road failures happening worldwide. Environmental factors such as moisture and temperature are identified as the significant reasons for these road failures. Unbound pavements with thin sprayed seals, which amount to about 90% of the overall Australian road network, are more susceptible to environmentally driven deterioration coupled with the effects of traffic loads. Unbound granular materials (UGMs) used to construct the base, and subbase layers are severely vulnerable to performance losses due to moisture variations. Subgrade strength is also adversely affected by moisture changes. Even though it is intended to construct and maintain 100% impermeable sprayed seals it is not practicable to achieve. Past experimental research studies have shown that the saturated permeability of a sprayed seal may vary from 10-5 m/s to 10-10 m/s and depends on several factors such as seal type, age, resealing conditions, etc. Because of the considerable permeability in seals, moisture exchanges between the surrounding environment and the pavement structure occur due to different physical phenomena, as shown in Figure 1. Thus, even after the construction of the pavement, the moisture conditions in each pavement layer vary depending on the prevailing climatic factors such as precipitation, evaporation, air temperature, relative humidity and the water table depth fluctuations during the service life. These temporal moisture variations, that occur due to climatic factor changes, significantly affect the strength properties in both UGMs and subgrades. Therefore, it is essential to account for those temporal moisture variations during the pavement design process.

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  • Accession Number: 01872594
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB Group Limited
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 6 2023 3:33PM