FAILURE CRITERIA DEVELOPED FROM AASHO ROAD TEST DATA

Theoretical models of pavement deformation behavior such as elastic-layered theory can only be used for design purposes when failure criteria are specified. Although such models can be used to predict stress and strain states, they in no way indicate whether the material in the pavement can withstand the predicted deformations. For elastic-layered theory, limiting values of strain or stress need to be defined before the theory can be used to assist practicing engineers in the design of asphalt pavements. There is general agreement in the literature that horizontal tensile stress or strain at the bottom of a thick asphalt layer is the controlling criterion for design to prevent retetitive load cracking. Although such strains were not measured at the bottom of the asphalt layer at the AASHO Road Test, they can be inferred from a knowledge of the material characteristics mechanism of initial failure at the Road Test. Since the bituminous base sections provided a complete range of performance, from failures to survivors of over 1 million load repetitions it was possible to describe the strain history of these test sections in terms of performance. The bituminous base sections fell into three performance classifications, depending upon whether they failed the first spring of testing, survived the testing period with a low serviceability rating or survived the testing without any change in serviceability. The horizontal tensile strain, horizontal tensile stress and vertical strain on top of the subgrade data were computed for each test section in each performance classification. Asphalt moduli for a wide spectrum of deflection measurements were input into the stress and strain computations. Moduli values were determined from dynamic loading in compression. Subgrade moduli were inferred from the deflection measurements. The results of the elastic-layer computations showed that there were indeed large differences in horizontal tensile strain, horizontal tensile stress and vertical strain in the subgrade, depending upon the performance classification. Secondly, the level of strain or stress for each performance classification was a function of the asphalt base stiffness at the asphalt layer bottom. From the horizontal strain results it was apparent that asphalt pavements can tolerate higher strains at lower stiffnesses. The horizontal tensile strain and stress relationships with asphalt stiffness were converted into "load repetition to failure" relationships by relating two performance classifications to the number of load repetitions to failure. A log-log relationship was assumed. The resulting family of "fatigue-like" curves for a range of asphalt stiffnesses has been used by Witczak and is the subject of another paper to this conference. /Author/

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    • Appeared in Structural Design of Asphalt Concrete Pavements to Prevent Fatigue Cracking. Proceedings of a Symposium held January 22, 1973. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
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    Highway Research Board

    2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC    20418
  • Authors:
    • Kingham, R Ian
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  • Publication Date: 1973

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 183-196
  • Monograph Title: STRUCTURAL DESIGN OF ASPHALT CONCRETE PAVEMENTS TO PREVENT FATIGUE CRACKING
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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00272011
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 030902160X
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 19 1974 12:00AM