A Comparison of Concrete Pavement Responses Using Finite Element Method with Foundation Springs and 3-D Solid Elements

The mechanistic analysis of rigid pavements is based on either closed-form solutions developed by Westergaard or numerical solutions based on the finite element (FE) modeling. Since most FE models consider that the concrete slabs are supported by a bed of spring elements, they may not accurately model the supporting layers and are limited in their ability to predict pavement responses with depth within the pavement foundation structure. A 3-D FE modeling tool developed at The University of Texas at El Paso can be used to analyze the response of jointed concrete pavements (JCPs) comprehensively under different geometric configurations, foundation models, temperature profiles, and traffic loads. The behavior of the underlying layers can be modeled either as a Winkler foundation, as a Vlasov foundation, or as a 3-D FE solid elastic foundation. This study presents an analysis of the behavior of rigid pavements as well as a comparison between the Winkler and 3-D Foundation models. In an effort to determine what model can simulate pavement behaviors more accurately, the results were compared with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)’s FPS21 stress analysis tool. The 3-D FE model provided an assessment of the critical stresses and strains for all pavement layers. Moreover, it was determined that 3-D FE method can be a useful tool to optimize pavement structures, in terms of layer material properties and PCC thickness, that handle maximum vehicle loading.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 81-90
  • Monograph Title: Airfield and Highway Pavements 2019: Design, Construction, Condition Evaluation, and Management of Pavements

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01717897
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784482452
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2019 3:01PM