Middle-Up Cracking Potential in Flexible Pavements with Stabilized Foundations

This investigation presents a new perspective on the structural behavior of stabilized foundation pavements through full-scale testing and simulation where the historical premise of bottom-up fatigue cracking has been challenged. Two full-scale pavement sections were constructed at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) Test Track in 2018. One section featured a stabilized foundation under the asphalt layers while the other was a thick-lift asphalt section on conventional base and subgrade materials. Both sections were embedded with pavement response instrumentation and their behavior was observed over time under accelerated truck trafficking. In addition, computational simulations were executed to explain the observed behavior. The strain measurement at the bottom of AC for the thick-lift section showed a familiar trend in which the tensile strain at the bottom of AC increased exponentially with temperature. In contrast, the strain at the bottom of AC in the stabilized foundation pavement was predominantly in compression at elevated temperatures. Further analysis revealed that compressive strain at the bottom of AC increased exponentially with temperature similar to conventional flexible pavements but with a reversed sign. The results were confirmed by falling weight deflectometer (FWD) testing that was conducted directly above the embedded pavement sensors. Computational simulations confirmed the behavior and suggested that the maximum tensile strain could occur at shallower depths, possibly mid-depth of the AC, in stabilized foundation pavements. This indicates stabilized foundation pavements could be prone to middle-up cracking and subsequent precautions should be taken to avoid middle-up fatigue cracking.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 22p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763506
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-00582
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:03AM