Determination of Dynamic Modulus Master Curve of Damaged Asphalt Pavements for Mechanistic–Empirical Pavement Rehabilitation Design

For pavement rehabilitation design, the current mechanistic–empirical (ME) pavement design guide provides three levels of analysis methodology to determine dynamic modulus master curves for existing asphalt pavements. First, the ME pavement design guide recommends that Witczak’s predictive equation is employed to obtain the “undamaged” modulus master curve. Depending on the chosen level of analysis, either a falling weight deflectometer test (Level 1) or a condition survey (Levels 2 and 3) is conducted to determine the damage factor(s). The damage factor is used to shift the undamaged master curve downward to match the field conditions and obtain the “damaged” master curve. In this study, two pavement structures in North Carolina Highway 96 were selected to evaluate the accuracy of the ME pavement design guide using its three levels of analysis. Because this roadway is a multilayer full-depth pavement, the extracted field cores were divided into a top layer, bottom layer, and total core for investigative and comparative purposes. Accordingly, both laboratory measurements and pavement ME predictions of the dynamic modulus values were conducted separately. Results show that the predicted undamaged master curves are always higher than the measured master curves and Levels 1, 2, and 3 can each lead to significantly different damaged master curves. Considering both efficiency and accuracy for transportation agency practice, the Level 1 method is recommended, and if the existing pavement is a multilayered asphalt pavement, a total core extracted from all the layers is recommended to generate the input properties for Witczak’s predictive equation.


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  • Accession Number: 01763701
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-03651
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:09AM