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Back-Calculation of Layer Parameters for LTPP Test Sections, Volume II: Layered Elastic Analysis for Flexible and Rigid Pavements

Research/Reference: useful for researchers doing further work in the pavement area as well as those developing improved testing and design procedures. Includes documents of historical value.

Primary Topic: Materials-General

Description: This report documents the procedure that was used to back-calculate, in mass, the elastic properties for both flexible and rigid pavements in the LTPP program using layered elastic analyses. Obtaining these elastic layer properties for use in further data analyses and studies regarding pavement performance was the primary objective of this study. This report documents the procedure and steps used to back-calculate the layered elastic properties (Young's modulus and the coefficient and exponent of the nonlinear constitutive equation) from deflection basin measurements for all of the LTPP test sections with a level E data status. The back-calculation process was completed with MDOCOMP4 for both flexible and rigid pavement test sections in the LTPP program. The report summarizes the reasons why MODCOMP4 was selected for the computations and analyses of the deflection data, provides a summary of the results using the linear elastic module (Young's modulus) for selected test sections, and identifies those factors that can have a significant effect on the results.

Results from this study do provide elastic layer properties that are consistent with previous experience and laboratory material studies related to the effect of temperature, stress-state, and season on material load-response behavior. In fact, over 75 percent of the deflection basins analyzed with the linear elastic module of MODCOMP4 resulted in solutions with an RMS error less than 2.5 percent. Those pavements exhibiting deflection-softening behavior with Type II deflections basins were the most difficult to analyze and were generally found to have RMS errors greater than 2 percent. In summary, the nonlinear module of MODCOMP did not significantly improve on the number of reasonable solutions, and it is recommended that nonlinear constitutive equations not be used in a batch mode basis.

FHWA Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-113

Publication Year: 2002

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Updated: 07/26/2011
 

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration