Numerical Comparison of Pavement Distress Due to Moving Load under Dual-wheel Tandem and Tridem Axles

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 MSc. Graduated from Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Ph.D. Graduated from Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Ira


Finite element method in pavement analysis is a type of mechanistic analysis that has widely been used by road and transportation engineers these days. This method is used with related programs such as ABAQUS/CAE which is one of the powerful software on this task. Modeling in this software has been developed from 2D static models to 3D dynamic models which are closer to reality due to the more precise definition of material properties. A 3D model of a three layered pavement system has been studied in this paper. Viscoelastic behavior definition for asphalt concrete (AC) layer which is loaded by “Dual-wheel Tandem” and “Tridem” axles has been modeled in ABAQUS/CAE. These axles are moving with different velocities. Since the model is a flexible pavement, two important structural damages are “Fatigue Cracking” and “Rutting”. In order to calculate the allowable number of load repetition to prevent each of those distresses, the horizontal tensile strain under the hot mixed asphalt (HMA) layer and vertical compressive strain on top of the subgarde are needed. The concentration of this study is based on the responses of flexible pavement. Moreover, a comparison due to moving “Dual-wheel Tandem” and “Tridem” axles loading with different velocities is made. The parameters used for comparison are the allowable numbers of load repetition to prevent “Fatigue Cracking” and “Rutting”. Due to the comparison between two configurations of axles and their speed two conclusions have been made. Stresses reduce with increase in speed up to 100km/h under two axle configurations. Also, the allowable number of Tridem axle passages to prevent Fatigue Cracking and Rutting is higher under Dual-wheel Tandem configuration.


- Abaqus Version 6.10, User’s Manual, 2010.
- Akram, T., Scullion, T., Smith, R. E. and Fernando, E. G. (1992) “Estimating damage effects of dual versus wide base tires with multi depth deflectometers”, Transportation Research Record, No. 1355, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, DC, pp. 59- 66.
- Al-Qadi, I. L., Wang, H., Yoo, P. J. and Dessouky, S. H. (2008) “Dynamic analysis and in situ validation of perpetual pavement response to vehicular loading”, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., pp. 29-39. 
- Chatti, K., Kim, H. B., Yun, K. K. and Monismith, C. L. (1996) “Field investigation into the effects of vehicle speed and tire pressure on asphalt concrete pavement strains”, Transportation Research Record, No.1539, TRB, Washington, D.C., pp. 66-71.
- Chen, C. H., Marshek, K. M. and Saraf, C. L. (1990) “Effect of truck tire contact pressure distribution on the design of flexible pavement: A three-dimensional finite element approach”, Transportation Research Record, No. 1095, pp. 72-78.
- Dondi, G. (1994) “Three-dimensional finite element analysis of a reinforced paved road”, Fifth International Conference on Geotextiles, Geomembrane and Related Products, Vol. 11, Singapore 1994, pp. 95-100.
- Elseifi, M. A., Al-Qadi, I. L. and Yoo, P. J. (2006) “Viscoelastic modeling and field validation of flexible pavements”, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, Vol. 132, No. 2, pp. 172-178.
- Hjelmstad, K. D., Kim, J. and Zuo, Q. H. (1997) “Finite element procedures for three-dimensional pavement analysis”, Proceedings of the 1997 Airfield Pavement Conference, ASCE, Seattle, Washington, USA, pp. 125- 137.
- Huang, Y. H. (2004) “Pavement analysis and design”, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River N.J.
- Khavassefat, P., Jelagin, D. and Birgisson, B. (2012) “A computational framework for viscoelastic analysis of flexible pavement under moving loads”, Journal of Materials and Structures, Rilem, Vol. 45, pp. 1655-1671.
- Saad, B., Mitri, H. and Poorooshasb, H. B. (2005) “Three-dimensional dynamic analysis of flexible conventional pavement foundation”, Journal of Transportation Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 131, pp. 460-469.
- Sebbaly, P. E. and Tabatabaee, N. (1993) “Influence of vehicle speed on dynamic loads and pavement response” Transportation Research Record, No. 1410, TRB. Washington D.C., pp. 107-114.
- Uddin, W., Zhang, D. and Fernandez, F. (1994). “Finite element simulation of pavement discontinuities and dynamic load response.” Transportation Research Record 1448, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 100-106.
- Wang, H. and Al-Qadi, I. L. (2010) “Evaluation of surface-related pavement damage due to tire braking”, Asphalt Pavement and Environment, Taylor and Francies, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 101-121. 
- Zaghloul, S. M. and White, T. D. (1993) “Use of a three-dimensional, dynamic finite element program for analysis of flexible pavement”, Transportation Research Record, No. 1388, National Research Council, Washington D.C. pp. 60-69.