|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 6|
Nondestructive deflection testing has been accepted widely as a cost-effective tool for evaluating the structural condition of airfield pavements. Backcalculation of pavement layer moduli can be used to characterize the pavement existing condition in order to compute the load bearing capacity of pavement. This paper presents an improved best-fit backcalculation methodology based on deflection predictions obtained using finite element method (FEM). The best-fit approach is based on minimizing the squared error between falling weight deflectometer (FWD) measured deflections and FEM predicted deflections. Then, concrete elastic modulus and modulus of subgrade reaction were back-calculated using Heavy Weight Deflectometer (HWD) deflections collected at the National Airport Pavement Testing Facility (NAPTF) test site. It is an alternative and more versatile method in considering concrete slab geometry and HWD testing locations compared to methods currently available.
This study evaluates the back calculation of stiffness of a pavement section on Interstate 40 (I-40)in New Mexico through numerical analysis. Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) test has been conducted on a section on I-40. Layer stiffness of the pavement has been backcalculated by a backcalculation software, ELMOD, using the FWD test data. Commercial finite element software, ABAQUS, has been used to develop the Finite Element Model (FEM) of this pavement section. Geometry and layer thickness are collected from field coring. Input parameters i.e. stiffnesses of different layers of the pavement are used as the backcalculated ones. Resulting surface deflections at different radial distances from the FEM analysis are compared with field FWD deflection values. It shows close agreement between the FEM and FWD outputs. Therefore, the FWD test method can be considered to be a reliable test procedure for evaluating the in situ stiffness of pavement material.