Application of semi-analytical finite element method to analyze the bearing capacity of asphalt pavements under moving loads

  • Pengfei Liu
  • Dawei Wang
  • Frédéric Otto
  • Markus Oeser
Research Article


To facilitate long term infrastructure asset management systems, it is necessary to determine the bearing capacity of pavements. Currently it is common to conduct such measurements in a stationary manner, however the evaluation with stationary loading does not correspond to reality a tendency towards continuous and high speed measurements in recent years can be observed. The computational program SAFEM was developed with the objective of evaluating the dynamic response of asphalt under moving loads and is based on a semi-analytic element method. In this research project SAFEM is compared to commercial finite element software ABAQUS and field measurements to verify the computational accuracy. The computational accuracy of SAFEM was found to be high enough to be viable whilst boasting a computational time far shorter than ABAQUS. Thus, SAFEM appears to be a feasible approach to determine the dynamic response of pavements under dynamic loads and is a useful tool for infrastructure administrations to analyze the pavement bearing capacity.


semi-analytical finite element method bearing capacity asphalt pavements moving loads dynamic response 


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This paper is based on parts of the research projects carried out at the request of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, requested by the Federal Highway Research Institute, under research projects No. 04.0259/2012/NGB and FE 88.0137/FE88.0138, as well as parts of the research project carried out at the request of the German Research Foundation, under research projects No. FOR 2089. The authors are solely responsible for the content.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pengfei Liu
    • 1
  • Dawei Wang
    • 1
  • Frédéric Otto
    • 1
  • Markus Oeser
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Highway EngineeringRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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