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Static Analysis of Flexible Pavements over Expansive Soils


To study and predict the behavior of flexible pavement over expansive soils, a pavement structure was subjected to different laboratory and fieldwork experiments. The existing pavement was replaced and designed based on California Bearing Ratio (CBR) method, with a new one, and subjected to the traffic from various number of load cycles from 12.1 up to 155.52 kcycles of standard axle load (80 kN) through dual wheel assembly over a 6-month period. As the preliminary step, the deflection measurements were taken at the asphalt surface layer, using a Total station at different distances as function of truckload applications. The numerical analysis is carried out with the Finite Element software package PLAXIS version 2012. In the new model, the calculation of the transferred pressure to the pavement through contact area of tires is 3D it was turned into a 2D problem, and the pavement was subjected to a static loading using a ratio factor of dynamic additional charge. The materials’ behavior was simulated with nonlinear models: Mohr–Coulomb (MC) for pavement layers and soft-soil model (SSM) for the expansive subgrade, in saturated drained and undrained conditions. The results indicate that displacements under static loading in saturated drained conditions and when non-linear materials are present are the closest to field measured deflections.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the support given by the team of Civil Engineering and Mining Laboratories of Larbi Tebessi University for their support and help in completing this work.

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Correspondence to Adel Djellali.

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Djellali, A., Houam, A., Saghafi, B. et al. Static Analysis of Flexible Pavements over Expansive Soils. Int J Civ Eng 15, 391–400 (2017).

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  • Flexible pavements
  • Expansive subgrades
  • Soil behavior
  • Finite element method