Evaluating the Effect of Solar Radiations on the Performance of Asphalt Concrete Pavements

  • Amal AbdelazizEmail author
  • Chun-Hsing Ho
Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


In recent years, severe weather events have impacted the performance of transportation infrastructures. The increase in temperature and heatwaves, lead to the early deterioration of pavement structures. The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of solar radiations on the behavior of flexible pavements. A project was implemented in Flagstaff, Arizona, to evaluate the impact of solar radiations on asphalt concrete pavements. The analysis was performed using similar road sections with shaded and unshaded areas. A three-dimensional model of the study area was built using MicroStation, to generate solar analysis study using specified time periods. To validate the numerical analysis, field visits were conducted to measure pavement surface temperatures, and evaluate distress types along pavement surfaces for areas with solar exposure and areas without sun exposure. Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR) tests were performed to determine the stiffness of the asphalt mixtures. ANSYS, a finite element analysis software, was used to analyze the critical tensile and compressive strains exerted on the pavement. According to the results, pavement sections exposed to solar radiations, experience a significantly higher level of critical tensile and compressive strains compared to shaded pavement areas. Based on test findings and analysis results, the paper concluded that solar radiations lead to the early deterioration of asphalt pavements by increasing fatigue distress and rutting.


Pavement Asphalt Solar radiation Critical strains Fatigue Rutting 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management & Environmental EngineeringNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA

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