Pavement Response Excited by Road Unevennesses Using the Boundary Element Method

  • Arminda Almeida
  • Luís Picado Santos
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 4)


Roughness is one of the major surface distresses of a pavement namely because it induces a major amplification of the loading patterns having important consequences on the structural response. This has even more significance to the pavement resistance if some cracking is associated with it. This paper examines pavement surfaces with different roughness levels from smooth surfaces to rough surfaces. First, the road profile is generated and then used as an input in a truck load simulator in order to get the dynamic amplification along the profile.Different travel speeds for trucks are also considered once speed has influence on the amplification. The pavement response is calculated using the BEM (Boundary Element Method). Only one pavement structure,with a thin asphalt concrete layer, is considered.The BEM is used because it is a powerful alternative to Finite Element Method (FEM) for problems with semi-infinite/infinite domains. In addition to that, it only requires discretization of the surface rather than the volume. The aforementioned features reduce significantly the number of nodes and elements of mesh and consequently the computational time.The results achieved until now show that the dynamic loads reduced the life of a pavement in a manner that can not be neglected. It also was referred the advantage of using BEM instead of FEM.


Boundary Element Method Travel Speed Axle Load Pavement Design Road Profile 
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Copyright information

© RILEM 2012 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arminda Almeida
    • 1
  • Luís Picado Santos
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and GeoresourcesInstituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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