About the research
Deterioration in portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements can occur due to distresses caused by a combination of traffic loads and weather conditions. Hot mix asphalt (HMA) overlay is the most commonly used rehabilitation technique for such deteriorated PCC pavements. However, the performance of these HMA overlaid pavements is hindered due to the occurrence of reflective cracking, resulting in significant reduction of pavement serviceability. Various fractured slab techniques, including rubblization, crack and seat, and break and seat are used to minimize reflective cracking by reducing the slab action.
However, the design of structural overlay thickness for cracked and seated and rubblized pavements is difficult as the resulting structure is neither a true rigid pavement nor a true flexible pavement. Existing design methodologies use the empirical procedures based on the AASHO Road Test conducted in 1961. But, the AASHO Road Test did not employ any fractured slab technique, and there are numerous limitations associated with extrapolating its results to HMA overlay thickness design for fractured PCC pavements.
The main objective of this project is to develop a mechanistic-empirical (ME) design approach for the HMA overlay thickness design for fractured PCC pavements. In this design procedure, failure criteria such as the tensile strain at the bottom of HMA layer and the vertical compressive strain on the surface of subgrade are used to consider HMA fatigue and subgrade rutting, respectively. The developed ME design system is also implemented in a Visual Basic computer program.
A partial validation of the design method with reference to an instrumented trial project (IA-141, Polk County) in Iowa is provided in this report. Tensile strain values at the bottom of the HMA layer collected from the FWD testing at this project site are in agreement with the results obtained from the developed computer program.