Evaluation of permanent deformation models for unbound granular materials using accelerated pavement tests

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Mechanistic-empirical (M-E) pavement design methods have become the focus of modern pavement design procedure. One of the main distresses that M-E design methods attempt to control is permanent deformation (rutting). The objective of this paper is to evaluate three M-E permanent deformation models for unbound granular materials, one from the US M-E pavement design guide and two other relatively new models. Two series of heavy vehicle simulator (HVS) tests with three different types of base material were used for this purpose. The permanent deformation, wheel loading, pavement temperature, and other material properties were continuously controlled during the HVS tests. Asphalt concrete layers were considered as linear elastic where stress-dependent behaviour of unbound materials was considered when computing responses for the M-E permanent deformation models with a nonlinear elastic response model. Traffic wandering was also accounted for in modelling the traffic by assuming it was normally distributed and a time-hardening approach was applied to add together the permanent deformation contributions from different stress levels. The measured and predicted permanent deformations are in general in good agreement with only small discrepancies between the models. Model parameters were also estimated for three different types of material.

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