Project: ERAPave PP

The project deals with the development of a new mechanistic – empirical (M-E) pavement analysis and design tool for flexible pavements. The program is called ERAPave PP (Elastic Response Analysis of Pavements – Performance Predictions) and predicts the evolution of rutting and fatigue cracking for a given pavement structure having a set of material properties in a specific climate.

The project is a cooperation between VTI and TRA in Sweden and NRA and NTNU in Norway. The output is a new M-E design method for pavement structures.

The method has many advantages over the currently used empirical methods that relay on past performance. The M-E method is based on mechanistic principles, climate aspects are more realistically included and failure modes material properties are laboratory or field test supported. The method is therefore not as obscure as empirical methods and new materials can be included given the necessary material properties have been estimated.

Brief facts about the project

Project title: ME Design – further development
Project type: Research and development
Role in the project: Project leader
Project leader at VTI: Sigurdur Erlingsson
Duration: 2020-08-1 – 2023-10-31
Funder: STA - Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket)
Partners: Swedish Transport Administrator (STA), Norwegian Road Authorities (NRA), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Project website: Pavement design models for roads

Objectives

Further developments of new mechanistic – empirical (M-E) pavement analysis and design tool for flexible pavements. ERAPave PP (Elastic Response Analysis of Pavements – Performance Predictions) predicts the evolution of rutting and fatigue cracking for a given pavement structure with a certain amount of traffic having a set of material properties in a specific climate.

The ERAPave PP program is composed of two main components, namely, the response model and the performance models. The response model part, based on the multi-layered elastic theory (MLET), performs the calculation of stresses and strains induced in the pavement structures due to traffic loading under the prevailing climate conditions whereas the performance models part predicts the pavement performance or degradation as a function of time.

Two failure modes are considered. That is the total rut depth manifested on the pavement surface obtained by adding the contributions of permanent deformation of each layer of the structure and the bottom –up fatigue cracking of the lowest bituminous bounded layer based on the tensile strain at the bottom of the layer. Further is the expected frost heave during the winter time quantified. Abrasion from studded tyres can further be evaluated.

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