Year of Publication

2006

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Jerry G. Rose

Abstract

As a nation that depends so heavily on its infrastructure, the United Statescontinually seeks to better maintain the investment that it has made in its roadways.Asphalt pavements make up the majority of the paved roadways in the United States andultimately contribute to the bulk of the expense of highway maintenance. The goal ofthis research was to develop a means for taking a simple measurement of pressure atvarious interfaces on and within an asphalt pavement structure in an effort to directlyassess the damaging effects of different wheel loadings. It is well known that everincreasing wheel loads and other unusual wheel loading conditions are detrimental to theeffort of maintaining the roadways. The results of the data can be compared to the classicempiricalistic and mechanistic approaches to asphalt pavement design and analysis, aswell as the more modern finite-element computer modeling programs. The Tekscanmeasurement system, which utilizes a very thin matrix based pressure sensitive sensor,has been deemed applicable for measuring pavement pressures. Various types of wheelloadings have been considered throughout this study. It was determined that the type oftire, tire inflation pressure, applied load, and the asphalt itself all have an effect on theresultant pressures on the surface of and within an asphalt pavement structure. Thisresearch may contribute to the understanding of pressure distributions at the tire/asphaltinterface depending on the type of tire, adjustments in tire inflation pressure, and varyingthe wheel load. The results may lead to a better understanding of pressure distributions atvarying depths within an asphalt pavement structure. The ability to quantify thesevariables could assist designers when analyzing and designing asphalt pavements.

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