You are on page 1of 35

TRAN3001

Highway Engineering Lecture 9

Structural Design

AASHTO Flexible Pavement Design

Rigid Pavement Design Road Note 29

Structural Design

Flexible Pavement

A key element of flexible pavement design in the 1993 AASHTO Guide for Design of Pavement Structures is the Structural Number (SN), which represents the overall structural requirement needed to sustain the traffic loads expected in the design. The SN depends on a combination of soil support, ESAL loading, pavement serviceability and environmental conditions. Nomographs are generally used to determine the value of SN.

Structural Design

Structural Design

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Flexible Pavement (Cont’d) Once the value of the Structural Number (SN) is known, the appropriate thickness of each of the pavement layers can be determined. The following equation shows the relationship between the SN and layer thickness:

SN = a 1 D 1 + a 2 D 2 m 2 + a 3 D 3 m 3 where a is a layer coefficient representing the relative strength of the material, D is the layer thickness and m is a drainage coefficient.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Flexible Pavement (Cont’d)

The subscript number used in the equation indicates which layer is meant, with the numbering beginning at the top of the pavement structure. For design purposes, layer coefficients are usually determined empirically based on the performance of the material. Some typical layer coefficient

values are:

Hot mix asphalt – 0.44 (Aggregate) roadbase – 0.13 Subbase 0.10

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Flexible Pavement (Cont’d)

The drainage coefficient is a value assigned to

a pavement layer which represents its relative loss of strength due to drainage characteristics or exposure to moisture saturation. Layers that drain slowly or are often saturated would have a lower drainage coefficient, while layers that drain quickly and rarely become saturated would have a higher coefficient. For pavement designs, the drainage coefficients are generally set to 1 which indicates normal drainage characteristics.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Flexible Pavement (Cont’d)

With the appropriate layer and drainage coefficients known, suitable thicknesses for each of the pavement layers can then be determined . The relationship between SN and layer thicknesses does not give a single correct answer for the thickness of each pavement layer. There will normally be different combinations of layer thicknesses that could achieve the required SN.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Flexible Pavement (Cont’d)

The final determination of the thickness of each layer would be based on the relative costs of materials for different layers, along with practical design and construction considerations (such as not making any one layer too thick or thin). The SN can also be used to evaluate/rehabilitate existing pavements by determining its value with the existing layer thicknesses as compared to the required SN for the updated design.

Structural Design

Rigid Pavement

The Design Process The steps in the design of a rigid pavement are similar to those for a flexible pavement:

ESAL loading on a rigid (Portland cement concrete) pavement is computed as for flexible pavements, however the design life is generally longer, as much as 40 years. Subgrade strength is assessed, but unlike flexible pavements, rigid pavements are designed to have sufficient beam strength to span over localized subgrade failures and areas where subgrade support is inadequate.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

The Design Process (Cont’d) Depressions which occur beneath properly designed and constructed rigid pavements are not reflected in their running surfaces. The ESAL loading and subgrade support is used to determine the type and thickness of each of the pavement elements. Rigid Pavement Cross-Section Like flexible roads, the cross-section of a concrete road comprises a pavement superimposed on subgrade soil.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement Cross-Section (Cont’d) Rigid pavements are concrete slabs placed either directly on a prepared subgrade or more commonly on a single layer of granular material. The one layer of material between the concrete slab and the subgrade is called the subbase. Subgrade With respect to rigid pavements, the most important function of the subgrade is to provide uniform support for the concrete slab.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Subbase

If the subgrade cannot provide adequate support throughout the design life of the pavement, a subbase layer will need to be included as part of the pavement structure. The unsatisfactory subgrade conditions which provision of a subbase will correct include high volume-change characteristics, poor drainage and mud- pumping, which is the forced ejection of a mixture of soil and water from the subgrade.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Subbase (Cont’d) Clays with high plasticity are typical of the soils which need to be protected by a subbase. This layer prevents eventual failure of the

pavement when concrete slabs are laid directly on a subgrade soil which does not provide adequate support. As the subgrade will be subjected to loading from construction equipment, the subbase also provides a working platform.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Subbase (Cont’d)

Minimizing volume changes

Soils which are susceptible to volume changes when moisture is taken up or lost

during the wet and dry seasons respectively, require a sufficient thickness of granular subbase to both hold down the subgrade and control the moisture content to reduce volume changes.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Subbase (Cont’d)

Improving drainage

The granular subbase acts as a drainage layer to minimize the accumulation of water within the pavement, which weakens the

subgrade.

Preventing mud-pumping

If pavement slabs are placed directly on fine- grained soils, water entering the pavement can cause soil to be ejected through joints, edges and cracks under frequent heavy traffic.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Subbase (Cont’d)

Preventing mud-pumping (Cont’d)

In addition to the ingress of water and continuous heavy wheel loading, for pumping to occur the subgrade soil must go into suspension. This makes fine-grained soils susceptible to mud-pumping as this suspension is what is ejected as the slab repeatedly deflects under constant, heavy traffic loads.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Subbase (Cont’d)

Preventing mud-pumping (Cont’d)

The subbase comprises a free-draining material and this layer should have sufficient depth and extend through the shoulders so that any water entering the pavement can drain.

Providing a working surface during construction

A sufficient depth of dense, well-compacted subbase material can protect the subgrade soil from the detrimental effects of construction loads and weather.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design Portland Cement Concrete consists of three basic components: aggregate, water and Portland cement. The purpose of the concrete mix design is to determine the most economical and practical combination of readily available materials to produce a concrete that will satisfy the performance requirements under the particular conditions of use.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) For concrete used in pavements the requirements include resistance to deformation, durability over time, resistant to water damage, controlled shrinkage cracking, a good skid-resistant surface, as well as relatively inexpensive, readily manufactured and easily placed. In order to satisfy these requirements mix design can alter the type and quantity of the basic components and incorporate admixtures to improve workability, etc.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) The mix design procedure usually involves the following three basic steps:

Material selection which identifies the sources and specifications of the materials to be used in the mix. Mix proportioning which determines the proportions of the component materials necessary to produce a mix with the desired properties.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) Mix testing which uses laboratory testing to evaluate and characterize trial mixes and thereby provide a good understanding of how a particular mix will perform in the field during construction and under subsequent traffic loading. The more accurate mix design methods combine the mix constituents by volume rather than weight.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) Volume measurements are usually made indirectly by determining each material’s weight and specific gravity and then calculating its volume. Strength tests are carried out on concrete cubes or cylinders to determine the characteristic compressive strength of the concrete, which is the value below which less than a specified percentage (usually 5%) of the samples will fall.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) The water-cement ratio affects both strength and workability (ease of working with the concrete). Water for use in the mix is generally specified as potable. Strength testing ensures that the concrete is of pavement quality and for unreinforced concrete indirect tensile tests may also be carried out. Otherwise, tensile strength values of 10% – 12% of the compressive strength can be used.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) Laboratory tests are carried out at different water contents to determine the optimum amount of water that will produce a concrete of maximum strength from a particular mix of fine and coarse aggregate and cement. The workability also depends on the quantity of water used. The use of less than the optimum amount of water may make setting difficult and reduce workability.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) When more water than the optimum amount is used greater shrinkage and a reduction in strength will occur. From the water-cement content the cement content can be determined. The total aggregate content is then determined based on an estimate of the density of the (fully compacted) concrete.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Pavement Concrete Mix Design (Cont’d) The coarse/fine aggregate ratio is then tested for the minimum void content which indicates the optimum particle packing and ratio. Types of Concrete Pavement Concrete slabs for road pavements may be plain or reinforced. With plain concrete, transverse joints are usually provided at regular intervals to prevent cracking from expansion and contraction of the concrete.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Types of Concrete Pavement (Cont’d) Reinforcement provided to control cracking, such as prefabricated mesh, terminate at the transverse joints. For plain concrete and where reinforcement is provided to control cracking, load transfer at the transverse joints is effected by the use of dowels, which are short steel bars treated over half their lengths with a bond-breaking compound like bitumen.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Types of Concrete Pavement (Cont’d) This provides a mechanical connection between slabs without restricting horizontal joint movement. Slabs may also be continuously reinforced in which case transverse joints are not provided as sufficient steel is provided primarily to control cracking and transfer loads as well as to provide resistance to induced flexural stresses.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Types of Concrete Pavement (Cont’d)

cap compressible material longitudinal joint dowel bar painted over half bitumen sealing compound transverse joint
cap
compressible
material
longitudinal
joint
dowel bar painted over half
bitumen
sealing
compound
transverse
joint
Rigid Pavement (Cont’d) Types of Concrete Pavement (Cont’d) cap compressible material longitudinal joint dowel bar painted

its length with

Concrete Slab

Expansion Joint

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Types of Concrete Pavement (Cont’d) The free ends of dowel bars in an expansion joint are fitted with dowel caps so that a space is formed at the end of each bar, into which the bar can move when the slab expands. An expansion joint permits contraction movement and also allows a small amount of angular rotation to release warping stresses caused by temperature differences between the top and bottom of the slab.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d) Road Note 29 Design Method This method of design, as outlined in the
Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)
Road Note 29 Design Method
This method of design, as outlined in the above
document (A guide to the Structural Design of
Pavements for New Roads, Third Edition, 1970)
is based on an empirical approach using results
from roads in service.
Concrete used in road construction is required
to have a minimum 28-day compressive
strength of 28 kN/m 2 . The flexural strength for
this grade of concrete is more than 3 kN/m 2
which indicates that it has significant beam
strength.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Road Note 29 Design Method The modulus of elasticity is in the order of 34 MN/m 2 which means that the concrete slab has a high degree of rigidity. Because of the beam strength and rigidity of the concrete the wheel loads on the slab are spread over a large area, resulting in small deflections and very low pressures on the subgrade. Consequently subgrade strength is less important for rigid pavement than for flexible pavement design.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Road Note 29 Design Method (Cont’d)

The following are the three broad subgrade classes:

Subgrade

Class

Weak

Description

CBR < 2%

Min. Subbase Thickness (mm)

150

Normal

Subgrades not in the other categories

80

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Road Note 29 Design Method (Cont’d) The thickness of either reinforced or unreinforced slabs depend on the subgrade type and on the cumulative number of standard axles (ESALs) carried by the pavement during its design life. The concrete slab thickness, weight of

reinforcement (varies with the ESALs) and joint spacing (varies with the weight of reinforcement) are indicated) on design charts in Road Note 29.

Structural Design (Cont’d)

Rigid Pavement (Cont’d)

Road Note 29 Design Method (Cont’d) As an asphalt surfacing provides smooth, joint-free travelling lanes, this may be used

as an

overlay on a new rigid pavement

or in the rehabilitation of an existing one. The Road Note 29 design charts (for new road construction) give the required

thickness of the concrete slab, for a specified thickness of bituminous surfacing, which is dependent on the subgrade CBR and ESAL loading.