Pavement analysis and modelling

Photo: COWI
Pavement analyses are used to predict the performance of pavements. COWI analyses flexible, rigid and special pavement types using the latest in standard and specialised software together with in-house developed programs

Current trends in design life analyses point to simulations of pavement performance. By employing stochastic methods the designer can assess the reliability of the pavement design.

Empirical and analytical analysis

Empirical and analytical design methodology determines pavement thicknesses by relating observed deterioration to calculated "critical" reactions in the pavements under traffic. Calculation of pavement reactions can also be used to determine whether heavy transports, such as e.g. windmill arms or heavy boilers will cause failure in a pavement. And, in that case, which measures should be taken to allow such transports. The critical reactions can be calculated by means of: 

  • Boussinesq theory 
  • Linear and nonlinear layered elastic analysis 
  • Finite element methods

Incremental-recursive modelling

Incremental-recursive modelling predicts the deterioration as a result of wheel-surface interaction and material properties that are functions of deterioration stage and environmental conditions. The methodology enables the designer to study the effects of i.e. materials and climatic variations on the pavement's structural and functional design life. COWI has been instrumental in the development of the 2005 Danish pavement design standard that incorporates this methodology.

LAST UPDATED: 31.05.2017