Impact of parametric variation on behavior of bases through small-scale numerical models

Kai Wang, University of Texas at El Paso


The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) uses the Texas modified triaxial design procedure as a design check to the Flexible Pavement System (FPS) design method. Since its original development more than fifty years ago, little modification has been made to the original triaxial design method. Up to now, there is still a conservatism associated with the characterization of load and the manner in which the existing thickness design curves are used. It is necessary to develop a comprehensive stress based analysis system, which provides a basis for a more mechanistic model that permits evaluation of different materials operating under different service conditions. In this system, strength and material property parameters play a critical role in the mechanistic model. The work presented in this thesis is geared toward the small-scale tests with finite element analysis to simulate several separate moisture service conditioning in the laboratory. These tests were conducted on dry and two saturated conditions. Utilizing the results from the experimental tests and numerical models, a detailed finite element analysis of the impact on parametric variation on behaviors of base was performed. Although linear elastic models or nonlinear models had different influences on the deflections, findings indicated that the results under nonlinear models were preferred due to the nonlinear properties of soils. Sensitivity study by using nonlinear models uncovered that parameters k2 and k3 had different effects on the deflections of different layers.

Subject Area

Civil engineering

Recommended Citation

Wang, Kai, "Impact of parametric variation on behavior of bases through small-scale numerical models" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1439495.