Static and Dynamic Boundary Element Methods for Layered Pavement Systems

Bjorn Birgisson, Dave Newcomb, S L. Crouch
December 1997
Report no. CTS 97-06
Topics: Pavements


The main objective of this report is to present two numerical computer models that compute the static and the transient displacements and stresses in pavement systems consisting of one or more distinct layers of material. Both models are based on the boundary element method, which is described in detail in the attachment. The static model is capable of predicting the static solution, which is sometimes also the steady-state distribution of stresses and displacements anywhere within a layered pavement system. The dynamic model is capable of representing the propagation of displacement and stress waves across the interfaces separating the layers and includes the wave scattering effects of reflection and refraction from these interfaces. The transient displacements and stresses tend towards the static or steady-state solution as time tends to infinity, thus complimenting the solution obtained with the static boundary element method. Both of these methods are validated through a comparison with existing analytical and numerical solutions in the literature. Finally, both the static and dynamic computer models are applied to typical three layered rigid pavement configurations and loads to provide examples of the potential usefulness of these methods in developing appropriate guidelines for transient loading conditions.

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