Volume 36, Issue 4 (July 2008)
A Simple and Effective Laboratory Test Device for Measuring Tire-Pavement Contact Pressure
For most mechanistic response analyses of asphalt pavements, the traffic loading between the tire and the pavement is often modeled as a circular contact area with a uniform stress distribution. In reality, the tire-pavement contact pressure is hardly circular or uniformly distributed. In order to more accurately model the pavement responses under traffic loading, it is necessary to measure the actual tire-pavement contact pressure (TPCP) and then use it for pavement mechanistic response analyses. Currently there are a few devices that can be used to measure the TPCP. However, most of these existing devices have some limitations. For example one of the major disadvantages is the fact that the measured data were the pressure between the tire and a steel plate, and not between the tire and the asphalt pavement. For accurate TPCP measurements in this paper, a simple and effective static laboratory test device was developed. One of the features of this device is that the pressure sensors were inserted and suspended within the asphalt slab and the top of the sensors were kept flush with the surface at the interface with the tire. This enabled the true TPCP between the tire and the asphalt surface to be measured. Additionally, the device is relatively easy to set up and conduct the tests. Thus far, the laboratory measured TPCP results with this static test device were reasonably consistent with existing theories and assumptions about modeling the TPCP and pavement mechanistic responses.