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It seems from the author's theoretical and applied research that uncertainties in pavement life prediction could be reduced by paying attention to the plastic behavior of its component materials. By ensuring that the relationship between the plastic behavior of the asphaltic concrete relative to that of the underlying layers (relative plastic behavior) is adjusted to an appropriate value, pavement life will be maximized. The sensitivity analysis reported in this paper gives an insight into the effect of relative plastic behavior on pavement life. The sensitivity analysis makes extensive use of the mechano-lattice stress-strain analysis of elastoplastic-layered media since it is able to detect the buildup of residual stresses and strains. These can have the effect of either increasing or decreasing pavement life.
It is therefore hoped that the highway engineer will be able to make use of this information to prolong pavement life. This he could do by designing the plastic behavior of the asphaltic concrete in the light of existing plastic behavior of the base and subgrade. Alternately the plastic behavior of the base and or the subgrade could be modified in the light of the plastic behavior of the asphaltic concrete. The plastic behavior of the asphaltic concrete may be controlled by modifying the rheological properties of the asphalt or of the asphaltic concrete mix.
plastic behavior, relative plastic behavior, residual stresses, transient stresses, modular ratio, fatigue cracking, rutting, pavement life, asphaltic concrete mechano-lattice analysis, elastoplastic
Senior lecturer, The University of New South Wales, Kensington,