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The PADAL computer program was developed to back-analyze deflection bowls from pavement testing with the falling weight deflectometer. A validation exercise was carried out to check the prediction accuracy of the PADAL computer program in practical applications. The study compared laboratory elastic stiffnesses with the back-analyzed values from PADAL and showed that the best correlation was found for the asphaltic material, with an accuracy of around 20% above measured values. The correlation for granular subbases and clay subgrades was less good. Previous studies comparing in situ stresses and strains confirmed that the nonlinear elastic characterization in the subgrade layer gave significant improvement in the accuracy of prediction compared with a linear representation.
Comparison of dynamic analysis taking account of inertia effects with the static PADAL analysis showed the latter to be quite adequate for use with the falling weight deflectometer.
A simplified back-analysis procedure using the ELMOD computer program was extensively evaluated. It was concluded that this program is best used in predicting stiffnesses of two layered structures consisting of bound asphaltic material overlying the subgrade. In cases of three-layered structures, the prediction of stiffnesses for granular layers was found to be unrealistically large.
back analysis, elastic stiffness, pavement inertia, pavement evaluation, multilayer elastic system, nonlinear modelling, validation
Senior pavement engineer, SWK Pavement Engineering, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Professor, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire