SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1972

Fatigue Behavior: Field Observations and Analytical Predictions


This paper evaluates and discusses the development of fatigue cracking in several test pavements and inservice pavements. Attention is focused on the cause and development of fatigue failure in the field. Examples are shown for several types of asphalt pavements including those with aggregate, asphalt treated, or cement treated base. Failure is described in terms of crack initiation through several possible mechanisms and crack propagation to the ultimate stage of alligator cracks. Discussion is presented as to the implications of fatigue failure with respect to design life. Computations and analysis show that a thick asphalt pavement may not resist complete fatigue failure any better than a pavement of the same thickness which was built in “stages,” if the overlay is applied before cracking occurs.

Author Information

Terrel, RL
University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
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Developed by Committee: D04
Pages: 117–143
DOI: 10.1520/STP38812S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5574-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0108-1