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Interaction and Multiscale Mechanics
  Volume 3, Number 1, March 2010, pages 95-110
open access

Use of finite and infinite elements in static analysis of pavement
V.A. Patil, V.A. Sawant and Kousik Deb

    In recent years, study of the static response of pavements to moving vehicle and aircraft loads has received significant attention because of its relevance to the design of pavements and airport runways. The static response of beams resting on an elastic foundation and subjected to moving loads was studied by several researchers in the past. However, most of these studies were limited to steady-state analytical solutions for infinitely long beams resting on Winkler-type elastic foundations. Although the modelling of subgrade as a continuum is more accurate, such an approach can hardly be incorporated in analysis due to its complexity. In contrast, the two-parameter foundation model provides a better way for simulating the underlying soil medium and is conceptually more appealing than the one-parameter (Winkler) foundation model. The finite element method is one of the most suitable mathematical tools for analysing rigid pavements under moving loads. This paper presents an improved solution algorithm based on the finite element method for the static analysis of rigid pavements under moving vehicular or aircraft loads. The concrete pavement is discretized by finite and infinite beam elements, with the latter for modelling the infinity boundary conditions. The underlying soil medium is modelled by the Pasternak model allowing the shear interaction to exist between the spring elements. This can be accomplished by connecting the spring elements to a layer of incompressible vertical elements that can deform in transverse shear only. The deformations and forces maintaining equilibrium in the shear layer are considered by assuming the shear layer to be isotropic. A parametric study is conducted to investigate the effect of the position of moving loads on the response of pavement.
Key Words
    beam element; damping; foundation; moving loads; pavement; Pasternak
V.A. Patil: Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee-247667, Uttarakhand, India
V.A. Sawant: Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee-247667, Uttarakhand, India
Kousik Deb: Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur-721302, India

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