For flexible pavements, structural design is mainly concerned with determining appropriate layer thickness and composition.
Design procedures for flexible pavement
For flexible pavements, structural design is mainly concerned with determining appropriate layer thickness and composition. The main design factors are stresses due to traffic load and temperature variations. Two methods of flexible pavement structural design are common today: Empirical design and mechanistic empirical design.
An empirical approach is one which is based on the results of experimentation or experience.
Some of them are either based on physical properties or strength parameters of soil subgrade. An empirical approach is one which is based on the results of experimentation or experience. An empirical analysis of flexible pavement design can be done with or with out a soil strength test. An example of design without soil strength test is by using HRB soil classification system, in which soils are grouped from A-1 to A-7 and a group index is added to differentiate soils within each group. Example with soil strength test uses McLeod, Stabilometer, California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test. CBR test is widely known and will be discussed.
Empirical-Mechanistic method of design is based on the mechanics of materials that relates input, such as wheel load, to an output or pavement response. In pavement design, the responses are the stresses, strains, and deflections within a pavement structure and the physical causes are the loads and material properties of the pavement structure. The relationship between these phenomena and their physical causes are typically described using some mathematical models. Along with this mechanistic approach, empirical elements are used when defining what value of the calculated stresses, strains, and deflections result in pavement failure. The relationship between physical phenomena and pavement failure is described by empirically derived equations that compute the number of loading cycles to failure.