A Computational Model for Predicting the Effect of Tire Configuration on Asphaltic Pavement Life

Roberto F. Soares, David H. Allen, Yong Rak Kim, Curtis Berthelot, Jorge B. Soares, Mark E. Rentschler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a model for predicting the mechanical behavior and performance life of asphalt pavements subjected to various tire configurations, layer thickness, and material properties. A viscoelastic two-dimensional finite element model was developed and utilized in order to predict pavement life depending on different combinations of these design variables. The effects of truck loads on the pavement performance were studied by simulating three tire configurations: two types of the new generation wide-base single tire and one conventional dual tire configuration. Also, two different types of hot mix asphalt (HMA) and three variations of the HMA layer thickness were evaluated. Results showed that the use of conventional dual tires produces approximately 50 per cent longer asphalt service life when compared to the use of wide tires. The service life is shown to increase by increasing the HMA layer thickness. In fact, simulation results suggest that a 200 mm thick HMA layer provides a 15 per cent longer life than a 100 mm thick layer. Asphalt material results also suggest that the quality of materials can significantly affect pavement performance and service life. Furthermore, service life is significantly reduced when a poor quality material is combined with a thin asphalt layer. The simulation model presented here will be useful for future pavement design and material selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-289
Number of pages19
JournalRoad Materials and Pavement Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Asphalt Pavement
  • Hot Mix Asphalt
  • Model
  • Tire Configuration
  • Visco-Elasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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