Published: 2022-06-29

Finite element and fatigue analysis of flexible pavements based on temperature profile modeling

Seoyoung Cho , Éva Lakatos


The effect of temperature on asphalt pavement structure is of great importance due to the nature of binder used in the asphalt layers. An equivalent temperature is commonly applied to eliminate the effect of temperature dependence in calculations of mechanical properties of the asphalt and of the pavement. Equivalent temperatures, applied as constant values, are supposed to have the same effect on fatigue behavior of the pavement in the period of one year as the real varying weather conditions. The aim of the presented research was to compare the behavior of the pavement under realistic temperature data throughout a single year with the results of the traditional pavement design method. Temperature data were obtained from a previously established weather station. Binder viscosity and asphalt dynamic modulus were defined based on the temperature profile for asphalt layers divided into 19 sublayers. This subdivision was introduced to better reflect the changes in strength characteristics of the asphalt layers along the depth of the structure. Comparison with the simple calculation using the equivalent temperature method showed that the detailed model outlined in this paper can provide better prediction of the overall pavement structural capacity. The focus of this study is to apply asphalt layer discretization to reflect temperature variation and its influence on changes in strength properties of asphalt mixtures. Temperature at each sublayer was estimated using the German specification, dynamic modulus was determined using the Witczak model, and the structural analysis was performed employing the finite element method.


finite element method, flexible pavement modeling, temperature modeling, temperature profile.

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Cho, S., & Lakatos, Éva. (2022). Finite element and fatigue analysis of flexible pavements based on temperature profile modeling. Roads and Bridges - Drogi I Mosty, 21(2), 103–116.

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