Problem Statement, Project Objective and Realization
During the service life of flexible pavement, fatigue cracking is a primary mode of failure that is caused by undergoing millions of repeated load applications. If the applied loads exceed the designed capacity of fatigue resistance of the asphalt pavement, fatigue cracking will occur. Thus, fatigue cracking reflects the repeated loads causing incremental damage that over time accumulates into macro-cracks. Fatigue cracking will cause considerable cost in maintenance and rehabilitation, reduce the ride quality due to the increased roughness of pavement surface, and significantly decrease the service life. Therefore, it is of critical importance to describe the fatigue response of flexible pavement.
However, there is a significant difference between the stress state in pavement materials resulting from traffic load and laboratory test load. To fill this gap, an innovative test facility named Accelerated Repeated Rolling Wheel Load Simulator (ARROWS) will be developed in this project. By means of ARROWS, the response of flexible pavement to the rolling wheel load will be simulated. And the fatigue property of pavement materials will be comprehensively characterized.
For this purpose, three sub-goals are proposed: concept development of ARROWS device, concept and construction of the ARROWS laboratory device, and experimental investigations of the long-term behavior of pavement materials.