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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(6), 611; doi:10.3390/app7060611

Application of Finite Layer Method in Pavement Structural Analysis

1
Institute of Highway Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Street 1, D52074 Aachen, Germany
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing, China
3
Institute of Highway Engineering, Paul-Bonatz-Street 9–11, University of Siegen, D57076 Siegen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zhanping You
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Asphalt Materials and Paving Technologies)
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Abstract

The finite element (FE) method has been widely used in predicting the structural responses of asphalt pavements. However, the three-dimensional (3D) modeling in general-purpose FE software systems such as ABAQUS requires extensive computations and is relatively time-consuming. To address this issue, a specific computational code EasyFEM was developed based on the finite layer method (FLM) for analyzing structural responses of asphalt pavements under a static load. Basically, it is a 3D FE code that requires only a one-dimensional (1D) mesh by incorporating analytical methods and using Fourier series in the other two dimensions, which can significantly reduce the computational time and required resources due to the easy implementation of parallel computing technology. Moreover, a newly-developed Element Energy Projection (EEP) method for super-convergent calculations was implemented in EasyFEM to improve the accuracy of solutions for strains and stresses over the whole pavement model. The accuracy of the program is verified by comparing it with results from BISAR and ABAQUS for a typical asphalt pavement structure. The results show that the predicted responses from ABAQUS and EasyFEM are in good agreement with each other. The EasyFEM with the EEP post-processing technique converges faster compared with the results derived from ordinary EasyFEM applications, which proves that the EEP technique can improve the accuracy of strains and stresses from EasyFEM. In summary, the EasyFEM has a potential to provide a flexible and robust platform for the numerical simulation of asphalt pavements and can easily be post-processed with the EEP technique to enhance its advantages. View Full-Text
Keywords: finite layer method; asphalt pavement structural analysis; EasyFEM; element energy projection; super-convergence; finite layer method; asphalt pavement structural analysis; EasyFEM; element energy projection; super-convergence;
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Liu, P.; Xing, Q.; Dong, Y.; Wang, D.; Oeser, M.; Yuan, S. Application of Finite Layer Method in Pavement Structural Analysis. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 611.

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