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Article

A Freezing-Thawing Damage Characterization Method for Highway Subgrade in Seasonally Frozen Regions Based on Thermal-Hydraulic-Mechanical Coupling Model

by 1,2,†, 1,*,†, 2,†, 2, 2 and 1
1
Three Gorges Research Center for Geo-Hazards of Ministry of Education, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China
2
China Communications Construction Company Second Highway Consultants Co., Ltd., Wuhan 430056, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Amir H. Alavi
Sensors 2021, 21(18), 6251; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186251
Received: 20 July 2021 / Revised: 6 September 2021 / Accepted: 15 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Intelligent Sensors)
Seasonally frozen soil where uneven freeze–thaw damage is a major cause of highway deterioration has attracted increased attention in China with the rapid development of infrastructure projects. Based on Darcy’s law of unsaturated soil seepage and heat conduction, the thermal–hydraulic–mechanical (THM) coupling model is established considering a variety of effects (i.e., ice–water phase transition, convective heat transfer, and ice blocking effect), and then the numerical solution of thermal–hydraulic fields of subgrade can be obtained. Then, a new concept, namely degree of freeze–thaw damage, is proposed by using the standard deviation of the ice content of subgrade during the annual freeze–thaw cycle. To analyze the freeze–thaw characteristics of highway subgrade, the model is applied in the monitored section of the Golmud to Nagqu portion of China National Highway G109. The results show that: (1) The hydrothermal field of subgrade has an obvious sunny–shady slopes effect, and its transverse distribution is not symmetrical; (2) the freeze–thaw damage area of subgrade obviously decreased under the insulation board measure; (3) under the combined anti-frost measures, the maximum frost heave amount of subgrade is significantly reduced. This study will provide references for the design of highway subgrades in seasonally frozen soil areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: seasonally frozen soil; highway subgrade; thermal–hydraulic–mechanical coupling; frost heave; COMSOL multi-physics; freeze–thaw damage degree seasonally frozen soil; highway subgrade; thermal–hydraulic–mechanical coupling; frost heave; COMSOL multi-physics; freeze–thaw damage degree
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MDPI and ACS Style

Deng, Q.; Liu, X.; Zeng, C.; He, X.; Chen, F.; Zhang, S. A Freezing-Thawing Damage Characterization Method for Highway Subgrade in Seasonally Frozen Regions Based on Thermal-Hydraulic-Mechanical Coupling Model. Sensors 2021, 21, 6251. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186251

AMA Style

Deng Q, Liu X, Zeng C, He X, Chen F, Zhang S. A Freezing-Thawing Damage Characterization Method for Highway Subgrade in Seasonally Frozen Regions Based on Thermal-Hydraulic-Mechanical Coupling Model. Sensors. 2021; 21(18):6251. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186251

Chicago/Turabian Style

Deng, Qingsong, Xiao Liu, Chao Zeng, Xianzhi He, Fengguang Chen, and Siyu Zhang. 2021. "A Freezing-Thawing Damage Characterization Method for Highway Subgrade in Seasonally Frozen Regions Based on Thermal-Hydraulic-Mechanical Coupling Model" Sensors 21, no. 18: 6251. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186251

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