Field measurement and finite element simulation of pavement responses to standard and reduced tire pressure
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To evaluate the impact of reduced truck tire pressure on strain response of low volume spring-restricted roads, research was conducted on two instrumented pavement sections in Manitoba, Canada. Tire pressure control systems tests were carried out at the sections in spring and fall 2009. Measured maximum tensile strain at the bottom of asphalt layer decreased by 15-20% when tire pressure was reduced by 50%. Measured strain at the bottom of asphalt layer in fall is about 50% less than in spring. The effects of gauge orientation, truck speed, and tire offset from the strain gauge were also analyzed. A finite element model with static load was developed and verified. The bearing capacity is lower in spring than in normal condition for flexible pavements subject to deep frost action. Reduced tire pressure is effective to reduce bottom up failure of the pavement, and is less effective to prevent rutting.