ncatNCAT Report 15-05: Refined Limiting Strain Criteria and Approximate Ranges of Maximum Thicknesses for Designing Long-Life Asphalt Pavements

Long-life or perpetual pavements are designed and built to last longer than 50 years, requiring only a periodic mill and inlay of the surface layer. The pavement structure is designed using appropriate materials and layer thicknesses to prevent structural distresses that begin at the bottom of the pavement structure. Additional asphalt thickness above what is required to keep stresses/strains below the critical thresholds is unnecessary to ensure long life. Thus, the goal of perpetual pavement design is to optimize layer thicknesses to sustain heavy loads indefinitely without being overly conservative.

The objective of this study was to establish critical design thresholds and approximate ranges of maximum thickness to improve the cost-effectiveness of long-life pavements.

Authors: Dr. Nam Tran, P.E., Dr. Mary M. Robbins, Dr. David H. Timm, P.E., Dr. J. Richard Willis, Dr. Carolina Rodezno

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