Numerical study using stiffness parameters on the nonlinear behavior of RCA pavements under heavy traffic loads

Akbaş M., Özaslan B., Khanbabazadeh H., İyisan R.

TRANSPORTATION GEOTECHNICS, vol.29, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.trgeo.2021.100582
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Geobase, INSPEC
  • Keywords: RCA, Flexible pavement, Resilient modulus, 3D nonlinear analysis, Rutting, PERMANENT DEFORMATION-BEHAVIOR, RECYCLED CONCRETE AGGREGATE, BASE, CONSTRUCTION, PREDICTION
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The use of the recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) obtained from construction and demolition wastes not only reduces the demand for natural aggregate, which ultimately leads to economical and eco-friendly designs, but also improves the long-term performance of a conventional flexible pavement. This study aims to investigate the effects of using 100% RCA in the pavement subbase and base courses on the mechanical behavior of the flexible pavement. This study is divided into two stages, i.e., a laboratory study characterizing the properties of RCA and a numerical analysis evaluating the long-term performance of RCA under heavy traffic load conditions. In the laboratory study, along with the determination of the classical geotechnical properties of base and subbase samples, the stiffness properties of the samples were obtained by applying the resilient modulus test (RMT) and permanent deformation test (PDT). Then, by comparing the results of the three different constitutive models, the result of the more appropriate model was selected. In the second stage, the plastic deformation (rutting) of the pavement courses and the maximum value of deflection when subjected to multiple wheel loads were determined using a 3D nonlinear numerical method. Based on the experimental results, RCA demonstrated higher resilient modulus and lower plastic deformation compared to that of conventional base and subbase materials. Regarding the long-term behavior, the permanent strain rate of the samples was reduced at an approximately constant level during the first load cycles. Additionally, the numerical analysis results indicated that the mechanical performance and rutting values of the base and subbase courses constructed using 100% RCA met the specified requirements.