Pavement Design Methodologies for Port and External Heavy Duty Pavements

Paper and Presentation by Eduardo Alcazar from ASCP 3rd Concrete Pavements 2015

There are few methodologies for the structural pavement design of port and external heavy duty pavements. Traditionally, the pavement design of heavy-duty pavements has been considered a high risk area due to the high proportion of failures and their cost implications (operational and repair). Due to the lack of specific expertise in this design area, a common approach to the design has been to extrapolate highway design methods and convert the axle loads of the industrial vehicles into equivalent highway standard axles. This design approach is flawed because the loads and tyre pressures imposed to heavy duty industrial pavements are significantly higher than the ones imposed to highway pavements. The loading regime applied to port pavements affects the pavement more severely and its influence can be as deep 2 metres within the pavement and subgrade support.

Another approach to the pavement design of industrial pavements, particularly in the US, has been the adoption of airport design methods where the loading regime at taxiways and hardstand areas is comparable to the one experience by industrial areas. Some design programs developed in the US provide options for aircraft or ground vehicles and full customisation of the design loads.

This paper will describe the pavement design methodologies most commonly used in Australia for the structural design of concrete pavements for ports and industrial areas. It will provide a comparison between the design outputs, benefits and limitations of each methodology. It will also provide a brief description of the joint layout methodology adopted in recent projects.

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