CE  441 -  Pavement  Design





1997-99 Catalog Data : CE 441: Pavement Design.  Credit 3.  Pavement types and loading, behavior of pavements under dynamic loads, stresses in flexible and rigid pavements, pavement components, pavement design factors, flexible highway and airport pavement design, rigid highway and airport pavement design; overlay design and computer applications.  Prerequisites: CE 303.


Textbook:   Yoder, E.J. and Witczack, M.W., Principles of Pavement Design, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1975.


Reference:   Ministry of Communications, Highway Construction Standards, 1987, Federal Aviation Administration Airport Design Manual.


Coordinator:        Hamad I. Al-Abdul Wahhab, Professor of  C.E.


Goals:         To introduce senior students to the general aspects of pavement structural design, flexible or rigid.  Construction and maintenance techniques.


Prerequisites by Topic:

1.       Asphalt (bitumen) properties and testing.

2.       Aggregate and soils properties and testing.

3.       Asphalt mix design (Marshall or Hveem method).



1.       Introduction: types of pavements, general features of pavement cross-sections and facilities, composition of flexible and rigid highway, and airport pavements (2 classes)

2.       Design Factors: Decision criteria, design process and strategy, wheel-load configurations and tire imprints for flexible and rigid pavements (3 classes)

3.       Stresses in Flexible Pavements: One-and two-layer theory. Analytical solutions.  Deflections: Surface and interface, Charts of stress, and deflection calculations.  Three-layer theory, multi-layer elastic analysis.  Stress and strain charts. Numerical solutions and computer programs available (CHEVRON, BISAR and ELSYM5) (5 classes)

4.       Stresses in Rigid Pavements: Theory of beam on elastic foundation, subgrade reaction modulus, equations for stresses at corner, interior and edge of rigid slab subjected to wheel loads.  Influence charts for moment and deflection calculations. Stress charts.  Effect of subgrade modulus and slab thickness on stress and deflection under wheel load (5 classes)

5.       Non-load-associated stresses: thermal stresses in flexible and rigid pavements, and stresses due to friction of subgrade with rigid slab (4 classes)

6.       Traffic Loads Analysis: single, twin and tandom wheel loads; Equivalent Axle Load (EAL) concept; AASHO factors for flexible and rigid pavements, and calculation of EAL for a pavement life, etc. (4 classes)

7.       Design of Flexible Highway Pavements: Selection of layer moduli, design methods: AASHO, AI, CBR, Multi-layer system and the crushed stone association method (5 classes)

8.       Design of Flexible Airport Pavements: Aircraft-load-equivalency systems, design methods, and comparison of design with that of highway pavement (4 classes)

9.       Design of Rigid Highway Pavement: Design considerations, PCC pavements, CRC pavements, design of steel reinforcement for temperature, and expansion joints.  Design methods: PCA, and Corps of Engineers' methods (5 classes)

10.     Design of Rigid Airport Pavements: Design consideration, aprons, taxiways, and runways.  Design methods: PCA, FAA, and Corps of Engineers' methods. (4 classes)

11.     Pavement Distress (Flexible Pavements): Types, causes, and diagnosis.  Methods of repair (Rigid Pavements): Types, causes, and diagnosis. (2 classes)


12.     Introduction to Pavement Management Systems: Maintenance Management Systems and Overlay design procedures (2 classes)


Computer Usage:   Softwares such as ELSYMS, AASHTO DNPS86, DARWIN, Bossinisque and FAA are used to demonstrate different methods of calculating stresses in multilayered systems and design of flexible and rigid highway and airport pavements.


Laboratory Projects:       None.


Estimated Content:

                   Engineering science:        40% (1.2 credit hours)

                   Engineering design:          60% (1.8 credit hours)


Prepared by:  Professor Hamad I. Al-Abdul Wahhab