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Finite element analysis of fire-damaged flexible pavement deterioration

Rudi van Staden (Structural Mechanics and Sustainable Materials Research Group, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Sam Fragomeni (Structural Mechanics and Sustainable Materials Research Group, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering

ISSN: 2040-2317

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to use the finite element method to examine critical distress modes in the pavement layers due to changes in the structural properties brought upon by fire damage.

Design/methodology/approach

A full dynamic analysis is performed to replicate heavy vehicle axle wheel loads travelling over a pavement section.

Findings

Results show a 72 per cent decrease in the number of load repetitions which a fire-damaged pavement can experience before fatigue cracking of the asphalt. Further, there is a 51 per cent decrease in loading cycles of the subgrade before rutting of the fire-damaged system.

Originality/value

Fatigue of asphalt and deformation of subgrade from repeated vehicular loading are the most common failure mechanisms, and major attributors to pavement maintenance and rehabilitation costs. Pavement analysis has always been concentrated on evaluating deterioration under regularly occurring operational conditions. However, the impact of one-off events, such as vehicle petroleum fires, has not been evaluated for the effects on deterioration.

Keywords

Citation

van Staden, R. and Fragomeni, S. (2017), "Finite element analysis of fire-damaged flexible pavement deterioration", Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 106-116. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSFE-03-2017-0024

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited