Sensitivity analysis of rigid pavement systems using the mechanistic-empirical design guide software
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Initiatives are underway to implement the new mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG) in Iowa. This paper focuses on the sensitivity study of jointed plain concrete pavements (JPCP) and continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP) in Iowa using the MEPDG software. In this comprehensive study, the effect of MEPDG input parameters on the rigid pavement performance is evaluated using the different versions of the MEPDG software (0.7, 0.9, and 1.0) available to date. Representative JPCP and CRCP sections in Iowa were selected for analysis. Based on the sensitivity plots obtained from the MEPDG runs, the design input parameters were categorized as being most sensitive, moderately sensitive, or least sensitive in terms of their relative effect on distresses. In this study, the curl/warp effective temperature difference, the PCC coefficient of thermal expansion, and PCC thermal conductivity had the greatest impact on the JPCP and CRCP distresses. Compared to the original version of MEPDG software (Version 0.7), the updated versions (Versions 0.9 and 1.0) are more sensitive to inputs, which shows the evolution of engineering reasonableness.
This is a manuscript of an article from Journal of Transportation Engineering 135 (2009): 555, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)TE.1943-5436.0000036. Posted with permission.