Impact of Farm Equipment Loading on Rigid Pavement Performance Using Finite Element Analysis
The increase in agricultural product sales in recent years has led to the use of larger hauling and application equipment to transfer farm productions. This rapid shift in equipment size has raised a concern about their potential to cause significant damage in pavements and bridges. The study reported in this paper (part of a larger pooled fund study initiated in 2007) discusses the impact of farm equipment loading on rigid pavement performance based on Finite Element (FE) analysis. The study considered various types of farm equipment to determine the pavement responses and to quantify their damage on rigid pavement systems. The ISLAB2005 FE pavement response model was employed for numerical modeling and analysis of the test sections subjected to farm equipment loading. The results of FE analysis demonstrated that the rigid pavement damage caused by farm vehicles is governed by their axle weight rather than the gross vehicle weight. The FE analysis also showed that the damage resulting from farm equipment loading coupled with PCC slab curling could have a devastating effect on concrete pavement performance.
This paper is from 10th International Conference on Concrete Pavements, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, July 8-12. p.546-560. Posted with permission.