An improved backcalculation method to predict flexible pavement layers moduli and bonding condition between wearing course and base course
The aim of this research project is to develop an improved backcalculation procedure, for the determination of flexible pavement properties from the Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) test results. The conventional backcalculation methods estimate the pavement layer moduli assuming full adhesion exists between layers in the analysis process. The method developed in this research can predict the interface condition between the wearing and the base courses in addition to the layer moduli, which can be considered an improvement to the existing procedures. A two stage database procedure has been used to predict the above parameters and to facilitate the determination of the deflection insensitive parameters. The need for this improvement arises from the large number of debonding failures which have been reported in the literature between the wearing and base courses, and the theoretical studies which identified the significance of including the interface bonding condition in the analysis process. The validation of the improved method has been carried out firstly by comparing the backcalculated results for ninety theoretical pavements with their hypothetical values, and secondly by comparing the improved procedure results with other well known programs such as WESDEF and MODULUS. Full scale pavement testing using the FWD has been performed and the backcalculated results compared with measured values for the pavement materials. Indirect tensile tests for resilient modulus of bituminous materials were carried out on cores extracted for the pavements, whereas Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) tests were conducted for the unbound materials. The Backcalculated and the physically measured results correlated well, validating the improved procedure.