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Factors Affecting Pavement Design


Pavements are structures which have been constructed professionally by engineers to function as runways, roads, parking areas among other functions. Even though they can be durable for a longer time when properly maintained, there are still some factors which affect its design. The factors are generally categorized into four basic sections; structural models, environmental factors, material characterization as well as the traffic and loading elements.


The environmental factors are one of the crucial elements that affect the pavements' durability. They are known to cause serious damages on the surfaces and if left unattended the pavement will be spoilled in no time. The factors are mainly temperature and precipitation. The temperature in particular affect asphalt pavements more than concrete pavements. The asphalt layers loss stiffness when exposed to high temperatures and become brittle when in low temperatures forming cracks. Generally, temperatures affect the resilient modulus of the outer surface. In the case of rigid pavement, concrete for instance, temperature stresses tend to form. The concrete surface may also curl up due to the difference of temperatures in the top and lower layers. Other than temperature, the precipitation from rain and snow also affect the quantity of water penetrating into the sub grade and general depth of the ground water table. With poor drainage system there would be loss of strength for the pavement


Aside from seal coating machines, traffic is also another important element in pavement design. Traffic mainly focuses on the contact pressure between the tires and the pavement surface, the wheel load, axle configuration, moving loads as well as the repetition of the loads.


Studies have shown that there are higher chances of a pavement to get damaged quickly when vehicles are moving at a very slow speed than a high speed. This might be mainly because with a higher speed, there is less stress on the surface. The frequency of the loads also has a great effect on the pavements since with each passing load causes deformation and with continued repetition creates even a greater damage.For further details regarding asphalt paving, go to


Well, the structural models also have influence on the pavements, there are mainly two types of the models, that is, the visco-elastic models and the layered elastic. The models are simply methods to analyze the pavement response which include the stresses, strains and deflectionsat various locations. This helps in creating a design that corresponds to the needs of pavement in that particular area. It also the material that is used in engineering of the oil based driveway sealers.