Effect of moisture content on pavement behaviour in a heavy vehicle simulator test

Thorbjorg Saevarsdottir*, Sigurdur Erlingsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A flexible test road structure was built and tested in an accelerated pavement test using a heavy vehicle simulator to investigate its performance behaviour for a validation in a mechanistic performance scheme. In the test, more than one million load cycles were applied, but approximately halfway through the test, water was introduced to the pavement structure. The structure was, therefore, analysed in a "moist" and "wet" state, before and after raising the water level. The raised water level increased the moisture content of the unbound materials and had a significant effect on the responses of the structure with decreased resilient modulus and increased rate of accumulation of permanent deformation. Numerical analyses have been carried out to simulate the pavement responses, with the material properties based on field and laboratory testing. The observed accumulation of permanent deformation of the unbound layers was modelled using work hardening material models based on numerical analyses. Generally good agreement was established between the measurements and calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-286
Number of pages13
JournalRoad Materials and Pavement Design
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work described in this paper was sponsored by the Icelandic Road Administration (ICERA), The University of Iceland Research Fund and Ludvig’s Storr Culture and Development Fund. Data was used from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), the testing was performed in collaboration with The Swedish Transport Administration (TRV).

Other keywords

  • accelerated pavement testing
  • pavement deformation
  • pavement response
  • unbound granular materials
  • water content
  • water impact


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