Three-dimensional finite element model for analysis of concrete pavement support

Chen-Ming Kuo, Kathleen T. Hall, Michael I. Darter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


A three-dimensional (3-D) finite element model for concrete pavements called 3DPAVE was developed to analyze the many complex and interacting factors that influence the support provided to a concrete pavement, including foundation support (subgrade k value); base thickness, stiffness, and interface bond and friction; slab curling and warping due to temperature and moisture gradients; dowel and aggregate interlock load transfer action at joints; and improved support with a widened lane, widened base, or tied concrete shoulder. The ABAQUS general-purpose finite element software was used to develop a powerful and versatile 3-D model for analysis of concrete pavements. The 3DPAVE model easily overcomes many of the inherent limitations of two-dimensional (2-D) finite element models that reduce the accuracy of the results obtained from 2-D models. The 3-D model was validated by comparison with deflections and strains measured under traffic loadings and temperature variations at the AASHO Road Test, the Arlington Road Test, and the Portland Cement Association's slab experiments. In every comparison with measured field data, 3DPAVE's calculated responses were found to be in good agreement with the measured responses and significantly closer to the measured responses than those calculated by 2-D programs. The development and validation of the 3DPAVE model are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1505
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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