An idealized discrete element model for pavement-wheel interaction

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


In order to design a longer-lasting pavement, it is important for pavement designers to understand the mechanism of the vehicular loading. The main objective of this paper is to present an idealized discrete element modeling of pavementwheel interaction for better understanding traffic loading conditions. The idealized model consists of three parts: a smooth surface, a wheel, and a mass. The smooth surface simulates the pavement surface, while the wheel and mass represent a vehicle wheel and its corresponding mass, respectively. The mechanical behaviors at the interaction surface are simulated through an elastic contact model, a slip model, and a viscous contact damping model. Discrete Element simulation was performed through loading the wheel with a vertical force and a torsion moment at its center. As a result, the wheel was rotated and moved forward to simulate a vehicle rolling on the pavement surface. Through analyzing the simulation results, it was found that findings of this research were comparable with theoretical solutions and those of the finite element modeling in a previous study.

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Journal of Marine Science and Technology (Taiwan)