Linearity between pavement thermophysical properties and surface temperatures

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Temperature of in-service pavements can be regulated by varying the thermophysical properties of the pavements. Although empirical correlation between the thermophysical properties and pavement temperature has been documented, the theoretical basis of this correlation has not been answered completely. This study theoretically models the maxima, minima, and amplitudes of pavement surface temperature, considering the influence of thermal conductivity, heat capacity, density, surface emissivity, and albedo of the pavement on its surface temperature fluctuation. The theoretical model is validated against the simulated pavement surface temperature, which is predicted by a one-dimensional heat transfer model. Results show that the pavement surface temperature fluctuation correlates linearly with the reciprocal of the square root of the thermal conductivity, heat capacity, and density. Increasing one, both, or all of these factors decreases the maximum surface temperature, but raises the minimum surface temperature. In comparison, the maxima and minima of the surface temperature decrease linearly with the emissivity and the surface albedo. Increasing the surface albedo is the most effective way to decrease the pavement surface temperature, whereas the emissivity plays a secondary role in this capacity.

Publisher's Statement

©2019 American Society of Civil Engineers. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0002890

Publication Title

Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering