Development and its application of shakedown theory for road pavements

Juan Wang, Hai Sui Yu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last three decades, there has been a positive evolution in philosophy and practice from a wholly empirical approach to pavement design towards the use of a theoretical framework for design. However, this theoretical framework is mainly based on elasticity theory of soil and granular material behavior. A major limitation of this elastic analytical approach is that strength properties of pavement materials are not taken into account. Based on elastoplastic theory, shakedown analysis is able to provide maximum capacity of structures under cyclic loads; therefore it can be used as a theoretical basis for pavement design. This paper illustrates the shakedown theory and two classical shakedown theorems. Literature reviews summarize the origination and development of pavement shakedown studies, supported by experimental results. Residual stress distributions in pavements and two pavement shakedown solutions are discussed in detail and compared with limit analysis. A pavement design procedure using a lower bound shakedown solution is also presented; finally, the tendency of the pavement shakedown theory is predicted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1262+1268
JournalYantu Lixue/Rock and Soil Mechanics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Flexible pavement
  • Mohr-Coulomb criterion
  • Shakedown analysis
  • Traffic loads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science


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