Shakedown analysis for design of flexible pavements under moving loads

Juan Wang, Hai Sui Yu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a numerical method based on shakedown theory has been developed to calculate shakedown load limits of flexible pavements under moving surface loads. The shakedown results can serve as a design basis for flexible road pavements for the prevention of excessive plastic deformation. This numerical method utilises elastic stress fields obtained from finite element analyses and calculates optimum shakedown multiplier for each pavement layer by means of a self-equilibrated critical residual stress field. Finally, the shakedown load limit of a flexible pavement is found as the minimum shakedown multiplier among all layers. The results of numerical analyses examine the effect of surface frictional coefficient, material properties and layer thicknesses on the shakedown load limits, and meanwhile provide an insight into the differences between two-dimensional and three-dimensional pavement models. A simple design procedure using the shakedown method is also developed for layered, flexible road pavements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-722
Number of pages20
JournalRoad Materials and Pavement Design
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • flexible pavements
  • moving loads
  • plastic deformation
  • shakedown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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