Finite elements simulation of reflective cracking in asphaltic overlays

A. Scarpas, A. H. De Bondt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Overlaying is one of the most popular and cost effective techniques of rehabilitation of cracked pavements. The placing of reinforcement between the overly and the top layer of the cracked pavement is currently being utilised as a possible technique for delaying the development of cracks into the overly. In order to assist the road designer with his attempt to determine the factors leading to the development of cracks into the overly and in order to enable him to quantify the contribution of reinforcement in carrying tensile forces across cracks in overlayed pavements, CAPA, a user-friendly, PC based, finite elements system has been developed. A variety of options enable the simulation of discrete cracks in the pavement and their interaction with the surrounding materials. Starting from an initial crack lenght in the pavement, the system can automatically propagate the crack all the way to the surface computing at the same time the revelant fracture mechanics parameters at successive crack tip positions. A user friendly graphical screen input facility, together with a fully fleged mesh generator and extensive pre- and post-processing graphic facilities allow the designer to quickly evaluate the efficiency of various overly techniques. By means of an example of an actual Dutch pavement profile it is shown that adequately bonded reinforcement can reduce the speed of crack propagation into the overlay and hence prolong the economic life of the structure.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Barsoum elements
  • Discrete cracking
  • Interface elements
  • Pavement rehabilitation
  • Pavement reinforcement
  • Reflective cracking


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