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System Reliability Analysis of Flexible Pavements

Dilip, Deepthi Mary and Ravi, Praveen and Babu, Sivakumar GL (2013) System Reliability Analysis of Flexible Pavements. In: JOURNAL OF TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING, 139 (10). pp. 1001-1009.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)TE.1943-5436.00005...


The uncertainty in material properties and traffic characterization in the design of flexible pavements has led to significant efforts in recent years to incorporate reliability methods and probabilistic design procedures for the design, rehabilitation, and maintenance of pavements. In the mechanistic-empirical (ME) design of pavements, despite the fact that there are multiple failure modes, the design criteria applied in the majority of analytical pavement design methods guard only against fatigue cracking and subgrade rutting, which are usually considered as independent failure events. This study carries out the reliability analysis for a flexible pavement section for these failure criteria based on the first-order reliability method (FORM) and the second-order reliability method (SORM) techniques and the crude Monte Carlo simulation. Through a sensitivity analysis, the most critical parameter affecting the design reliability for both fatigue and rutting failure criteria was identified as the surface layer thickness. However, reliability analysis in pavement design is most useful if it can be efficiently and accurately applied to components of pavement design and the combination of these components in an overall system analysis. The study shows that for the pavement section considered, there is a high degree of dependence between the two failure modes, and demonstrates that the probability of simultaneous occurrence of failures can be almost as high as the probability of component failures. Thus, the need to consider the system reliability in the pavement analysis is highlighted, and the study indicates that the improvement of pavement performance should be tackled in the light of reducing this undesirable event of simultaneous failure and not merely the consideration of the more critical failure mode. Furthermore, this probability of simultaneous occurrence of failures is seen to increase considerably with small increments in the mean traffic loads, which also results in wider system reliability bounds. The study also advocates the use of narrow bounds to the probability of failure, which provides a better estimate of the probability of failure, as validated from the results obtained from Monte Carlo simulation (MCS).

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to ASC
Keywords: Flexible pavements; System reliability; Probability; Failures; System reliability; Mechanistic-empirical; First-order reliability method (FORM); Probabilistic design; Joint probability of failure; Model uncertainty
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2013 06:29
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2013 06:29
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/47615

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