This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Analysis and Optimization of Multilayered Airfield Pavement Resilience




Whitmore, David

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



The overall objective of this research was to optimize the individual layers of a multilayered airfield pavement to make the pavement more resilient to blast and impact loadings when compared to a baseline rigid pavement. To improve resilience, the aim was to mitigate damage to the Portland cement concrete (PCC) layer that served as the main structural component of the pavement. Furthermore, decreasing the PCC damage would reduce the resources required to repair the pavement structure to a functioning level of serviceability, which in turn would increase the resilience of the airfield system to specific threats. To accomplish the objective, numerical parametric analyses were performed through the utilization of the commercial finite element analysis (FEA) program LS-DYNA. While some preliminary trials used one-dimensional (1D) bar elements, the majority of models were composed of two-dimensional (2D) axisymmetric elements. The 2D analysis simulated a multilayered pavement subjected to moderate and extreme blast and impact loadings. For each of the four parts of the 2D analysis, the baseline model was composed of PCC on a soil subgrade. Additionally, the 2D analysis considered asphalt concrete (AC) and granular base layers. Of the layering schemes tested in the 2D study, the most effective top-to-bottom layering proved to be AC, PCC, granular base, and soil, with the greatest percentage of damage mitigation realized from optimizing the PCC and soil layers. Simultaneously optimizing all layers decreased the extreme blast baseline PCC damage volume of 11.03 m3 by 75% to a value of 2.76 m3.