SAPAVE: an improved semi-analytical FE program for dynamic viscoelastic analysis of asphalt pavement

Kairen Shen, Hao Wang, Hanyu Zhang, Jusheng Tong, Xianhua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Analyzing dynamic viscoelastic responses induced by moving loads is a significant issue for pavement design and performance evaluation. Developing three-dimensional FE models in commercial software is an effective method, but the time-consuming disadvantage prevents it from extensive engineering applications. In this paper, an improved semi-analytical FE model was proposed to overcome this drawback. Besides, modified artificial boundaries were applied to minimise the interference of reflected waves generated by model edges. Further, a program named SAPAVE has been developed in MATLAB to achieve the modeling procedure, of which accuracy and efficiency were verified by comparing with the three-dimensional FE model in ABAQUS. The computing cost of SAPAVE was only one-sixth of ABAQUS, while SAPAVE can roughly achieve the function of ABAQUS for simple pavement modeling. The response considering the asphalt layer as viscoelastic was quite different from the linear elastic in the comparative study. The viscoelastic analysis seems to be closer to the field situation. Besides, the impact of vehicle speed was studied to examine the application ability of SAPAVE, and the results were generally consistent with existing researches. Overall, this study indicates that SAPAVE is an efficient and accurate tool for mechanical analysis of asphalt pavement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3024-3035
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


  • Asphalt pavement
  • MATLAB programming
  • dynamic response
  • semi-Analytical finite element method
  • viscoelastic mechanics


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