Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2015, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (5): 587-593.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00587

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Determination of allowable subgrade frost heave with the pavement roughness index in numerical analysis

HongYan Ma, Feng Zhang, DeCheng Feng, Bo Lin   

  1. School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150090, China
  • Received:2015-02-11 Revised:2015-04-25 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: Ph.D., DeCheng Feng, Professor of School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150090, China. Tel: +86-451-86282120; E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The research was supported by the National Key Basic Research Development Plan (No. 2012CB026104), the National Science and Technology Support Project (No. 2014BAG05B07), the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province (No. ZD201218), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51408163).

Abstract: Frost heave is an upward swelling of soil during cryogenic conditions in cold regions. It is caused by the accumulation of ice crystals in subgrade soil, which grow upwards when freezing temperatures penetrate into the subgrade. This study establishes the allowable soil subgrade frost heave based on the roughness standard of asphalt pavement in China, and aims to balance the pavement design and frost heave resistance of subgrades in cold regions. We formulated a mechanical model of pavement supported by the boundary conditions of differential frost heave, based on the elastic layered system theory. The differential soil subgrade frost heave was modeled as a sinusoidal function, and the allowable frost heave and the roughness index were modeled as the displacement boundaries for the top and bottom of the pavement structure. Then the allowable frost heave was back-calculated according to the roughness standard. Numerical results show that the allowable frost heave depends on the pavement structure, material properties, the highway grade, and other factors. In order to ensure that the actual soil subgrade frost heave is lower than the allowable frost heave, pavement structures and materials need to be selected and designed carefully. The numerical method proposed here can be applied to establish the frost heave resistance of subgrade when the pavement structure and materials are determined.

Key words: differential frost heave, asphalt pavement, elastic layered system theory, roughness index, allowable frost heave

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