Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report # MATC-UNL: 321 Final Report 25-1121-0001-321


Copyright 2011 Mid-America Transportation Center


In this study, Schapery’s nonlinear viscoelastic constitutive model is implemented into the commercial finite element (FE) software ABAQUS via user defined subroutine (user material, or UMAT) to analyze asphalt pavement subjected to heavy truck loads. Then, extensive creep-recovery tests are conducted at various stress levels and at two temperatures (30oC and 40oC) to obtain the stress- and temperature-dependent viscoelastic material properties of hot mix asphalt (HMA) mixtures. With the viscoelastic material properties characterized and the UMAT code, a typical pavement structure subjected to repeated heavy truck loads is modeled with the consideration of the effect of material nonlinearity with a realistic tire loading configuration. Three-dimensional finite element simulations of the pavement structure present significant differences between the linear viscoelastic approach and the nonlinear viscoelastic modeling in the prediction of pavement performance with respect to rutting and fatigue cracking. The differences between the two approaches are considered significant and should be addressed in the process of performance-based pavement design. This also implies the importance of proper and more realistic characterization of pavement materials.