DOI: 10.3390/su16062362 ISSN: 2071-1050

Assessment of Factors Affecting Pavement Rutting in Pakistan Using Finite Element Method and Machine Learning Models

Xiao Hu, Azher Ishaq, Afaq Khattak, Feng Chen
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

This study researches environmental factors, vehicle dynamics, and loading conditions on pavement structures, aiming to comprehend and predict their impact. The susceptibility of asphalt pavement to temperature variations, vehicle speed, and loading cycles is explored, with a particular focus on the lateral distribution of wheel tracks in driving and passing lanes. Utilizing video analysis and finite element modelling (FEM) through ABAQUS 2022 software, multiple input factors, such as speed (60, 80 and 100 km/h), loading cycles (100,000 to 500,000), and temperature range (0 °C to 50 °C), are applied to observe the maximum rutting (17.89 mm to 24.7 mm). It is observed that the rut depth exhibited is directly proportional to the loading cycles and temperature, but the opposite is true in the case of vehicle speed. Moreover, interpretable machine learning models, particularly the Bayesian-optimized light gradient boosting machine (LGBM) model, demonstrate superior predictive performance in rut depth. Insights from SHAP interpretation highlight the significant roles of temperature and loading frequency in pavement deformation. This study concludes with a comprehensive understanding of how these factors impact road structures in Pakistan. Its implications extend to valuable insights for optimizing road design, offering a significant contribution to enhancing the durability and sustainability of road infrastructure in the region.

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