The study that Dr. Sachi Kodippily and colleagues conducted examines the factors that affect performance criteria, such as fatigue and permanent deformation of the pavements.
The conventional thinking is that heavy loading is the primary driver that causes pavement damage. The study revealed that climatic factors such as temperature and moisture variations could inflict more damage and deformation on pavements. Thus, climatic factors must be included in pavement designs.
Climate change will cause extreme weather events to occur more frequently. Through this study, researchers aim to have a better understanding of their effects on pavement performance, and how seasonal changes from hot to cold conditions can influence the sudden failure of pavements.
Researchers used the two field pavement sites in Sunshine Coast Australia for the study, which they monitored for over three years. Variations in daily temperature, moisture, and strain values of these two pavements were analysed.
Findings of the study show that extreme climate conditions can inflict more damages and affect pavement performance more than traffic volume. Climate-proofing road pavements are necessary for its optimum performance and to adapt road pavements to the increasing frequency of severe weather event due to climate change.
To read further on how extreme climatic events affect road pavements, check out the study by CLICKING on the link below: