Structural Compatibility of Infrastructures Utilizing Alternative Earth Construction Materials

Pauli Kolisoja, Antti Kalliainen

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This paper presents analysis of the structural behavior of road pavements in which alternative construction materials are replacing the traditional ones in some of the structural layers. The analysis is consider important since from the structural performance point of view many of the alternative materials have mechanical properties far different from those of the traditional road construction materials, especially unbound aggregates, and as a consequence of that, the empirically calibrated design rules applied and adjusted for the normally utilized pavements solutions are not valid any more. The analysis is exemplified by means of four different low volume road pavement structures that are in line with the existing design guidelines in Finland. The mechanical behavior of these structures is analyzed using three different approaches: semi-empirical Oedemark design approach, multi-layer linear elastic analysis and finite element analysis. The obtained calculation results indicate clearly that if a low volume road structure containing a high stiffness layer made e.g. of stabilized fly ash is resting on soft subgrade soil, tensile stresses up to 1 MPa may be developed. Therefore, the performance and respective distress mechanisms of the structure are likely to be very different from those of a traditional solution. As a key conclusion from the analysis, need for a new concept, structural compatibility, was identified. It would help in drawing due attention to the mechanical behavior of alternative materials when they are used in replacing the traditional ones in road structures exposed to repeated heavy traffic loads. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7117–7125
Number of pages9
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Alternative material
  • Mechanical behavior
  • Road pavement
  • Structural compatibility

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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