Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Influence of the thermophysical properties of pavement materials on the evolution of temperature depth profiles in different climatic regions

Hall, Matthew R.; Dehdezi, Pejman Keikhaei; Dawson, Andrew R.; Grenfell, James; Isola, Riccardo

Influence of the thermophysical properties of pavement materials on the evolution of temperature depth profiles in different climatic regions Thumbnail


Matthew R. Hall

Pejman Keikhaei Dehdezi

Andrew R. Dawson

James Grenfell

Riccardo Isola


The paper summarizes the relative influence of different pavement thermo-physical properties on the thermal response of pavement cross-sections, and how their relative behaviour changes in different climatic regions. A simplified one-dimensional heat flow modelling tool was developed to achieve this using a finite difference solution method for studying the dynamic temperature profile within pavement constructions. This approach allows for a wide variety and daily varying climatic conditions to be applied, where limited or historic thermo-physical material properties are available, and permits the thermal behaviour of the pavement layers to be accurately modelled and modified. The model was used with available thermal pavement materials properties and with properties determined specifically for the study reported here. The pavement materials included in the study comprised both conventional bituminous and cementicious mixes as well as unconventional mixtures that allowed a wide range of densities, thermal conductivities, specific heat capacities and thermal diffusivities to be investigated. Initially, the model was validated against in-situ pavement data collected in the USA in five widely differing climatic regions. It was found to give results at least as good as others available from more computationally expensive approaches such as 2D and 3D FE commercial packages. Then the model was used to compute the response for the same locations had the thermal properties been changed by using some of the unconventional pavement materials been used. This revealed that reduction of temperature range by several degrees was easily possible (with implications for reduction of rutting, fatigue and the Urban Heat Island effect) and that depth of penetration of peak temperatures was also achievable (with implications for winter freeze-thaw). However, the results showed that there was little opportunity to displace the peak temperatures in time.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 28, 2011
Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2011
Publication Date Jan 31, 2012
Deposit Date Apr 26, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 26, 2017
Journal Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Print ISSN 0899-1561
Electronic ISSN 1943-5533
Publisher American Society of Civil Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 1
Keywords Pavements; Heat transfer; Thermal diffusion; Temperature distribution; Numerical models
Public URL
Publisher URL


Downloadable Citations