Finite Element Modeling of Stresses Inside a Raised Pavement Marker During Tire-Marker Impacts

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - impacts, mode - rail


Wheel rail interaction, Wear resistance, Tire pavement interface, Stresses, Stress (Mechanics), Simulation, Rolling contact, Raised retroreflective road markers, LS-DYNA (Computer program), Laboratory tests, Finite element method, Finite element analysis, Durability, Computer simulation, Angle of impact


Retroreflective raised pavement markers (RRPMs) supplement other pavement markings to provide guidance to road users. The poor durability of many RRPMs in the field indicates a need to develop improved laboratory testing procedures. This requires identifying critical locations and magnitudes of stresses inside the markers during the tire–marker impacts that happen on roads. The goal of this research was to investigate stresses inside an RRPM model under tire–marker impact and to analyze the effect of external factors. Tire–marker impacts were modeled and simulated through the use of the finite element tools Hypermesh and LS-DYNA. The simulated critical locations and estimates of magnitudes of stresses inside the markers were identified. According to the simulations, the critical stresses lie on the top edges of the marker, perpendicular to the traffic direction. It was found that the stresses increase inside the markers as the tire load is increased. In addition, relatively high stresses were seen as the location of the impact moves away from the center of the marker. The angle of impact was found to affect the tensile stresses inside the markers, with higher angles causing greater tensile stresses. On the basis of the simulations, no consistent effect of the tire speed was found on the stresses inside the markers. These findings point toward requirements for improved testing standards. It is believed that a laboratory procedure that can replicate these internal stresses should result in a test with the ability to predict actual field performance more accurately.