Difference Between Flexible and Rigid Pavements

Design Principle
Empirical method

based on load distribution characteristics of the components

Designed and analyzed by using the elastic theory
Granular material Made of cement concrete either plain, reinforced or prestressed concrete
Flexural strength
Low or negligible flexible strength Associated with rigidity or flexural strength or slab action so the load is distributed over a wide area of subgrade soil
Normal Loading
Elastic deformation Acts as beam or cantilever
Excessive Loading
Local depression Cause cracks
Transmits vertical and compressive stresses to the lower layers Tensile stress and temperature increases
Design Practice
Constructed in number of layers Laid in slabs with steel reinforcement
No stress is produced Stress is produced
Force of Friction
Less. Deformation in the sub grade is not transferred to the upper layers. Friction force is high
Opening to Traffic
Road can be used for traffic within 24 hours Road cannot be used until 14 days of curing
Rolling of the surfacing is needed Rolling of the surfacing is not needed.


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