Finite Element Analysis is a numerical technique used to find solutions to physical problems by dividing a complex structure or system into smaller, more manageable parts called finite elements. These elements are interconnected at points called nodes, forming a mesh. The behavior of each element is then analyzed mathematically, and the results are combined to simulate the behavior of the entire structure under specific conditions, such as mechanical stress, heat transfer, or fluid flow. FEA is widely used in engineering and physics to study the behavior of structures and systems under various conditions.


Finite Element Modeling of Pavement and State Awareness Using Fiber Optic Sensing

A variety of efforts have been put into sensing and modeling of pavements. Such capability is commonly validated with experimental data and used as reference for damage detection and other structural changes. Finite element models (FEM) often provides a high fidelity physics-base benchmark to evaluate the pavement integrity. On the monitoring of roads and pavements in general, FEM combining with in-situ data largely extends the awareness of the pavement condition, and enhances the durability and sustainability for the transportation infrastructures. Although many studies were performed in order to simulate static stress and strain in the pavement, FEM also show potential for dynamic analysis, allowing to extract both frequency response and wave propagation at any location, including the behavior of the soil on the surroundings. Fiber optical sensing is adopted in this research, which outperforms the traditional sensing techniques, such as accelerometers or strain gauges, given its nature of providing continuous measurement in a relatively less intrinsic fashion. Moreover, the data is adopted to validate and calibrate the FEM with complex material properties, such as damping and viscoelasticity of the pavement as well as other nonlinear behavior of the surrounded soil. The results demonstrate a successful FEM with good accuracy of the waveform prediction.