The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II is the Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft variant of the joint strike fighter. The new dual-cycle propulsion system, which permits the STOVL operations, exposes the airfield pavements to extremely critical thermal conditions (temperatures exceeding 930°C and heating rate of about 85°C s−1). This study permitted to analyse the thermomechanical behaviour of an ordinary concrete pad during the F-35B aircraft vertical landing. The numerical analysis provided a detailed picture of the pavement stress state generated by the jet gases, opening the scenario to different planning solutions. The results highlighted how the damage, in the form of thermomechanical spalling, occurred in the top 2–5 mm of the pavement surface. One of the possible design solutions for high-performance vertical landing pads, supporting the F-35B aircraft, could be a two-layered pavement characterised by a thin (2.5 cm) fibre-reinforced Very High-Strength Concrete overlay.
Thermomechanical behaviour of airfield concrete pads supporting joint strike fighter F-35B / Autelitano, Federico; Iacci, Chiara; Giuliani, Felice. - In: ROAD MATERIALS AND PAVEMENT DESIGN. - ISSN 1468-0629. - 18:5(2017), pp. 1027-1048. [10.1080/14680629.2016.1201523]
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