Types of Pavement

There are two types of pavement based on the design criteria.

The pavement is the higher a part of the structure of a road, airport or parking area, it comprises all structural components or layers including the shoulder.

Reduce and distribute traffic loading in order not to harm the subgrade, it gives vehicle access between the 2 factors under all climates.

Provide a safe, smooth and comfortable journey to street users directly and excessive wear and tear.

Different types of pavement:

Flexible Pavement:

Flexible pavements are constructed to maintain intimate contact with intersections and distribute the load to the subgrade and rely on whole interlock, particle friction and cohesion for stability.


The flexible pavement will transfer the wheel load to the underneath layers by grain-to-grain switches by points of contact inside the granular structure.

Flexible Pavement

Types of Flexible Pavement:

Conventional layered flexible pavement:

These pavements are systems coated with high-quality expensive materials, where pressure is extreme and low-quality materials are positioned within the decrease layers.

Full Depth Asphalt Pavement:

Full-depth asphalt pavements are constructed by laying bituminous layers directly on a sub-grade of soil.

This is extra appropriate when there may be excessive traffic and native materials are not obtainable.

Contained rock asphalt mat (CRAM):

They are constructed by putting dense aggregate layers between the 2 asphalt layers.

Modified dense graded asphalt concrete is positioned above the sub layer, which will reduce the vertical compressive pressure on the sub-grade of the soil and protect it from surface water.

Rigid Pavement:

These pavements have a sufficient flexural strength to transfer the wheel load over a large area.

Rigid pavements are positioned both straight on a prepared subgrade and on a layer of granular or steady materials, in comparison with flexible pavements.

Since there is just one layer of material between concrete and sub-grade, this layer may be known as a base or sub-base course.

Due to its relative stiffness, the pavement structure distributes the load over a large area with just one, or at most two, structural layers.

There are different varieties of surfaces; i.e. Reinforced continuously reinforced and so on.

Rigid Pavement

Types of Rigid Pavement:

Rigid pavements are classified as follow:

1. Jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP),
2. Jointed reinforced concrete pavement (JRCP),
3. Continuous reinforced concrete pavement (CROP), and
4. Pre-stressed concrete pavement (PCP).
video credits

Difference between rigid and flexible pavement:

Flexible Pavement

Rigid Pavement

It consists of a series of layers with the highest quality material on or near the pavement surface. It consists of a single layer Portland cement concrete slab or a relatively high flexural strength.
It shows the deformations of the subgrade and successive layers on the surface.It is able to bridge over localized failures and substantial assistance.
Its position depends on aggregate interlock, particle friction and cohesion.Their structural strength is offered by the pavement slab by its beam motion.
The pavement design is greatly influenced by subgrade strength.Flexible strength of concrete is a significant factor for design.
It functions in a manner of load distribution through component layers. It distributes loads over a large space of the subgrade due to its excessive modulus of stiffness and elasticity.
A change in temperature due to changes in atmospheric conditions does not produce pressure in flexible pavements.Temperature modifications induce heavy stresses in rigid pavements.

The flexible pavement has self-healing properties due to the heavy wheel load are recoverable due to some extent.

Any excessive deformation caused by heavy wheel load is not fixed, i.e. the settlements are permanent.

Factors responsible for types of pavement:

The following factors are responsible for the pavement design:

  • Climate: Precipitation, Temperature, Frost action.
  • Environment: embankment, foundation cutting.
  • Pavement materials: They have to resist climatic conditions, durability and maintenance.
  • Subgrade soil: determines the thickness of the pavement.
  • Traffic: Repetition, Speed, Wheel load, Contact Pressure, Traffic Volume, Number of vehicles/day.

Also, read Cantilever beam

Types of Pavement FAQ:

Where is flexible pavement used?

Despite a large number of seminars and conferences, 98% of the roads in India still have flexible pavements.

How many layers are in flexible pavement?

3 layers.

Where is rigid pavement used?

They used the ground where some movement is expected.

How many layers are in rigit pavement?

5 Layers


There are basically two types of pavement rigid and flexible.

Rigid is basically a surface or concrete running along a layer of asphalt,

Flexible asphalt or bitumen are macadam (bitmac).

Sometimes when lean concrete is used in an asphalt or bitmac base a semi-rigid pavement can make the concrete extra strong.


Now I’d like to hear from you, which section was new to you or maybe I missed something. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Leave a Comment