Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Howard, Isaac L.

Committee Member

Berney, Ernest S., IV

Committee Member

Freyne, Seamus F.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Airfield matting systems are used for the expedient construction of temporary airfields and rapid expansion of existing airfields to provide maneuvering support for military aircraft. They protect the subgrade by distributing the load exerted by aircraft over a larger area. Six airfield matting systems of varying materials and designs were evaluated through the construction of full-scale test sections to determine their effectiveness at reducing the accumulation of subgrade deformation and decreasing the pressure experienced by the subgrade. The matting systems were tested on a California Bearing Ratio (CBR) of 6 and subjected to simulated F-15E aircraft traffic while monitoring mat breakage, deformation, and subgrade earth pressure. The systems were compared in terms of the rate of subgrade permanent deformation. Based on test results, a simplified expression was developed to predict subgrade deformation on a CBR of 6 as a function of F 15E aircraft passes and airfield mat properties.