Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Howard, Isaac L.

Committee Member

Anderton, Gary L.

Committee Member

Gullett, Philip M.

Committee Member

Woodson, Stanley

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


The AM2 aluminum airfield matting system is currently deployed by the United States military for the creation of temporary, rapidly constructed airfields. The ability to predict the number of allowable aircraft passes across an AM2 installation is challenging because of the complex design of the joining system and the fatigue behavior of critical stress elements in the joints. Prior to the writing of this dissertation, the prevailing methods used to predict the performance of AM2 were based on the CBR design procedure for flexible pavements using a small number of full-scale test sections over CBRs ranging from 4 to 10% and simulated aircraft that are no longer in service. The primary objectives of this dissertation are to present the results from nine full-scale experiments conducted on sections of AM2 matting installed on unstabilized soil and gravel subgrades with CBRs of 6, 10, 15, 25, and 100%, and to provide improved relationships that can be used to predict subgrade deformation underneath an AM2 mat installation and the associated fatigue damage when subjected to F-15E and C-17 traffic. Additionally, a laboratory fixture and procedure is described that can be used to evaluate an AM2 style joint in fatigue and directly relate its performance to in-situ field CBR conditions without requiring the expense of full-scale testing. These relationships are suitable to be implemented into design and evaluation frameworks currently used for airfield pavements and matting systems. The main body of this dissertation is a compilation of three complementary articles that describe different components of the main objectives and results from the full-scale experiments on AM2 mat surfaced airfields. The subgrade deformation relationships developed for the F-15E aircraft are presented in Chapter 2, the fatigue damage relationships and the development of the laboratory procedure for the F-15E aircraft are presented in Chapter 3, and the subgrade deformation relationships, fatigue relationships, and laboratory experiments for the C-17 are included in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 presents conclusions and recommendations.



temporary surface||AM2||landing mat||airfield mat