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California Bearing Ratio

California Bearing Ratio

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Published by Abhishek Sharma
Effect of sand on the CBR behaviour of fine grained soils
Effect of sand on the CBR behaviour of fine grained soils

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Published by: Abhishek Sharma on Dec 02, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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3.1 General
The flexible pavements are built with a number of layers. In the design process, itis to be ensured that under the application of load none of the layers isoverstressed. This means that at any instance no section of the pavementstructure is subjected to excessive deformation to form a localized depression or settlement.In the design of flexible pavements, it has yet not been possible to have arational design method wherein design process and the service behaviour of thepavement can be expressed or predicted theoretically by mathematical laws.One of the methods of pavement design is the California bearing ratio method,which is an empirical method.
3.2 California Bearing Ratio
In 1928 California division of highways in USA developed CBR method for thepavement design. The majority of curves developed later are based on theoriginal curves developed by O.J.Porter. At the beginning of the Second WorldWar the corps engineer of USA made a survey of the existing method of pavement design and adopted CBR method for designing military airportpavements. One of the chief advantages of CBR method is simplicity of testprocedure. Most of the road pavements are designed in CBR method dependson the CBR value of subgrade soil determined by conducting CBR test in thelaboratory on the subgrade soil, disturbed or remoulded depending whether anexisting subgrade is utilized for the pavement without improvement or a new
9subgrade is to be constructed with proper control over it’s properties, especiallycompaction characteristics.During investigation it found that that the failure of flexile pavement wasessentially caused due to the following reasons:1. Lateral displacement of the subgrade material as a result of subgradeabsorbing water.2. Differential settlement of the material underneath the pavement.3. Excessive deflection of the material under the pavement.Based on these conclusions, the CBR test, which is an ad hock penetration test,was devised in order to predict the behavior of the pavement material includingthe subgrade. CBR value is defined as the ratio of load required to cause aspecified penetration say 2.5mm or 5mm of a standard plunger into the sample tothe load required to produce the same penetration of same plunger into standardstone aggregate sample, expressed as a percentage. CBR value varies from 0 to100%. More CBR indicates a stronger soil. If density is less, CBR is less. TheCBR is expressed as percentage of penetration resistance of a given pavementmaterial to that of a standard value of penetration resistance obtained for acrusher stone aggregate available in California.
3.3 Design of Pavement Using the CBR Method
In order to design a pavement in CBR method, first the soaked CBR value of soilsub-grade is evaluated. Then appropriate design curve is chosen by takingdesign wheel load or by taking anticipated traffic into consideration. Thus thetotal thickness of flexible pavement to cover the subgrade of known CBR value isobtained. Incase there is a material superior than the soil sub-grade such that itmay be used as sub-base course, then the thickness of construction over thismaterial could be obtained from design chart knowing the CBR value of the sub-base. Thickness of the sub-base course is the total thickness minus thethickness over the sub-base.
IRC Recommendations
Some of the important points recommended by IRC for the CBR method of design (IRC: 37-1970) are given below:1.The CBR test should be performed on remoulded soils in laboratory. In-situ tests are recommended for design purposes. The specimen should be2.Prepared by static compaction whenever possible otherwise by dynamiccompaction.3.For the design of new roads the sub-grade soil sample should becompacted at OMC to proctor density whenever suitable compactionequipment is available to achieve this density in the field, otherwise thesoil is compacted to the dry density expected to be achieved in the field.4.In new constructions the CBR test samples may be soaked in water fofour days period before testing. However in areas with arid climate or when the annual rainfall is less than 50cm and the water table is to affectthe subgrade adversely and when thick impermeable bituminous surfacingis provided, it is not necessary to soak the soil sample before carrying outthe CBR test.5.At least three samples should be tested on each soil sample at samedensity and moisture content. If the maximum variation in the CBR valuesof three samples exceeds the specified limits, the design CBR should bethe average of at least six samples.6.The top 50cm of sub-grade should be compacted at least up to 95 to100% of proctor density.7.An estimate of road traffic to be carried out by the road pavements at theend of expected life should be made keeping in view the existing trafficand growth rate of traffic. Pavements of major roads should be designedfor a period of ten years.

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