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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
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07/06/2013

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CALIFORNIA BEARING RATIO

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CALIFORNIA BEARING RATIO
3.1 General The flexible pavements are built with a number of layers. In the design process, it is to be ensured that under the application of load none of the layers is overstressed. This means that at any instance no section of the pavement structure 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 a rational design method wherein design process and the service behaviour of the pavement 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 the pavement design. The majority of curves developed later are based on the original curves developed by O.J.Porter. At the beginning of the Second World War the corps engineer of USA made a survey of the existing method of pavement design and adopted CBR method for designing military airport pavements. One of the chief advantages of CBR method is simplicity of test procedure. Most of the road pavements are designed in CBR method depends on the CBR value of subgrade soil determined by conducting CBR test in the laboratory on the subgrade soil, disturbed or remoulded depending whether an existing subgrade is utilized for the pavement without improvement or a new
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

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subgrade is to be constructed with proper control over it’s properties, especially compaction characteristics. During investigation it found that that the failure of flexile pavement was essentially caused due to the following reasons: 1. Lateral displacement of the subgrade material as a result of subgrade absorbing 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 including the subgrade. CBR value is defined as the ratio of load required to cause a specified penetration say 2.5mm or 5mm of a standard plunger into the sample to the load required to produce the same penetration of same plunger into standard stone aggregate sample, expressed as a percentage. CBR value varies from 0 to 100%. More CBR indicates a stronger soil. If density is less, CBR is less. The CBR is expressed as percentage of penetration resistance of a given pavement material to that of a standard value of penetration resistance obtained for a crusher 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 soil sub-grade is evaluated. Then appropriate design curve is chosen by taking design wheel load or by taking anticipated traffic into consideration. Thus the total thickness of flexible pavement to cover the subgrade of known CBR value is obtained. Incase there is a material superior than the soil sub-grade such that it may be used as sub-base course, then the thickness of construction over this material could be obtained from design chart knowing the CBR value of the subbase. Thickness of the sub-base course is the total thickness minus the thickness over the sub-base.
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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. Insitu tests are recommended for design purposes. The specimen should be 2. Prepared by static compaction whenever possible otherwise by dynamic compaction. 3. For the design of new roads the sub-grade soil sample should be compacted at OMC to proctor density whenever suitable compaction equipment is available to achieve this density in the field, otherwise the soil 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 for four 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 affect the subgrade adversely and when thick impermeable bituminous surfacing is provided, it is not necessary to soak the soil sample before carrying out the CBR test. 5. At least three samples should be tested on each soil sample at same density and moisture content. If the maximum variation in the CBR values of three samples exceeds the specified limits, the design CBR should be the average of at least six samples. 6. The top 50cm of sub-grade should be compacted at least up to 95 to 100% of proctor density. 7. An estimate of road traffic to be carried out by the road pavements at the end of expected life should be made keeping in view the existing traffic and growth rate of traffic. Pavements of major roads should be designed for a period of ten years.

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8. The traffic for the design is considered in units of heavy vehicles per day in both directions and is divided into seven categories. The suitable design curve should be chosen from the table given in design chart after estimating the design traffic. When sub-base course materials contain substantial portion of aggregate of size above 20mm, the CBR value of these materials would not be valid for the design of subsequent layers above them. Thin layers of wearing course such as surface dressing or open graded premixed carpet up to 2.5cm thickness should not be counted towards the total thickness as they do not increase the structural capacity as the pavement. 3.4 Factors affecting CBR The principle soil factors affecting the CBR are soil texture, moisture, and density. The testing procedure employed depends primarily upon the type of material being tested. Granular soils are not greatly affected by swelling during the soaking period, and therefore the surcharge weights are not to significant during this part of test. In contrast, claylike soils, which are greatly affected by swelling pressures, yield CBR values depending upon the weight of the surcharges used during the soaking period. Surcharge weights are extremely important during the penetration portion of the test for granular materials but not too significant for the fine grained soils. 3.5 Limitation of CBR Method of Design of Pavements The CBR method of design of the flexible pavement suffer from a serious disadvantage that the CBR method of pavement design gives the total thickness requirement of the pavement above a subgrade and this thickness value would remain the same irrespective of the quality of materials used in the component

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layers. Thus the combination of different materials should be judiciously chosen to effect durability and economy of the pavement.

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

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