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CALIFORNIA BEARING RATIO

(CBR) METHOD

Typical Testing Machine

Introduction
The California Bearing Ratio devised by
engineers of the California Division of
Highways in nine years period to 1938.
Most universally accepted pavement
design methods.
A standard penetration-type loaddeformation test is carried out, and using
the values obtained from the test from an
empirical design chart, the pavement
thickness are calculated.

CBR LABORATORY TEST


Specimen may be
Prepared
In-situ

Mould

150mm diameter
127.3mm height
Separate base plate
A collar

The specimen is soaked and the expansion


is measured.
Load is applied by the loading frame
through a cylinder plunger of 50mm
diameter and penetration is measured.
Rate of penetration is maintained at
1.25mm/minute.
Loads are recorded for 2.5 and 5.0mm.
Load is expressed as a percentage of the
standard load at the respective deformation
level, and is known as the CBR value.

CBR Equipment

Typical Testing Machine

Soaking Samples

CBR Equipment

CBR Test Sample Preparation

CBR Test Load-Penetration


Measurement

California Bearing Ratio (CBR)


Load a piston at a
constant rate
See what load it
takes to make it
penetrate a
known amount

CBR Equation
x
CBR 100
y
x =

material resistance or the unit load on the piston


(pressure) for 2.5 mm or 5 mm of penetration

y =

standard unit load (pressure) for well graded


crushed stone.
For 2.5 mm of penetration = 1000 psi
For 5.0 mm of penetration = 1500 psi

Typical CBR Ranges

General Soil Type


Clean gravels
Gravels with fines
Clean sands
Sands with fines

Silts and clays

USC Soil Type

CBR Range

GW

40 80

GP

30 60

GM

20 60

GC

20 40

SW

20 40

SP

10 40

SM

10 40

SC

5 20

ML

15 or less

CL

15 or less

OL

5 or less

MH

10 or less

CH (LL>50%)

15 or less

OH

5 or less

California Bearing
Ratio Equipment

California Bearing
Ratio Vs Moisture
content

CBR DESIGN METHOD


In this method, the CBR values are
used to determine the total thickness
of the flexible pavement and its
various layers.
Following are the graphs used in the
design of the pavement thickness.

Flexible Pavement Design


Using CBR (Road Note 31)