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In any highway project, construction of Embankment and subgrade is an important
activity. The road pavement directly rests on artificially prepared subgrade thus
derives considerable strength from it. The adequate design and construction is the key
to successful performance of roads. Since subgrade vary considerably, it is necessary
to make a thorough study of soils in place and from this to determine the design of the
pavement. The soil is highly variable material and interrelationship of soil texture,
density, moisture content and strength is complex and in particular, behavior under
repeated load is difficult to evaluate. A satisfactory subgrade is able to resists the
effects of both traffic and weather. A reduction in the supporting power of subgrade
due to either of these causes is sometimes referred to as regression.
Effect of traffic: The principal way in which traffic cause a loss of subgrade support
is thought to be by the compaction of the soil. This may be taking the form of a local
reduction in volume of the soil which results in differential settlements of the
subgrade. An example of this effect is the settlement of road over poorly reinstated
trenches. Sandy sub grades are particularly susceptible to compaction, especially on
airfields where the vibration from the aircraft has a compacting effect on the sand.
Clayey subgrade is also liable to plastic deformation under repeated loading. A loss in
subgrade support causes a bituminous road to develop cracking and unevenness in the
surfacing and concrete roads to become severally cracked.
Effect of weather: As the subgrade is close to the surface, it lies within the zone
which is affected by the weather. The two principal effects are frost action in subgrade
and seasonal weather. At the same time softening of the subgrade when the thaw takes
place this softening may results in the complete disintegration of road surface. Silty
sands and soft chalk are the chief foundations affected by frost.
Effect of seasonal weather changes on the moisture content of subgrade: In winter
the soil verges of a road are usually wetter than the subgrade while in summer they
are usually drier. The effect of this moisture content in the verges is often found to
extent for some distance under the edges of the road into the sub grades. When the

subgrade is composed of a heavy clayey these seasonal fluctuation in moisture content

are accompanied by corresponding changes in the volume of the soil. In such cases
the edge of the road has found to be subject to a seasonal rise and fall, with respect to
centre of the road. During the period of drought these movements are greater and may
results in severe cracking of bituminous surfacing and loss of shape of concrete roads.
2.2 Failure in subgrades:
One of the prime causes of failure in flexible pavement failure is excessive
deformation in subgrade soil. This can be noticed in the form of excessive undulations
or waves and corrugations in the pavement surface and also depression followed by
heaving of pavement surface. The lateral showing of pavement near the edge along
the wheel path of vehicles is due to insufficient bearing capacity or shear failure in
subgrade soil. Excessive pavement unevenness of pavement surface is considered as
pavement failure.
The failure of subgrade may be attributed due to the two reasons

Inadequate stability
Excessive stress application

Figure 2.1 Soil Deformation under loads

Inadequate stability may be due to the inherent weakness of the soil itself or excessive
moisture or improper compaction. Stability is the resistance to deformation under the
stress. Excessive stress application is due to inadequate pavement thickness or loads
in excess of design value. The deformation of soil subgrade and other pavement
materials are found to increase with increase in number of load applications. If the
applied stress on the subgrade or the pavement is very low when compared to its
bearing capacity, the deformation due to load would be elastic or fully recovered
when load is released. If the compaction of the layer is not adequate with reference to
subsequent loading, part of the deformation may be permanent due to compaction of
soil; this may be called consolidation deformation. But the applied stress is excessive
with respect to the stability and if the plastic flow takes place as in the case of wet
clayey soil, the plastic deformation is called plastic deformation and is not even partly
recoverable. They have been illustrated in the above figure. The type of damage in the
flexible pavement that can be caused by traffic due to the subgrade failure or due to
the inadequate and improper compaction of the subgrade.
Stabilization is the processes of blending and mixing materials with a soil to improve
certain properties of the soil. The processes may include the blending of soils to
achieve a desired gradation or the mixing of commercially available additives that
may alter the gradation, texture or plasticity, or act as a binder for the cementation of
the soil.
Pavement design is based on the premise that minimum specified structural quality
will be achieved for each layer of the material in the pavement system. Each layer
must resist shearing, avoid excessive deflections that causes fatigue cracking within
the layers or in the overlaying layers, and prevent excessive deformation through
densification. As the quality of subgrade increased, the ability of the layer to distribute
the load over a greater area is generally increased so that a reduction in the required
thickness of the soil and the surface layers are permitted.
(a) Quality improvement: The most common improvement achieved through
stabilization includes better soil gradation, reduction of plasticity index or swelling

potential, and increase in durability and strength. In wet weather, stabilization may
also be used to provide a working platform for construction operations. This type of
soil quality improvement is referred to as soil modification.
(b)Thickness reduction: The strength and stiffness of soil layers can be improved
through the use of additives to permit a reduction in design thickness of the stabilized
materials compared with an unstabilized or unbound material. The design thickness of
a base and subbase course can be reduced if the stabilized material meets the specified
gradation, strength, stability, and durability requirements.
2.3.2 Stabilization of soil with Fiber Reinforcement
GOPAL RANJAN,,(I996) conducted series of triaxial compression tests
on cohesionless soils reinforced with discrete, randomly distributed fibers, both
synthetic and natural, to study the influence of fiber characteristics (i.e., weight
fraction, aspect ratio, and surface friction) soil characteristics and its density, and
confining stress on shear strength of reinforced soils. A regression analysis of test
results has been carried out to develop a mathematical model to bring out the effect of
these factors on the shear strength of reinforced soil.
The model estimates the strength of soils reinforced with any type of fiber and
under given stress environment. The model predictions agree reasonably well with
the experimental results.
The test results indicate that the failure envelopes of soil-fiber composites
have a curvilinear failure envelope, with a transition occurring at a certain confining
stress, termed as "critical confining stress," below which the fibers tend to slip.
The amount of the critical confining stress is affected by the fiber aspect ratio.
Fiber inclusion increases significantly the shear strength of soil. The increase in
strength is function of fiber weight fraction, aspect ratio and soil grain size.
J.T.HUANG and D.W.AIREY {1998) Naturally cemented materials often
have inherent variabilities in density and degree of cementation. The influence of this
variability on the properties of cemented materials is investigated by producing
artificially cemented specimens at dry unit weights ranging from 12 to 19 kN/m 3 and
gypsum cement contents ranging from 0% to 20%. Tests have been performed to
investigate the index strengths, the behaviour is isotropic and Ko compression, and
the responses from standard triaxial compression tests over a wide range of confining

The index properties, and the compression und stiffness parameters of the
cemented sands arc presented, with particular attention given to the influences of
density and degree of cementation. For the artificial soil, the effects of the bonding
are only significant for stresses below an apparent preconsolidation stress. The
strength and stiffness increase with increasing density and cement content, but the
influence of the cementation decreases as the density increases.
J.D.FROST AND J, HAN (1999) Conventional construction materials used in
foundations can encounter serious durability problems in contaminated subsurface or
marine environments. Fiber- reinforced polymer (FRP) composites are potentially
suitable for these harsh environments due to their chemical and corrosion resistant
properties. Quantification of the interface behavior between FRP composites and
soils is a necessary precursor to the adoption of these new materials in geotechnical
engineering practice.
This paper describes the results of an experimental study that was conducted
to investigate the behavior of sand-FRP interfaces. Tests showed that the interface
shear behavior between FRP composites and granular materials depended on the
relative roughness (surface roughness/particle mean size), the normal stress level, the
initial density of the soil mass, and the angularity of the particles. The soil specimen
preparation method, the rate of shearing, and the thickness of the soil specimen had
little influence on the measured interface friction coefficients. The characteristics of
FRP-sand and steel-sand interfaces were compared.
MOSTAFA A.I et al., (2002). This paper explores the mechanical behavior of
a calcareous soil under triaxial loading after treatment with different types of cement,
namely Portland cement, gypsum, and calcite. To identify the specific effects of each
cement type a parametric study was undertaken, where factors such as density and
unconfined compressive strength were maintained constant for each cementing agent.
Samples of the cemented soil were examined under optical and electron microscopy
to understand the bond mechanism created by each cement.
Results from triaxial testing have shown that, despite having the same
unconfined compressive strength and density, the effective stress paths and postyield
response are significantly different, mainly because of the different volumetric

response upon shearing. Samples prepared using Portland cement showed ductile
yield and strong dilation afterwards; calcite and gypsum-cemented samples exhibited
brittle yield, generally followed by contractive behavior. The paper discusses the
results and explains the reasons behind the differences in the mechanical response.
results from drained triaxial compression tests on specimens of fiber-reinforced sand
are reported. It is evident that the addition of amount of synthetic fibers increases the
failure stress of the composite. This effect, however, is associated with a drop in
initial stiffness and an increase in strain to failure, Steel fibers did not reduce initial
stiffness of the composite.
The increase in failure stress can be as much as 70% at a fiber concentration
of 2% (by volume) and an aspect ratio of 85.The reinforcement benefit increases with
an increase in fiber concentration and aspect ratio, but it also depends on the relative
size of the grains and fiber length. A larger reinforcement effect in terms of the peak
shear stress was found in fine sand, compared to coarse sand, when the fiber
concentration was small (0.5%).
This trend was reversed for a larger fiber concentration (1.5%). A model for
prediction of the failure stress in triaxial compression was developed. The failure
envelope has two segments: a linear part associated with fiber slip, and a nonlinear
one related to yielding of the fiber material. The analysis indicates that yielding of
fibers occurs well beyond the stress range encountered in practice.
The concept of a macroscopic internal friction angle was introduced to
describe the failure criterion of fiber reinforced sand. This concept is a
straightforward way to include fiber reinforcement in stability analyses of earth
TEMEL YETIMOGLU AND OMER SALBAS (2003), This was undertaken
to investigate the shear strength of sands reinforced with randomly distributed
discrete fibers by carrying out direct shear tests. The effect of the fiber reinforcement
content on the shear strength was investigated. The results of the tests indicated that
peak shear strength and initial stiffness of the sand were not affected significantly by
the fiber reinforcement.
The horizontal displacements at failure were also found comparable for
reinforced and unreinforced sands under the same vertical normal stress. Fiber
reinforcements, however, could reduce soil brittleness providing smaller loss of post-

peak strength. Thus, there appeared to be an increase in residual shear strength angle
of the sand by adding fiber reinforcements.
SHENBAGA.R.KANIRAJ AND V.GAYATHRI (2003) Fly ash is a waste
produced from burning of coal in thermal power stations. The staggering increase in
the production of fly ash and its disposal in an environmentally friendly manner is
increasingly becoming a matter of global concern. Efforts are underway to improve
the use of fly ash in several ways, with the geotechnical utilization also forming an
important aspect of these efforts.
A number of studies have been conducted recently to investigate the influence
of randomly oriented fibers on the geotechnical behavior of coarse grained and fine
grained soils. However, very few studies have been carried out on fiber-reinforced fly
An experimental study was carried out to investigate the influence of randomly
oriented fiber inclusions on the geotechnical behavior of two Indian fly ashes.
Polyester fibers of two different types and a constant fiber content of 1% (by
dry weight) were used in the experiments. The raw material content of the fibers was
100% recycled plastic waste.
This paper presents the results of compaction tests, triaxial shear tests, and
other geotechnical characterization tests carried out on the raw and fiber-reinforced
fly ashes. The fiber inclusions increased the strength of the raw fly ash specimens and
changed their brittle behavior into ductile behaviour.
J.CHUa,M.W.BOb,V.CHOAc (2006) Study of using prefabricated vertical
drains (PVDs) to accelerate the consolidation of an ultra-soft fine-grained soil with
high moisture content for a land reclamation project is described in this paper. Largescale laboratory model tests were carried out to assess the suitability of the selected
PVD and the effectiveness of the PVD in the consolidation of the ultra-soft soil. The
model tests indicate that the discharge capacity of the drain can decrease substantially
after the drain has experienced large deformations. To overcome this problem, PVDs
were installed in two rounds.
The first round was before the application of surcharge, and the second round
was after substantial settlements have taken place. Field instrumentations were
utilized to monitor the performance of PVDs during consolidation.
The monitored settlement and pore water pressure results are presented and
discussed. The study shows that it is effective to use PVD for the consolidation of the

ultra-soft soil if special care has been taken in selection and installation of PVD and in
fill placement to overcome the difficulties involved in the consolidation of ultra-soft
effect of raising the temperature of soft Bangkok clay, up to 90C, on the
performance of the prefabricated vertical drain (PVD) during the preloading process.
The effect of temperature on the engineering behavior of soft Bangkok clay
was first investigated using a modified triaxial test apparatus and flexible wall
permeameter which can handle temperatures up to 100C. The results of the triaxial
tests on clay specimens demonstrate that raising the soil temperature increases its
shear strength, under drained heating condition, as well as its hydraulic conductivity.
In addition, large odometer tests were performed to investigate the
performance of PVD at elevated temperatures. The response of the soil sample with
PVD for the thermal consolidation path which involved increasing the soil
temperature at constant vertical effective stress condition and the thermo mechanical
path which involved increasing simultaneously both the soil temperature and the
vertical effective stress were investigated.
The consequent results indicated that the thermo-mechanical path shows promising
results regarding the consolidation rate. For both reconstituted and undisturbed
specimens, higher consolidation rate was observed for the soil specimen with PVD
loaded under elevated temperature. This behavior can be attributed to the increase in
the soil hydraulic conductivity as the soil temperature increases. Therefore, raising the
soil temperature ring the preloading period can enhance the performance of the PVD,
particularly, by reducing the drainage retardation effects due to the smear zone around
2.3.3 Cement Stabilization
The commonly used additive for soil stabilization is ordinary Portland cement.
Soils with cement admixtures are generally termed as cement-stabilized or cementtreated soils. Stabilization processes
Cementitious materials stabilize soils and modify their properties through
cation exchange, flocculation and agglomeration, and pozzolanic reactions.

Additionally, cement provides hydrationproducts, which increase the strength and

support values of the base materials as well as enhance the performance of the
1. Cation exchange
Cation exchange initiates the stabilization process very quickly, and is
followed by flocculation and agglomeration. Clay will absorb cations of specific type
and amount to form a double layer. Exchange reactions can occur in response to
changes in the environmental conditions, and important changes in the physical and
physicochemical properties of the soil may result.
For example, the monovalent cations can be readily exchanged with cations of higher
valence such as calcium. Upon ion exchange, the higher charge density of divalent or
trivalent ions results in a significant reduction of the double layer thickness, and
reduction of the activity and plasticity.
2. Flocculation and agglomeration
Flocculation and agglomeration change the clay texture from that of a plastic,
fine grained material to that of a granular soil. Flocculation is the process of clay
particles altering their structure from a flat, parallel structure to a more random
orientation. Agglomeration is thought to occur as the flocculated clay particles begin
to form weak bonds at the edge-surface interfaces of the clay particles, because of the
deposition of cementitious material at the clay-particle interfaces.
3. Pozzolanic reaction
Pozzolanic reaction is a secondary process of soil stabilization. One
prerequisite for the formation of additional cementing materials is the solution of
silica and alumina from clay components. The high pH environment of a soil cement
system increases the solubility and reactivity of the silica and alumina present in clay
particles. The degree of the crystallinity of the minerals and particle size distribution
are some factors influencing solubility. It is postulated that calcium ions combine
with silica and alumina dissolved from the clay lattice to form additional
cementitious material (C-S-H and C-A-H).

4. Cementitious hydration
Cement hydration produces cementitious material, as indicated in Equations 1 to 5
given below. C-S- H and C-A-H form a network and serve as the "glue that provides
structure and strength in a cement treated soil. The most rapid strength increases
occur between one day and one month; smaller gains in strength (due to continued
hydration and formation of cementitious material) continue to occur for years.

1. 2CsS + 6H = C-S-H + 3Ca(OH)2

2. 2C2S + 4H = C-S-H + Ca(OH)2
3. 2CsA + 27H = C4AH19+ C2AH8
4. C3A + 3CSH2 + 26H = C6A S 3H32 (ettringite)




water reaction

5. C3A S 3H32+ 3C3A + 4H = 3C4A S H12 between




cementitious calcium silicate and aluminate hydrates, which bind soil particles
together. The hydration releases Ca(OH)2, slaked lime, which in turn may react with
components of soil such as clay mineral. While hydration occurs immediately upon
contact of cement and water, secondary reactions are slower and may go on for many
months, similar to soil- lime interaction.
Because the primary reaction (hydration) is independent of the soil type,
cement stabilization if effective for a wide range of soils. The only soils which pose
problems are the organic soils and the coarse gravels.
2.3.5 Engineering benefits of cement stabilization
Increased strength and stiffness
Better volume stability (less moisture sensitivity, control of frost heave)
Increased durability

2.3.6 Effect of cement on properties of Soil Density and Plasticity
Kezdi (1979) reported that cement treatment may slightly increase the Proctor

maximum dry density of sands and highly plastic clays, but that of silts may be
decreased. Small changes in the optimum moisture content may also occur.
Cement reduces the Plasticity Index of a cohesive soil. Whether this is mainly due to
the increase in the plastic limit or reduction of liquid limit depends entirely on the
type of the soil.
The strength of cement stabilized cohesionless soils increases with higher densities.
Factors which control the strength development in cohesionless soils are

Water content

Method of compaction

Time elapsed between mixing and

compaction and Length of curing

Temperature and humidity

Size of the laboratory specimen

The strength properties of cement-stabilized soils were comprehensively studied

by Mitchell (1976). As shown in figure 1, the unconfined compressive strength was
found to be increasing linearly with the cement content. This is more pronounced for
coarse grained soil than for silts and clays.
The shear strength parameters C and are also found to increase with
increase in cement content. Mitchell (1976) gave the following relationship
between qu and the curing time:
qu (t)= qu(t0) + K log t/t0
Where, qu(t) - unconfmed compressive strength at t days, kPaqu(t0) - unconfmed
compressive strength at tG days, kPaK - 480C for granular soils and 70C for finegrained soils

C - Cement content, % by mass

Fig.2.2 Gain in Strength versus percent of admixture-typical characteristics for

Lime and Cement. (After Mitchell, 1976)
According to Mitchell the flexural strength is one-fifth to one-third of the unconfined
compressive strength.
Fly ash is an industrial byproduct of coal combustion at electric power plants that is
generated at large quantities each year. Combustion of sub bituminous coal produces a
fly ash that has self cementing characteristics that can be used for soil stabilization
without activators to improve mechanical properties of soil. In most subgrade
applications, fly ash is used to stabilize a soft soil so that a stable working platform is
provided for highway construction equipment. Reducing plasticity and shrink swell
potential of fine grained soils is also a common objective. The fly ash stabilized soil is
typically strong and stiff. Recent field data have shown that fly ash stabilized layers
provide a stable working platform for mobilization of equipment and materials, but
also provide a appreciable structural support for the overlaying pavement. However
their in no standard or accepted method available for designing pavements
incorporating Fly ash stabilized soil as a layer in the pavement system. Thus the
structural support provided by the stabilized layer is usually ignored during the
design; even tough accounting for this support provided can result in a less costly
pavement through reduction in the thickness of the base and asphalt layers. The
stabilized layer replaces the conventional subbase and performs same functions. Thus

the stabilized layer effectively is a subbase layer because the stabilized layer is
directly below the base course and directly above the natural subgrade.
When fly ash and soil are mixed and compacted immediately, the fly ash causes the
mixture to have a higher dry unit weight, by filling in voids with ash particles. As a
soil fly- ash mixture sits uncompacted, flocculation and agglomeration of the soil
particles occurs as the fly ash sets up. This compaction delay time causes the
compacted unit weight and strength gain to decrease, especially after the ash sets. Fly
ash addition can increase the freeze/thaw durability of a soil. Strength gain of soil-Fly
ash mixtures is also affected by the curing temperature. Below freezing, 32 F (0c),
the mixture gains no strength, while the strength gain increases as curing temperature
increases. Fly ash with high sulphur content reacts with the clay minerals and water in
soils to form expansive materials, which break the mixture up, resulting in no long
term strength gain, but low sulphur ashes have shown large strength gain in just over
two years of curing. Fly ash can also be added to extremely wet soil to dry it out,
while, at the same time, increasing the strength of the soil. The engineering properties
of Fly ash stabilized soil prove fly ash can be useful as a soil stabilizer.
Pavements were designed and constructed at two sites at two sites in southern
Wisconsin employing a layer stabilized insitu with fly ash. Fly ash was used to
increase the strength and stiffness of the fine grained subgrade at both sites, which
was soft prior to stabilization. Pavements at both the sites were designated using the
1993 American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials (AASHTO)
method for flexible pavements so that their structural number would be equivalent to
that of the conventional pavement originally called for in the design. Measurement of
California Bearing Ratio (CBR) and resilient modulus with the correlation charts for
granular subbase materials in the AASHTO manual to define layer coefficients for the
stabilized layers. Tests were also conducted on specimens collected during
construction to verify that the insitu mixtures had similar properties to anticipated
during design. The pavement at these sites is monitored seasonally using a falling
weight deflectometer and pavement distress surveys. The monitoring program is
indicated that the pavement constructed with the Fly ash stabilized layers provide a
comparable stiffness to conventional pavements employing a cut and Fill approach.

No signs of distress have been observed in the pavements constructed with a

stabilized layer. Thus assigning layer coefficients for Fly ash stabilized soils based on
correlation for granular subbase materials appears reasonable until layer coefficients
specific to Fly ash stabilized soils become available.
Pavements at two sites were designed and constructed using Fly ash to stabilize a soft
subgrade. A conventional cut and fills approach with crushed rock instead of the fly
ash stabilization at one of the sites. The unique aspects of these pavements are that the
structural support afforded by the fly ash stabilized soil was incorporated into the
pavement design. The design followed the 1993 AASHTO method for flexible
pavements, and was based primarily on laboratory measurements of CBR and resilient
modulus of the fly ash stabilized soil. The relationship between CBR and layer
coefficients for granular subbase in the 1993 AASHTO guide was assumed to apply to
the fly ash stabilized soil. Field tests were conducted after construction to evaluate the
effectiveness of design methodology.
At both field sites, stabilization with fly ash improved the stiffness of the subgrade
significantly. However, the CBR of the field mixture at both sites were approximately
two thirds of the CBR measured during the design. Nevertheless, the increase in
strength was more than adequate to provide a strong working platform for
construction equipment, and the increase in stiffness resulted in small pavement
deflections during testing with a falling weigh deflectometer FWD testing showed
that similar centre line deflections and stiffness were achieved in the fly ash and
control sections, indicating that the to pavements were comparable structurally. In
addition, no distress has been observed in either section since during construction.
Thus assigning layer coefficients for fly ash stabilized soils based on correlation for
granular subbase materials appear reasonable until layer coefficients specific to Fly
ash stabilized soils become available.
Based on a Research work carried out by Zachary G. Thomas(2002),Iowa state
university he conclude that, Self cementing fly ash has potential for high volume use
as a soil stabilizer. Soil-fly ash mixtures can add strength and durability to low
strength soils, therefore allowing them to be used as subgrade instead of having to
waste them. When reaction characteristics of fly ash are understood and fly ash is
used properly, it is beneficial as stabilizing agents for soils.


Fly ash used for stabilization should be self-cementing and contain less than
5% sulfur, in order to reduce the swelling potential of soil fly ash mixtures.


Soil-fly ash mixtures should be compacted as close to completion of mixing as

possible, in order to reduce flocculation and agglomeration affects which
results in loss of strength and compacted unit weight.


Fly ash set time can be used to predict the maximum compaction delay time.


Strength gain of soil-Fly ash mixtures is non existent at freezing temperatures,


above freezing temperatures, is accelerated as curing temperature


Long term strength gain of soil-fly ash mixtures has been as high as 300%,
thus provide increase support to overlaying structures as time goes on.


The freeze/thaw durability of soil can be increased by fly ash addition, on the
condition that the clay content is high enough.


By adding 30% fly ash , the moisture content of wet soil can reduced by 9%;
while the soil gains strength at the same time.




In recent years there has been a concerted effort by highway and airport engineers to
develop methods of evaluating the supporting power of subgrades, base courses, and
finished pavement designs by means of loading or bearing tests. From the
investigations and testing programs of the various engineering organizations in charge
of pavement design and construction, much has been learned about the technique of
conducting loading tests and the interpretation of test results. In addition to the
influence on load test results of the strength characteristics of the subgrade soil, base
materials, and paving materials it is recognized that: (1) the size of bearing plate, (2)
the magnitude of load increments, (3) the terminal rate of plate movement for a given
load increment, and (4) the sequence and arrangement of the load test procedure itself
have influence on the test results.
The cyclic loading procedure is presented which differs from other loading procedure,
in some cases special bearing plate is used, from this it is possible to make
independent measurements of subgrade deflection and total plate deflection and, by
difference, to measure deflection occurring within the base material. In conventional

loading procedure employed in conducting loading test makes use of successive load
increments applied to circular bearing plate, which is allowed to attain a specified
terminal rate of deflection for each load increment. After the desired load or deflection
has been attained, the load has been removed and the bearing plate is allowed to
rebound until it attains a specified rate of recovery. This loading procedure yields data
which establish the progression of accumulated load deflection for increasing loads,
throughout the loading test, and the total amount of rebound accumulated throughout
the load test. This type of loading procedure has been employed by various
engineering agencies to evaluate the load carrying capacities of both subgrade soils
and finished pavement design. It has been also applied to the design of flexible
pavements by trial sections and the load carrying performance of existing designs by
periodic load testing.
Repetition loading of circular plates has also been employed as a testing procedure for
loading tests to evaluate the load carrying capacity of flexible pavements as
influenced by initial loading and the repetition of the initial load. In effect, this
loading procedure simulates the action of traffic loadings. An initial load increment is
applied to a circular bearing plate which is allowed to attain as specified terminal rate
of deflection; the load is then removed and the plate is allowed to rebound until it
attains specified rate of recovery (deflection). This procedure is then repeated using
the same load increment. Through continued repetition of load application and
removal (of the same load increment) data are obtained which establish the
progression of accumulated load deflection and permanent deflection, as well as the
recovery or rebound that accompanies each load removal, for the specified load value
The cyclic loading procedure presented here is more or less of a combination of the
conventional loading procedure, and the repetitional loading procedure, since a series
of loading cycles are employed which establish the progression of accumulated load
deflection , permanent deflection, and load rebound for increasing load values
throughout the load test. In addition, the shape and slope of loading curves provide a
tangible measure of the elastic properties of the materials under test. The loading
procedure consists of a series of loading cycles, each of which is made up of a series
of load increments and load decrements. Each load increment and load decrement is

allowed to attain a terminal rate of deflection (or recovery) before the succeeding load
increment (or decrement) is applied.
A cyclic load test procedure was employed by Jean e. Hittle and W.H. Goetz as a part
of an investigation of the load carrying capacity of natural subgrade soils and base
subgrade combinations. This load test procedure was used to study the influence of
soil type, type of base material, depth of base, and the seasonal moisture upon the load
carrying capacity of base, subgrade combinations. Since these variables covered a
wide range, the reliability of the cyclic load test procedure has been established for
subgrade soils and for base subgrade combinations.
The test procedure has been applied to conventional circular bearing plates and to
specially designed bearing plate which measure the subgrade deflection independent
of the total plate deflection and thus it makes it possible to separate base deflection
from subgrade deflection. The cyclic load test procedure has been used to study
factors influencing the load carrying capacity of base, subgrade combinations; it is felt
that the cyclic load test procedure also has potentional application to construction
problems and to pavement design.
From the several loading tests conducted by Jean e. Hittle and W.H. Goetz, in the
investigation of load-carrying capacity it was found that, in terms of total plate
deflection and the applied load, the proportional limit for a loading cycle is usually
between 80 and 95 percent of the maximum load of the preceding loading cycle. This
relationship is significant since it establishes, in terms of the cyclic-loading test at
least, the amount of applied load necessary to produce a given amount of elastic
deflection for a particular base-sub grade combination. Since it is desirable to limit the
load-deflections of base-sub grade combination to the elastic type which cause little or
no permanent deflection upon the removal of load, the relationship of deflection
modulus, proportional limit, and rebound suggests a possible application in this
direction. The established relationships of deflection moduli, proportional limits, and
applied loads as they occur in the cyclic-loading tests clearly show the need for
additional research spot that these relationships may be correlated with construction
procedures used in the handling of subgrade soils and granular base materials.
Mr. William s Housel - the paper of "field bearing tests applied to pavement design" is
a concise statement of conclusions drawn from some extremely interesting and

comprehensive full scale tests on concrete pavements. The complete and destructive
failure of some of the test sections with only one application are in some cases only a
few applications of an extremely heavy load may be disconcerting to some. This is
particularly true when such spectacular failures do not parallel general experience in
paved surfaces. It should emphasize that the selected conditions of the tests were
purposely extreme in order to produce such failures for comparative purposes. The
failure at one pass of a heavy moving wheel load combined the conditions of a heavy
load on a comparatively thin rigid slab supported on weak subgrade. The introduction
of a well consolidated sand subgrade of presumably good but abnormally superior
support resulted in more successful pavement performance. It may also be presumed
that a flexible pavement which might be capable of deflecting with the subgrade
without producing destructive deformations might perform somewhat more
efficiently. In third point which many engineers feel is extreme in many of the
accelerated traffic tests similar to those described in present in the concentration of
rolling loads in one location or lane. A large of the extreme deflections produced in
such tests is due to consolidation of the supporting subgrade or in heavy base course
sometimes used the same consolidation settlement experienced under distributed load
applications would not produced destructive deferential settlement but would actually
lead to a substantial improvement in subgrade support over longer period of service.


In flexible pavement structures the stiffness of each layer is grater then that of layer
below and smaller then than that of layer above it. The overall thickness of pavement
as well as that of individual layers depends on the traffic is to be carried, the climate,
the quality of subgrade, and the mechanical properties of the material in the pavement
layers Evaluation of the elastic modulus of soils is complicated by the fact that the
value measured is to some extent affected by the magnitude of elastic strains,
involved in the test procedure used and the degree of confinement is used in the tests.
Method of evaluating elastic modulus of soils can be classified as direct, where the
strain associated with applied stress is observed or indirect where some property of
the material known to be influenced by the elastic properties is measured.

The elastic modulus and poisons ratio determines the extent of deformation of the
material when stressed and recovery of the material after release of stress. The
dependence of elastic module on different testing conditions intern implies that the
dependence of elastic deformation on testing conditions is conceptually wrong. For
example if we consider a highway pavement is subjected to a given wheel load,
instead of obtaining a single value of elastic or rebound deflection one would get a
numerous values depending on the moduli obtained under different testing conditions.
Apart from this, use of such elastic moduli in elastic theories is not proper since the
very assumption made in developing the design method is based on elastic theory
namely, a single value of 'E' and 'u' for each layer is isolated. A need therefore arises
to visualize the probable mechanism of elastic behavior in order to know whether its
testing conditions are justified.

In general

modulus of elasticity is of 2 types, one static modulus and another Dynamic modulus.
In determination of static modulus, the load- deflection relationship is determined up
to its ultimate strength and the increment of load is normally applied at a slower rate.
In the dynamic method of testing the modulus of elasticity, an externally small load is
applied for a very short period of time. There is therefore basic difference between
two method is by the size of the applied load and duration of application. The moduli
are very often not the same and still there is a still considerable confusion about their
relationship. It can be reasoned that the difference between two moduli may be partly
at least to the creep of the material under test, which is conducted comparatively
slowly, for the creep to affect the result. This is unlikely to occur in the determination
of dynamic modulus, as it is not only measured over a very slow stress increment
under which conditions creep, even if it exists all, is negligible,
A number of methods generally grouped into laboratory and field methods, are
available for measuring the elastic parameters of pavement materials. Laboratory
method involve removing the sample of material from the from the pavement for
subsequent testing in the laboratory, or alternatively constructing a sample in the
laboratory by simulating the field construction methods. At the time of testing these
sample may bear no resemblance to insitu material. The alternate method of insitu
testing overcomes this problem by including all environmental effect in the
observation. However there is no possibility of controlling or even fully defining the
environmental conditions. A number of non destructive testing methods are available

for determining the elastic moduli of pavement materials. These include the plate
bearing tests, the dynamic plate bearing tests and continuous wave propagation
As for as the determination of elastic moduli using plate bearing tests are concerned,
various governing criteria have been used by different researchers. Palmer and Barber
expressed the stiffness of soil in terms of modulus of deformation which is the ratio of
stress to deformation without giving any thought to its nature. Burmister used the
deformation resulting from second application of 12.7psi stress as obtained from the
rigid plate bearing tests. Walker et al determined the elastic modulus of water bound
macadam by measuring the rebound deflections of component layers of in service
pavement 8181.82kgs axle load. Brown used the total deflection of 0.2 inch under one
application of load as the criteria for elastic moduli using Burmisters two layers
elastic theory. US crops of engineer used the total deformation under sustained stress
for obtaining the elastic moduli of homogeneous test sections using Boussinesq
theory. Dehlen used the slope of load vs. deformation curve in the fourth load cycle
for obtaining elastic moduli at various levels pavement.
It is evident that the total deflection values were considered for determining the
moduli. Again the criteria for determining the elastic moduli vary from researchers to
another. In the true sense, the elastic part of deflection alone should have been
considered for obtaining the elastic moduli. As for as plate bearing tests were
concerned, the elastic and inelastic component of deformation when a pavement is
subjected to a load can be obtained easily.
The most important characteristic of the elastic behavior of soil is that no matter how
many repetitions of load are applied to it, the soil does not become permanently
deformed and recovers its original form after the load is removed. This happens
provided that the stresses set up in the soil do not exceed the yield stress. Under static
conditions it is unlikely that the any soil behave in this way but under dynamic
conditions and especially with cohesive soils such behavior may occur. It is obvious
that the elastic property of material, i.e. its ability to regain its original shape or bulk,

should not depend on various testing conditions. The use of layered elastic theories in
the pavement design necessitated the determination of elastic parameters such as E
and for pavement materials either from laboratory or from insitu tests.
There is feeling amongst all researchers that the elastic behavior of paving materials
occurs only under cyclic or repeated loadings. In this connection ode mark (1949)
observed that the soils are not ideally elastic materials but under repeated loadings
they show some characteristics which can be denoted by E and u. Benkelman and
Williams (1962) used the repetitive plate bearing tests data obtained at Hybla valley
and showed that the elastic deflection observed over a subgrade and base is constant
throughout the period of its applications and release of 75 test load repetitions. From
the repeated plate test by a special loading apparatus capable of giving 6 load loadings
per minute, Andersons etal(1972) reported that the soil and granular layers in most
cases, did not show the variation in the rebound deflection n each cycle up to 10,000
Thus the elastic behavior of pavement materials under cyclic load tests is established
both from laboratory as well as from insitu tests. Further, the validity of this finding
with regard to actual road pavements is not far to seek since the loading is cyclic but
of a different form. The work of Norman etal (1973) showed that the rebound
deflection measured from the Benkelman beam remains constant till failure
commences and thereafter it gradually increases till the critical conditions is reached.
From this it is evident that the elastic behavior of pavement materials is condition as it
is restricted to cyclic or repetitive loads. This conclusions is due to the fact the
permanent deflection of load of smaller durations is too small or negligible.
Terzaghi (1943) assumed that sand strictly obeys Hooks law but its Modulus of
Elasticity increases with the depth there by implying that sand is perfectly elastic and
isotropic in every horizontal directions but elastically non homogeneous in vertical
directions. Mcleod (1957) found that cohesive soils behave more elastically then the
sandy soils under the load test procedures employed by him. Thus it can be observed

that the elastic behavior dependence on soil type, its depth and anisotropy
(dependence on direction).
It is believed that the elastic behavior occurs only under vehicles moving at high
speeds. Mehra (1967) opined that behavior of pavement is elastic if the vehicle speed
is more than 25 km/hr.
Considering the total deflection obtained the rigid circular plate bearing tests,
Mchewd (1964) obtained the ' E ' values for subgrade soil at Hybla valley for different
plate sizes and further he observed that the actual subgrade did not have a one value
of modulus but different values for each plate size. Rebound Modulus of Deformation
at a given load level obtained by a Sebastian (1967) for a subgrade soil at a
Lethbridge airfield and he observed that the rebound modulus dependence on the
deformation level and the diameter of the plate and therefore concluded that the no
unique value of secant modulus of deformation could be used in the various design
analyses in congestion with the rational method of pavement design. For ideal elastic
materials the geometry of loading area should not affect the elastic behavior.
Brown and Pulse (1967) using the pulse loading on the flexible plate, concluded that
the insitu scant modulus of subgrade decreases with increases in stress level.
Krivissky(1972) showed a linear increase in deflection with the load on the plate.
Barker etal(1977) stated that the modulus of granular material is primarily depended
upon the state of stress, quality of materials, and Degree of compaction.
Dependence of elastic moduli on deflection level can be seen from the work reported
by Raja rao and Khanna (1979). According to them the modulus of subgrade is a
function of deflection level and as it cannot be considered as a constant. They also
observed that the elastic modulus of subgrade increase with the increase in pavement


Mclead (1963) showed that the modulus of granuler layers is not constant but
dependent upon the thickness of the layer and the size of the loading area. Raja rao
and Khanna (1979) observed that beyond a maximum thickness, the elastic behavior
of granular materials does not vary with the increase in thickness. Dhir etal (1980)
found a significant variation in the moduli values of any particular layer with change
in its surroundings.
The deformation of soil and granular layers can be visualized as being due to sliding
or rotation of particles one over the other. The magnitude of inelastic deflection
depends upon various factors such as size and shape of the particles, intensity of load,
initial compaction and degree of saturation etc. The occurrence of inelastic deflection
under moving load was known to researchers for a long time ever since the primary
type of failure inflexible pavement was identified by porter(1942) as being a
progressive deformation of subgrade under each application of moving load even
though the pressure transmitted to the subgrade was much below the ultimate shearing
strength. The source for inelastic deflection under moving wheel load was considered
by Middle brooks and Bestram (1950) as being due to 2 factors, ie, settlement of
subgrade and compaction of the base and surface. Anderson et al (1972) found that
the permanent deflection varies linearly with the logarithms of the number of load
applications. From the plate bearing tests Raja Rao and Khanna reported that the

Plastic deformation increases with the thickness of pavement

Major contribution to plastic deformation comes from the subgrade only, and

As the pavement thickness increases, the plastic deformation narrows down

for a given load cycle and it becomes equal to zero under a dual wheel load

The measurement of inelastic deflection thus depends on the thickness of pavement,

method of loading and stress level. Not much field studies have been made to measure
the inelastic deflection under moving loads i.e. loads having a shorter duration. The
commonly used insitu testing such as Benkelman beam, Deflectograph and wave
propagation method are not useful for measurement of inelastic deflection. Plate

bearing tests have been in use for a long time for design of a pavement and for this
purpose, either a total deflection or gross deflection is mostly used, and not much
works seems to have been done for studying the inelastic deflection particularly with
regard to relating the elastic and inelastic components.
Below figure illustrates the general concept of multilayered elastic system. Generally
the analytical solutions to the state of stress or strain have several assumptions. They

The material properties of each layer is homogeneous, that is property at point

A is same at the point B


Each layer has a finite thickness except for the lower layer, and all are infinite
in the horizontal directions:


Each layer is isotropic that is property at point A is same in every direction or



Full friction is developed between layers at each interface;


Surface shearing forces are not present at the surface;


The stress solutions are characterized by two material properties for each
layer. They are poisons ratio u and Elastic modulus E.

Fig 2.3 Generalised Multilayered elastic system

Although these items are the more classical assumptions used in most theoretical
procedures, recent advances such as the computerized multi-layered shell BISCR
program have the capability to analyze the layered systems without interface friction
mobilized and the presence of surface shearing forces.
One layered systems. In analyzing stresses, strains and deflections in the ideal masses,
solutions have been primarily derived from Boussinesq equations originally
developed for a homogeneous, isotropic, and elastic media due to a point load surface.
According to Boussinesq formula, the vertical stress at any depth below the earth's
surface due to point load at the surface is as follows;

= kp/z2


(l/( l+(r/z)2))5/2

r= distance radially from the point load

z= depth
From the above equation it is seen that the vertical stress is dependent on the depth
and the radial distance and is independent of the properties of the transmitting
medium. The distribution of vertical stress below a concentrated load on any
horizontal plane takes the form of a bell shaped surface. Maximum stress occurs on
the vertical plane passing through the point of load applications. The pressure is
maximum at shallow depths, theoretically becomes zero at infinity. For practical
considerations it can be assumed to approach zero at finite depth, in the study of
flexible pavements, the load at the surface is not a point load but is distributed over an
elliptical area. Pressure at the tyre-pavement contact is equal to tyre pressure.
Variation of stress with depth follows the same general pattern as for the point load
case. Further work with the previous Boussinesq equations expanded the solutions for

a uniformly distributed circular load by integration. This allowed a more realistic and
appropriate solutions for the normal pavement design analysis problem.
Newmark (1926) developed influence charts for determination of stress in elastic soil
masses. The charts are widely used in foundation work. Barber presented data in
tabular form which facilitates stress and deformation calculations. Sanborn and Yoder
(1931) presented graphical solutions to stress and deflections in a Boussinesq solid
assuming that the pressure distribution at the surface was semi ellipsoidal rather than
uniformly distributed over circular contact area.
The waterways experiment station, corps of engineers, in connection with the studies
of stresses and deflection in flexible pavements, developed influence values for semiinfinite elastic masses. Foster and Ahlvin (1915) have presented charts for computing
vertical stress, horizontal stress, and vertical elastic strains due to a circular loaded
plates. These values were developed for a u = 0.5. This work was subsequently
refined by Ahlvin and Ulery (1920) to allow for an extensive solution of the complete
pattern of stress, strain, and deflection at any point in the homogeneous mass for any
value of poisons ratio.
Two layer systems: Burmisters analysis makes the usual simplifying assumptions of
homogeneity: isotropy and elasticity for the materials of which layers of the pavement
are comprised. The degree of accuracy of Burmisters analysis will therefore depends
upon the extent to which these assumptions are valid in real practice. A basic
assumption that is also used in nearly all conventional analyses including that of
Burmisters analysis for pavement is that the values of elastic module in tension or
compression are equal. The validity of this assumption in relation to pavement
materials, which is generally having very poor tensile strength, appears doubtful.
Further, in computations by Burmisters analysis a perfectly rough interface between
the layers is assumed in preference to a smooth friction less interface. The interfaces
occurring in practice are unlikely to be ideally rough, but they are far from smooth.
Because the theories can deal with two extreme conditions, it seems preferable to
consider the interface as smooth. In the present study Burmisters two layer theory is
applied to two layer pavement systems.

Typical flexible pavements are composed of layers so that the modulus of elasticity
decreases with depth. The effect is to reduce stresses and deflections in the subgrade
from those obtained from ideal homogeneous case. Solution to the problem that
approach actual conditions have been obtained by Burmister. In the solution of the
two layer problem, certain essential assumptions are made regarding boundary and
continuity conditions. The materials in the layer are assumed to be homogeneous,
isotropic, and elastic. The surface layer is assumed to be infinite in extent in the lateral
direction but to finite depth, whereas the underlying layer is infinite in both the
horizontal and vertical directions. The boundary and continuity conditions require that
the layers are in continuous contact and that the surface layer is free of shearing and
the normal stresses outside the loaded area. Stresses and deflection values as obtained
by Burmister are dependent upon the strength ratio of the layers, elastic module of
reinforcing and subgrade layers respectively. Tests have shown that for most cases,
the Boussinesq equations result in stresses that are larger than measured values.
Calculated deflections also tend to be greater than measured values.



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component layers by plate bearing test and Benkelman beam rebound deflection
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Yoder E.J., 2nd edition, "Principal of pavement Design ", Sydney, 1975.


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seminar report Bangalore University, Bangalore, 2006(unpublished)


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report. Bangalore University, Bangalore, 1981 (unpublished).



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