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International Journal of Pavement Engineering

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Impact compaction on a subgrade layer overlying deep

a a
Adel M. Hanna & Mustafa Yulek
Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, 1455
DeMaisonneuve Blvd, W. Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8
Published online: 22 Nov 2013.

To cite this article: Adel M. Hanna & Mustafa Yulek (2014) Impact compaction on a subgrade layer overlying deep deposit,
International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 15:8, 742-751, DOI: 10.1080/10298436.2013.857777

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International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 2014
Vol. 15, No. 8, 742–751,

Impact compaction on a subgrade layer overlying deep deposit

Adel M. Hanna* and Mustafa Yulek
Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, 1455 DeMaisonneuve Blvd, W. Montreal, Quebec,
Canada H3G 1M8
(Received 24 April 2013; accepted 17 October 2013)

Recent expansions of urban communities around the world have forced geotechnical engineers to deal with weak deep
deposit for the construction of highways and roads. The current practice in estimating the level of field compaction is based
on the results of a laboratory test, known as ‘Proctor’, where wide discrepancies are found between the laboratory-predicted
and the field measurements. Impact compaction is a widespread soil-improvement technique that has been used with proven
effectiveness. The technique is environmentally friendly, simple to apply and relatively inexpensive. This study presents a
numerical model, which was developed to simulate the case of a dry thin subgrade layer overlying a deep deposit and
subjected to impact compaction. The model is capable of measuring the total energy applied to the surface of the subgrade
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layer and its two components; namely the portion dissipated into the lower deposit and the portion remaining in the subgrade
layer causing its compaction. A design guideline is presented.
Keywords: impact load; soil compaction; boundary conditions; numerical modelling; geotechnical engineering; pavement

List of symbols EL :energy level per drop

E :void ratio
X :vertical deformation of the spring
dmax :depth of improvement EC :energy component
l :empirical coefficient for energy per drop Ts :thickness of the subgrade layer
W :weight of tamper R2 :coefficient of determination
H :drop height a, b, c :coefficients for energy dissipation to the lower
smax :peak dynamic stress layer
k :vertical stiffness of the system gdry :dry unit weight
G :shear modulus gproctor :Proctor dry unit weight
r0 :radius of the tamper ginitial :dry unit weight before compaction
n :Poisson’s ratio D10, D60 :soil particle diameter parameters
Ap :base area of the tamper
Gmax :dynamic shear modulus at high strain levels
Ip :plasticity index of soil
M :Oedometer modulus
E :elasticity modulus Introduction
A :Rayleigh damping parameter for mass Impact compaction is a widely known ground-improve-
B :Rayleigh damping parameter for stiffness ment technique for unsaturated granular soils. It has also
gunsat :unsaturated unit weight been used successfully on cohesive soils of high voids
gsat :saturated unit weight ratio, and on waste and fill materials (Pan and Selby 2002).
kx :horizontal permeability coefficient The technique is regarded as environmentally friendly
ky :vertical permeability coefficient and inexpensive. It is performed by means of dropping a
C :cohesion predetermined load from a specified height, causing
F :internal friction angle physical displacement of the soil particles and accordingly
[C ] :Rayleigh damping matrix of the system reduction in the soil’s void ratio. The technique has been
[M ] :mass matrix of the system used to increase bearing capacity, reduce settlements and
[K ] :stiffness matrix of the system reduce the seepage and liquefaction potential of the soils.
D :material damping ratio Although impact compaction is not regarded as a new
V :circular frequency technique in ground improvement, its applications remain

*Corresponding author. Email:

q 2013 Taylor & Francis
International Journal of Pavement Engineering 743

empirical, relying heavily on the engineer’s experience important governing factor in determining the level of
and judgement (Mayne et al. 1984, Chow et al. 1990). compaction which can be attained in a subgrade layer.
The degree of compaction achieved in the field is often Figure 1 presents the boundary conditions of the
taken as 95% of the maximum dry density obtained from laboratory set-up and the field conditions.
the results of the laboratory compaction test known as In the literature, empirical formulae can be found to
‘Proctor’. The choice of 95% is based on the fact that predict the depth and the degree of compaction which can
conditions in the field may not be ideal, given a realistic be achieved as a result of impact load (Lukas 1980, Lee
variance in soils, equipments, weather and the human and Gu 2004). The majority of these methods focus on
factors as compared to the laboratory conditions; a 5% developing relationships between the input energy and the
leeway is taken as cost-effective. unit weight of the soil, ignoring the role of the lower
Research in this field has been directed towards layers.
establishing relationships between the water content, the Lee and Gu (2004) proposed the following formula:
dry density and the compacting effort, the types of soils
which allow a higher level of compaction, and towards dmax ¼ l WH ; ð1Þ
developing field equipment and techniques which would
be more effective in performing field compaction.
where dmax is the depth of improvement, l the coefficient
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Nevertheless, there are reports to confirm that achieving

ranging from 0.3 to 0.7, W the weight of block and H the
95% of the Proctor maximum dry density in the field
height of drop.
compaction is impossible in some cases. Engineers have
Pan and Selby (2002) developed an axisymmetric
attributed these discrepancies to the difficulties in
elasto-plastic finite element model for homogeneous soil
duplicating the optimum moisture content in the field,
subjected to impact loading. They reported that the value
possible variation in the quality of the material between a
of the coefficient l was around 2, which is significantly
small sample in the laboratory and a mass of soil in the
higher than the values given by Lee and Gu.
field, difficulty in achieving quality and quantity control in
Mayne and Jones (1983) assumed the dynamic force –
the field, and the variation in temperature between the
time response upon impact to be a triangular impulse
laboratory and the field conditions. However, the role of
loading. They used the principle of conservation of
the surrounding soils, in particular the underlying layer, in
momentum to formulate the peak dynamic stress as
determining the level of compaction, has been ignored.
Proctor’s mould limits the soil movement in the
horizontal direction, and the rigid base prevents energy rffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
dissipation and therefore limits the compaction within the 32WHGro 1
smax ¼ ; ð2Þ
soil inside the mould, whereas, in field compaction, the p 2 ð1 2 vÞ Ap
energy applied to the ground surface may dissipate in part
to the lower weaker layers, and therefore only the portion where Ap is the area of the pounder, G the shear modulus of
of energy remaining in the upper subgrade layer will cause the soil, r0 the radius of the tamper and n the Poisson’s
its compaction. This makes the role of the lower layer an ratio.

Figure 1. Comparison of laboratory and field compaction boundary conditions.

744 A.M. Hanna and M. Yulek

Ishibashi and Zhang (1993) proposed the following

empirical formula for estimating the damping ratios (D)
for a wide range of soil types:

"     #
0:333ð1 þ e20:0145I p Þ G 2 G
D¼ 0:586 21:547 þ1 ;
2 Gmax Gmax

where Ip is the plasticity index of soil, G the high strain

shear modulus and Gmax the low strain shear modulus.
While the case of compaction of a subgrade layer
overlying deep deposit subjected to harmonic loading has
received some attention in the literature (Hanna and Saad
2001, Hanna 2003), the study of impact loading has lagged
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Numerical model
An axisymmetric numerical model using the finite element
technique was developed to simulate the case of a thin Figure 2. Layout of the mesh.
subgrade layer overlying deep deposit subjected to impact
loading. In this investigation, the subgrade layer was made
of loose cohesionless soil, which follows the constitutive the range of 2 –10 Hz. The duration between each impact
law of the ‘Hardening Soil Model’. This is because during load was long enough to allow the dynamic stress to be
the impact loading, the mechanical properties and the distributed within the soil mass and the rebound effect to
deformation characteristics will change continuously. The be completed. Trial simulations of the loading process
thickness of this layer was varied between 0.15 m and revealed a period of 0.2 s was sufficient to allow for the
0.75 m. The underlying deposit was taken as sand, tested at distribution of energy waves through the soil layers and for
densities from the loose to the dense states. Considering the rebound to take place.
that the deposit will exhibit less deformation than the In this investigation, the analysis was performed by the
upper layer, it was assumed that the deposit will behave as software ‘PLAXIS 8.2’ which is a powerful program
perfectly plastic material, following the constitutive law of capable of updating the stiffness matrix at the end of each
Mohr – Coulomb. load drop for the proceeding iteration step. At the end of
Figure 2 presents the mesh used in this investigation. these steps, a fixed yield surface is developed that is
The mesh was 25 m deep and the width was made large defined by the governing parameters of the model.
enough to avoid any boundary conditions. The mesh was In this study, Rayleigh damping was utilised as an
refined in the vicinities of the impact load, where the input for material damping; it lumps the damping effect
deformation would change significantly during loading. within the soil mass with the following stiffness matrices
The mesh was made of triangular elements of the fourth of the system (Athanasopoulos et al. 2000, Zerwer et al.
order 15-node. The vertical boundaries of the mesh were 2002):
fixed in the horizontal direction while the bottom of the
mesh was fixed in both vertical and horizontal directions. ½C ¼ a½M þ b½K; ð4Þ
Dynamic absorbents were placed on these boundaries to
avoid any reflection of seismic waves, which may be where Rayleigh alpha (a) and Rayleigh beta (b) are the
generated during loading. parameters which determine the influence of the mass and
The impact load was applied uniformly by means of a stiffness of the system, respectively. Furthermore, [M ] is
tamper with a radius of 0.5 m. The compaction process the mass matrix of the system and [K ] the stiffness matrix
consisted of six drops on the ground surface using five of the system.
different energy levels. The duration of the impact loading Based on the fact that the vibration frequency has little
was assumed to be 0.1 s, which corresponds to a transient to no effect on material damping, the damping ratios were
harmonic load of 5 Hz in frequency with amplitude equal assumed to remain at 5 and 10 Hz. In order to calculate the
to the peak dynamic stress of an impact load. This duration damping ratios of the sand layers, the ratio of the dynamic
is quite reasonable given the fact that the associated shear modulus (G) to the maximum value of the shear
vibrations in the field for impact compaction are usually in modulus (Gmax) was taken into account. Furthermore,
International Journal of Pavement Engineering 745

during loading, low frequency vibrations and high

deformation values are produced, and so the dynamic
shear modulus was taken as one-tenth of its initial value.
Therefore, G/Gmax value increased due to the increase in
the stiffness of the lower deposit up to a maximum value of



a 1.0, where the lower deposit would be expected to exhibit
no deformation upon the impact loading. Damping ratios
were calculated using Equation (3), and the Rayleigh
damping parameters (a and b) were calculated using
Equation (5), which was introduced by Zerwer et al.

a bv


D¼ þ ; ð5Þ

2v 2

where D is the material damping ratio and v the circular

F (8)
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Table 1 presents a summary of the soil parameters used
in the numerical model, which cover a wide range of field
C (kN/m2)

conditions. In this analysis, the subgrade layer was


represented by a fixed stiffness value, while the lower

deposit was assigned stiffness values varying from very
loose sand to dense sand. The calculated energy levels for
each impact load and the peak dynamic stresses upon
M (kN/m2)

impact using Equation (2) are given in Table 2. The energy

levels to obtain the desired densification in the subgrade

layer were calculated using Equation (1).
In this analysis, the Oedometer modulus (M) for the
subgrade soil layer used in the hardening soil model was
E (kN/m2)



calculated using the following equation:

Eð1 2 nÞ
M¼ ; ð6Þ
ð1 2 2nÞð1 þ nÞ
kx ¼ ky (m/s)

where E and n are the elasticity modulus and the Poisson’s


ratio of the sand material, respectively.

Soil parameters used in the present numerical model.

Model validation
gsat (kN/m3)

The proposed numerical model was validated using the


results of the laboratory tests of Poran et al. (1992)

performed on homogeneous dry Boston sand subjected to
impact loading.
The test layout consisted of a 1.22 m £ 1.22 m
£ 1.22 m cubic steel tank filled with sand. The tampers
gunsat (kN/m3)

used in core tests were steel plates in two diameters:


15.2 cm and 10.2 cm, which were set up in various

specified tamper weights. The tamper was lifted with an
electromagnetic mount for quick release and free fall of
the tamper was allowed onto the sand. Table 3 summarises
the properties of the sand used in their investigation, and
Lower Layer 5
Lower Layer 6
Lower layer 1
Lower layer 2
Lower layer 3
Lower layer 4
Upper Layer

Table 4 presents the energy levels which were utilised to

Soil type

calculate the peak dynamic stresses using Equation (2).

Table 1.

The Boston sand was modelled by the constitutive

law of the Hardening Soil Model. Figure 3 presents a
746 A.M. Hanna and M. Yulek

Table 2. Energy levels and peak dynamic stresses for different depths of sand layer.

Depth of subgrade layer (m) Energy level for target depth Energy per drop (Nm) Peak dynamic stress (kN/m2)
0.15 to infinity EL1 (l ¼ 0.3) 2500 190.00
EL2 (l ¼ 0.4) 1406 142.50
EL3 (l ¼ 0.5) 900 114.00
EL4 (l ¼ 0.6) 625 95.00
EL5 (l ¼ 0.7) 459 81.50

comparison between the predicted and measured values of surface and at the interface between the upper and lower
the settlement of the ground surface for the first 12 drops at deposit was also measured. Each layer was assigned
the point of impact, where good agreement can be noted. vertical stiffness constants (k), which were determined
However, it should be made clear that while the numerical using the following equation:
model includes absorbent boundaries in order to eliminate
confinement in the soil medium, the laboratory-testing 4Gr 0
k¼ ; ð7Þ
tank allows hardening effects at highly localised dynamic 12n
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stress. This may explain the discrepancies reported

where G is the shear modulus, r0 the radius of the mass and
between the results of the numerical model and the
n the Poisson’s ratio.
laboratory test beyond the first 12 drops, where soil
Furthermore, the energy components were calculated
hardening is expected in the testing tank. The deformed
as follows:
mesh and shades of vertical deformation upon impact are
presented in Figures 4 and 5, respectively. 1
In order to further validate the numerical model, an EC ¼ kx 2 ; ð8Þ
experimental mesh was developed to simulate the
boundary conditions of the laboratory test of Proctor. where x is the value of the vertical deformation and EC the
In this analysis, the dynamic absorbent boundaries were energy component.
replaced with rigid boundaries, and the sand inside the Equation (8) was developed based on the classic
mould was modelled by the constitutive law of the analysis of the energy stored in a deformed spring. In this
Hardening Soil Model. The sand was placed in layers and case, the upper and lower layers were assigned spring
subjected to the energy level described in the standard constants (k), having constant dynamic stiffness. Knowing
procedure of the modified Proctor test. The maximum dry the deformations at the point of impact and at the interface
unit weight generated by the numerical model was about of the two layers, the energy components were calculated.
þ 2% of the experimental values, where good agreement In order to examine the effects of the boundary
can be reported. conditions, and more specifically to examine the validity
of the laboratory Proctor test results, the experimental
mesh developed above was enlarged to 20 times the size of
Analysis and results the Proctor mould and was then tested without vertical
boundaries while keeping a rigid boundary at the bottom.
In this investigation, the energy applied to the ground
The objective of this exercise was to examine the effect of
surface and its components – namely the part dissipated to
the horizontal confinement at the bottom of the mesh
the lower layer and the part remaining in the upper layer
on the level of compaction produced. It is of interest to
causing its compaction – was measured and recorded for
note that the level of compaction achieved in an element
each loading. Furthermore, the vertical deformation at the
under compaction was reduced 5– 20% of Proctor value,
depending on the level of stiffness of the surrounding soil.
Table 3. Soil properties used in Poran et al.’s (1992)
Table 4. Energy levels and tamper diameters for the
Parameter Value experimental test program (Poran et al. 1992).
Soil classification ‘SP’ (ASTM D2487) Tamper Tamper Drop Energy
Particle’s diameter (mm) 0.09 – 0.9 weight (N) diameter (cm) height (m) per drop (Nm)
D10 (mm) 0.28
D60 (mm) 0.73 220 10.2 2.0 440
Unit weight (kN/m3) 15.5 220 10.2 1.0 220
Void ratio, e 0.74 220 15.2 2.0 440
Specific gravity 2.674 332 15.2 0.67 220
F 34.28 332 15.2 1.99 660
International Journal of Pavement Engineering 747

Cumulative Tamper Settlement

Present Numerical
25 Model

Settlement (cm)
20 Impact (Poran and
Dyna2D (Poran and
10 Rodriguez)
Experimental (Poran,
5 Heh and Rodrigues)
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
Drop Number

Figure 3. Settlement of the ground surface at the end of each drop.

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This can be explained by the fact that a part of the energy Figure 6 presents the energy lost versus the depth of
remaining in the upper layer was dissipated to the the subgrade layer for different soil deposits. It can be
surrounding soils in the horizontal direction, and therefore noted that the energy dissipated to the lower layer
the element in question was compacted with less energy. increases due to a decrease in the stiffness of the lower soil
The experimental mesh was then tested after restoring deposit. For a relatively low stiffness of the lower layer
the vertical boundary and removing the rigid horizontal deposit, the energy lost reaches about 80% of the energy
boundary. In this case, it was noted that the level of applied. Furthermore, the energy dissipated to the lower
compaction achieved in the element under compaction layer decreases due to an increase in the thickness of the
was reduced up to 50% of Proctor depending on the upper subgrade layer. This can be attributed to the fact that
stiffness of the lower deposit. Once again, this can be the subgrade layer creates a ‘buffer’ zone at the interface
explained by the fact that a part of the energy applied was between the subgrade layer and the deposit, decreasing the
dissipated to the underlying soils, and therefore the energy dissipation to the lower layer. Meyerhof and Hanna
element in question was compacted with much less (1978) have reported similar observations for foundations
energy. A combination of the low stiffness of the on layered soils.
surrounding and the underlying soils may lead to a It is of interest to note that in the case of a combination
significant reduction in the level of compaction achieved of a relatively thin subgrade layer and a weaker deposit,
in the upper subgrade layer. the energy applied may entirely dissipate to the lower
Considering that field compaction will cover the entire
area under construction, the effect of the surrounding soil
will be minimal, while the effect of the lower layer will

Figure 4. Deformed mesh upon impact. Figure 5. Shadings of vertical deformation upon impact.
748 A.M. Hanna and M. Yulek

Loss in Compaction
E2= 2500 kN/m2
Energy Lost (%)

70 E2= 5000 kN/m2

60 E2=E 1=10000 kN/m2
50 E2= 15000 kN/m2
40 E2= 20000 kN/m2
30 E2= 30000 kN/m2
20 E2= 40000 kN/m2
15 30 45 60 75
Depth of the subgrade (cm)
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Figure 6. Energy losses for different stiffness of the lower layer and depth of the subgrade layer.

deposit causing punching of the subgrade layer into the design charts in Figures 8, 9 and 10 for the coefficients a, b
deposit (Figure 7). and c, respectively. Knowing the portion of the energy
Based on the results obtained in the present remaining in the upper subgrade layer, the compaction
investigation, a curve fitting was applied to the data achieved in the upper subgrade layer can be determined
using a second-degree polynomial equation. The following from Figure 11 as a percentage of Proctor maximum dry
formula was then proposed to predict the energy lost as the density. In this analysis, the dry unit weight was given by
percentage of the total applied energy for a given thickness
of the subgrade layer: ð95%gproctor Þ 2 ðginitial Þ
gdry ¼ ðginitial Þ þ
energy loss ð%Þ ¼ aT s þ bT s þ c; ð9Þ
£ ð%CompactionÞ; ð10Þ
where Ts is the thickness of the subgrade layer in cm.
Furthermore, a, b and c are coefficients, which are function where g is the unit weight of soil.
of the stiffness of the lower deposit. These coefficients are
given in Table 5.
Design example
The following example demonstrates the design procedure
Design procedure
presented in this study.
After validating the present numerical model, it was then Given the following data:
used to generate data for a wide range of governing The stiffness of the lower deposit, E ¼ 7500 kN/m2.
parameters. The results of this analysis are presented as Laboratory compaction test results on the ‘Modified
Proctor’ set-up showed that the maximum dry unit
Compaction Energy Loss weight ¼ 20 kN/m3.
Initial dry unit weight of the subgrade layer ¼ 14 kN/m3.
90 The existing grade elevation at the site is 0.75 m below
15 cm subgrade
80 the design subgrade elevation.
30 cm subgrade
70 The project specification requires the contractor to
Energy Loss (%)

60 45 cm subgrade achieve a minimum of 95% Proctor dry density in the

50 60 cm subgrade
upper 0.15 m of the subgrade layer and to meet the design
40 subgrade elevation. The contractor is also required to
75 cm subgrade
30 compact the subgrade placed in 0.15-m lifts.
20 subgrade
10 First step
0 1. Place a subgrade layer of 45 cm to provide a buffer
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 zone against the weak soil deposit, i.e. the initial
Drop Number
subgrade thickness (Ts) ¼ 45 cm.
Figure 7. Energy losses with time for weak lower deposit 2. Select a lower energy per drop to minimise the
(E2 ¼ 5000 kN/m2). energy losses to the lower deposit.
International Journal of Pavement Engineering 749

Table 5. Coefficients for estimating energy dissipated to the energy remained in subgrade layer 1102:08ð100225:58Þ
100 ¼
lower layer.
820:16 kg
Stiffness of 8. Determine the dry density of subgrade after first
the lower phase using Equation (10).
E2 (kN/m2) Coefficient-a Coefficient-b Coefficient-c R2 ð95%gproctor Þ 2 ðginitial Þ
gdry ¼ ðginitial Þ þ
2500 0.0161 2 2.2728 108.96 0.987 100
5000 0.0102 2 1.5067 80.1 0.994
15,000 0.0003 0.2787 22.83 0.996 £ ð% CompactionÞ gdry
20,000 0.0027 0.0968 22.604 0.989
30,000 0.0042 2 0.0477 20.85 0.986 19 2 14
¼ 14:0 þ £ 48 ¼ 16:4 kN=m3
40,000 0.0039 2 0.0359 20.964 0.986 100

Second step
3. Assume l ¼ 0.7. 1. Place the second 15 cm subgrade layer on the top,
4. Use Equation (1) to calculate the energy per drop and assume 72 drops using the same energy per
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for 15 cm of subgrade layer, as follows: drop level.

2. As a margin of safety, ignore the compaction
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
dmax ¼ l WH ! 0:15 m ¼ 0:7 WH ! WH achieved in the previous subgrade layer and use the
same a, b and c coefficients to calculate the energy
¼ 0:04592tm ¼ 45:92 kg: loss, taking the subgrade depth as 60 cm.
3. The percentage of energy loss will be calculated as
5. Knowing the value of E for the lower deposit, 21.92%, and therefore the remaining energy in the
determine the coefficients a, b and c from Figures 8, subgrade layer will be 2581.51 kg, which coincides
9 and 10, respectively. with 68% of Proctor test result.
4. The new dry density of the subgrade will be
For E ¼ 7500 kN=m2 ! a < 0:00720; 17.4 kN/m3.
b < 21; c < 56:
Third step
6. Assume a number of drops to be applied to the 1. Lay out another 15 cm subgrade as the last layer to
surface of the subgrade layer. For example, apply 24 be compacted. Use the same coefficients for the
drops to the surface with a specified energy level and deep deposit, and a stiffness of 7500 kN/m2, and
use Equation (9) to find the percentage of energy loss. take the subgrade depth as 75 cm to calculate the
7. Determine the percentage compaction achieved percentage of energy loss ! 21.5%.
from Figure 11 ! 48%. 2. For a 95% Proctor compaction, the required energy
energy loss (%) ¼ aTs2 þ bT s þ c ¼ 0.0072 trapped in the upper subgrade can be determined as
£ 452 2 1 £ 45 þ 56 ¼ 25.58 9262.5 kg from Figure 11.
energy applied ¼ energy per drop £ number of 3. If the energy loss was 21.5% of the total energy
drops ¼ 45.92 £ 24 ¼ 1102.08 kg applied, calculate the amount of energy to be

Value of Coefficient- a

0 2500 5000 7500 10000 12500 15000 17500 20000 22500 25000 27500 30000 32500 35000 37500 40000
Stiffness of lower layer (KN/m2)


Figure 8. Coefficient-a for different stiffness levels of the lower deposit.

750 A.M. Hanna and M. Yulek

Stiffness of lower layer (KN/m2)

0 2500 5000 7500 10000 12500 15000 17500 20000 22500 25000 27500 30000 32500 35000 37500 40000


Value of Coefficient- b







Figure 9. Coefficient-b for different stiffness levels of the lower deposit.

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Value of Coefficient- c





0 2500 5000 7500 10000 12500 15000 17500 20000 22500 25000 27500 30000 32500 35000 37500 40000
Stiffness of lower layer (KN/m2)


Figure 10. Coefficient-c for different stiffness levels of the lower deposit.

Achieved Compaction vs. Energy



Compaction Achieved (%)








0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 5500 6000 6500 7000 7500 8000 8500 9000 9500
Energy Trapped by Subgrade (kgm)

% compaction achieved

Figure 11. Compaction level in the subgrade layer versus energy trapped.
International Journal of Pavement Engineering 751

applied for 9662.5 kg of energy to be trapped ! E Acknowledgements

applied ¼ 11799.36 kg. The financial support from the Natural Science and Engineering
4. Find the number of drops required for this Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Concordia University
energy ! 11799.36/45.92 < 257 drops. are acknowledged.

A numerical model was developed and validated to References
examine the case of impact loading on a thin subgrade Athanasopoulos, G.A., Pelekis, P.C. and Anagnostopoulos, G.
layer overlying deep deposit. Based on the results A., 2000. Effect of soil stiffness in the attenuation of
Rayleigh-wave motions from field measurements. Soil
obtained, the following was concluded: Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 19, 277 – 288.
1. Rayleigh damping parameters are found to be a Chow, Y.K., Yong, D.M. and Lee, S.L., 1990. Monitoring of
dynamic compaction by deceleration measurements. Com-
good means for measuring material damping. puters and Geotechnics, 10, 189– 209.
2. The presence of a weak lower deposit has a Hanna, A.M., 2003. Laboratory compaction of a subgrade layer
significant effect on the level of compaction which overlying a deep soil deposit. Ground Improvement, 7 (1),
can be achieved in the upper subgrade layer. 1 – 8.
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3. The parameters governing the compaction of a thin Hanna, A.M. and Saad, N., 2001. Effect of compaction duration
on the induced stress levels in a laboratory prepared sand
subgrade layer overlying a deep deposit are the bed. ASTM, Geotechnical Engineering Journal, 24 (4),
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