Characterisation of permanent deformation of silty sand subgrades from multistage RLT tests

Publisher's full text
Farhad Salour

In thin flexible pavements, unbound aggregate layers and subgrade, contribute largely to the rut formation of the pavement system. Therefore, realistic prediction of surface rutting requires models that can reliably capture the cumulative plastic deformation of pavement unbound materials under repeated loads. Here four models were evaluated to capture the accumulation of permanent deformation of two fine grained subgrade materials.

The models were modified based on the time hardening concept allowing them to be used in a multistage repeated load triaxial (RLT) test procedure, in which a single specimen is exposed to a series of consecutive stress paths of varying magnitudes. The RLT tests were conducted on two non-plastic silty sand subgrade soils with different fines content and at four different moisture contents. The used triaxial testing system was capable of controlling the pore-air and pore-water pressures of the specimen and therefore the permanent deformation tests were carried out with controlled matric suction of the soil samples throughout the test. An effective stress approach was therefore used in the modelling. Using the test data, the model parameters were determined using a parameter optimisation algorithm and the qualities of fits achieved was analysed and compared through goodness-of-fit statistics.

In general, the four permanent deformation models were found to work satisfactorily in capturing the accumulation of the permanent deformation of the tested subgrade materials. It was concluded that the multistage RLT test procedure has the potentials to be used for characterizing the permanent deformation behaviour of subgrade soils. This can considerably reduce the effort and time required for permanent deformation characterization of subgrade materials.

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