Falling Weight Deflectometer Interpretation of Pavement Behaviour during Spring Thaw

Farhad Salour

A rural county road consisting of a thin flexible pavement structure in southern Sweden was instrumented in year 2009 in order to monitor changes in pavement characteristics caused by seasonal variations in environmental factors. Subsurface pavement temperatures, moisture phase and moisture contents were constantly measured throughout the study with main focus on the spring thaw and recovery periods. The pavement structural response was surveyed by conducting Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) measurements during these periods. Changes in pavement layers moduli were estimated by performing backcalculations on the deflection data using the Evercalc computer program. Furthermore, deflection basin indices were analysed using the FWD data. Pavement stiffness decreased significantly when the base and the subgrade began to thaw. Changes in backcalculated layers moduli showed clear correlation with layers moisture content measurements. The field data showed a considerable decrease in the bearing capacity of the pavement structure when the highest annual moisture in subgrade was also registered. Both deflection basin indices and backcalculated layers moduli indicated that the pavement was weakest when the subgrade completely thawed. Thereafter, the pavement gradually regained its stiffness as the excess water drained out from the layers. Complete recovery of the pavement took more than one month. Backcalculations of the FWD data showed 63 percent loss in the subgrade modulus and 48 percent loss in granular base and subbase moduli respectively during spring thaw compared to the summer values.

MEET US


19-20
Oct

ERPUG 2017

The five year anniversary of  European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017. 

LATEST NEWS


2017-07-05

Vehicle Driver Monitoring: sleepiness and cognitive load

To prevent road crashes it is important to understand driver related contributing factors, which have been suggested to be the critical reason in 94 per cent of crashes. The overall aim of the project Vehicle Driver Monitoring has been to advance the...


2017-06-29

Tomas Svensson new director-general

Tomas Svensson was today appointed Director-General of VTI. Tomas has been acting Director-General since January 2017. 


2017-05-30

Crash testing bicycles at VTI

For the first time single bicycle crashes have been simulated at the VTI crash safety laboratory.


2017-05-15

A case study exploring firefighters’ and municipal officials’ preparedness for electrical vehicles

A VTI-study presents a social perspective on new vehicle technology. It explores the self-reported preparedness of the fire departments (i.e., rescue services) in Sweden’s three largest cities regarding rescue operations involving electrical vehicles (EVs).


2017-05-02

Pioneering research on and about bicycles at VTI

Under what circumstances might cyclists lose tyre grip? What actions could then be taken to prevent a crash? VTI is currently developing a theoretical model of the behaviour of bicycle tyres during braking and steering in different situations and on different...


2017-05-02

Virtual pedestrians create efficient stations

If more people are to choose sustainable travel, then the public transport stations of the future must be designed so that pedestrians can get where they are going quickly, without congestion or queues. The Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)...