Pavement Subgrade Performance Study in the Danish Road Testing Machine

Per Ullidtz, Hans Jørgen Ertman Larsen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Most existing pavement subgrade criteria are based on the AASHO Road Test, where only one material was tested and for only one climatic condition. To study the validity of these criteria and to refine the criteria a co-operative research program entitled the "International Pavement Subgrade Performance Study" was sponsored by the FHWA with American, Finnish and Danish partners. This paper describes the first test series which was carried out in the Danish Road Testing Machine (RTM).The first step in this program is a full scale test on an instrumented pavement in the Danish Road Testing Machine. Pressure gauges and strain cells were installed in the upper part of the subgrade, for measuring stresses and strains in all three directions. During and after construction FWD testing was carried out to evaluate the elastic parameters of the materials. These parameters were then used with the theory of elasticity to calculate the stresses and strains at the position of the gauges and to compare these values to the stresses and strains recorded under the rolling wheel load.Plastic strains resulting from 50 000 applications of each of two load levels (20 kN and 40 kN) were recorded, as well as the permanent deformation of the pavement surface. A simple model describing the plastic strain has been developed.The test showed that currently used subgrade strain criteria are conservative if used with the measured strains in the subgrade. If used with strains calculated from FWD tests using linear elastic theory, however, the strain criteria seem to give a reasonably good prediction of the bearing capacity of the pavement.The differences between measured and theoretical values appear to be due to inhomogeneities in the pavement, to the non-linear elastic subgrade modulus and to a modulus gradient in the subgrade.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Asphalt Pavements
    Place of PublicationSeattle, Washington
    PublisherUniversity of Washington
    Publication date1997
    Publication statusPublished - 1997
    Event8th International Conference on Asphalt Pavements - Seattle, United States
    Duration: 10 Aug 199714 Aug 1997
    Conference number: 8


    Conference8th International Conference on Asphalt Pavements
    CountryUnited States

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