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Lightweight deflectometers for quality assurance in road construction

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conference contribution
posted on 04.08.2009, 12:02 authored by Paul FlemingPaul Fleming, Matthew FrostMatthew Frost, John Peter Lambert
The use of Lightweight Deflectometers (termed LWDs in Europe, and occasionally PFWDs in the USA) for construction quality control or material investigation for road construction has increased worldwide. In the UK the change in pavement foundation design to a ‘performance based approach’ has brought about the use of Lightweight Deflectometers for field assessment of stiffness modulus. This paper reviews the LWD as a field evaluation tool. It discusses in some detail the test variables that can influence and affect the field data quality, and presents brief summaries of recent fieldwork where an LWD has been used as a quality control tool. The paper concludes both on the LWD usefulness and also its limitations for a variety of earthwork and road assessment scenarios, and describes a field test protocol for its use on a variety of materials. The findings demonstrate the flexibility of the LWD but also show that its determination of ‘stiffness modulus’ may differ from that of the conventional Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) to a varying extent. The paper provides a useful reference document for LWD users, consultants, material specifiers, contractors and clients.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


FLEMING P.R., FROST, M.W. and LAMBERT, J.P., 2009. Lightweight Deflectometers for quality assurance in road construction. IN: Tutumluer, E. and Al-Qadi, I.L. (eds). Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference (BCR2A'09), June 29 - July 2 2009, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA, pp. 809-818.


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This is a conference paper. Further details of the publication are available at: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9780415871990