Thesis-2007-Lambert.pdf (2.08 MB)

Novel assessment test for granular road foundation materials

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posted on 20.12.2007, 15:48 by John Peter Lambert
Drivers for sustainability have made it necessary for the construction industry to adapt its traditional processes to become both more efficient and produce less waste. Performance based design and specification in the UK for motorways and trunk roads permits a very flexible approach to pavement design, material selection and performance related testing aimed at utilising materials to their maximum potential. However, it is clear that within the emerging philosophy of using materials that are ‘fit for purpose’ there are many technical challenges for design and specification. There is a need to develop suitable methods of evaluating materials prior to their being used on site. This project was born out of this requirement, with a particular emphasis on coarse granular materials due to their common role in capping construction and also their unique difficulty for measurement under laboratory conditions due to their large range of particle size. A novel assessment test for coarse capping materials for roads that can be used to indicate their likely short-term in situ performance, under controlled laboratory conditions before construction on site, has been developed during this research programme. Key findings relating to the behaviour of coarse capping materials, the use of stiffness measuring devices and variables that influence the measurement of composite stiffness are discussed in detail. The research highlights the necessity for adequate drainage and protection of foundation materials against increase in water content. When adopting a performance specification the timing of the pavement assessment is critical, both on site and in the laboratory. The performance measured on site should perhaps only be considered as a ‘snapshot’ relating to the stress state in the material at the time of testing.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)

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A dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree Doctor of Engineering (EngD), at Loughborough University.



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