Loughborough University
Thesis-2000-Frost.pdf (7.99 MB)

The performance of pavement foundations during construction

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posted on 2012-12-11, 12:38 authored by Matthew W. Frost
There is an impetus in the UK to move away from empirical pavement foundation design and the current method specification, towards an analytical design approach. For an analytical design approach to be adopted, the required performance properties of stiffness and resistance to permanent deformation of the foundation materials (sub grade and capping) need to be measured, both in the laboratory for design and in the field in order to ensure compliance. This thesis studies the influence of the sub grade on the constructability and performance of a series of full-scale pavement foundations. This has been achieved by measuring the performance parameters of several sub grade materials in the laboratory, using repeated load triaxial testing. These data have been compared to comparable data collected in situ using dynamic stiffness measuring devices during the construction of trial pavement foundations. The performance of the trial foundations has been measured during the placement and compaction of the different foundation materials, and again after their subsequent trafficking. The testing demonstrates the stress dependency of the foundation materials. The laboratory testing shows that the sub grade permanent deformation under cyclic loading (used to simulate construction operations) becomes unstable at a deviator stress of half the deviator stress at failure (0.5qmax)· The stiffness at this applied stress and above is shown to be approaching a consistent value. This indicates that large changes in the stiffness of inversely stress dependent fine grained soils occur below the deviator stress at which the permanent deformation becomes unstable. Significant variability of data has been found in the performance parameters measured (both in the laboratory and in the field) for samples of subgrade collected from small areas of the same site. However comparable patterns of stress dependency have been observed between measured laboratory and field performance using the different apparatus. The resistance to permanent deformation is shown to be a more critical design load case for construction than the need for adequate stiffness of support required to compact the foundation layers. The performance of a composite road foundation is shown to be material and site specific, and this will have important implications for design and site compliance testing.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Matthew W. Frost

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en