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design approach for cement stabilized bases

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4405.4640

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Development of new mechanistic pavement design approach

for cement stabilized bases

S. Arooran

Department of Civil Engineering, Clayton Campus, Monash University, Australia

H. H. Bui

Department of Civil Engineering, Clayton Campus, Monash University, Australia

P. Jitsangiam

Department of Civil Engineering, School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

Department of Civil Engineering, Clayton Campus, Monash University, Australia

friendly way to rehabilitate degraded unbound pavements. However, the testing and design methods for these

stabilized pavement materials have not been sufficiently advanced scientifically. Currently, it is attempted to

directly use laboratory derived fatigue relationships to pavements in service. However, the laboratory tests do

not simulate the actual road pavement conditions such as three dimensional stress conditions, difference in

pavement thickness, axle load types, and other material factors including initial state, strength gain with time,

and material variability. In addition, the load damage exponent (m) used in the fatigue relationship, m = 12 is

currently used to convert the damage of any axle load to an equivalent number of standard axle repetitions,

which is an approximate and convenient approach. This paper includes the investigation of effect of axle

configurations on the cement stabilized pavement response using the computer program CIRCLY. It also

presents a proposed detail bottom-up research study to address the issues in the current design approach.

breaking load of stabilized materials tested in four

In-situ cementations stabilization is increasingly point bending apparatus using the same beam

considered as an effective way for the geometry used in fatigue testing; the appropriate

strengthening of existing degraded unbound load magnitude ( 60-90% of the breaking load) is

pavements. The main deterioration mode of the selected for the fatigue testing.

stabilized pavements is fatigue cracking. The four-

point bending flexural beam test is used to

characterize the flexural fatigue performance of

cement stabilized pavement materials in the

laboratory. This test is considered to be a closer

representation of the bending stress/strain gradients

applied to cemented pavement layers in service

(Austroads, 2012). Fig. 1 illustrates the flexural

modulus variation with number of load cycles

applied in a fatigue test. The three phases of

fatigue cracking identified by Theyse et al. (1996)

under traffic loading are clearly visible in Fig. 1 Typical flexural modulus variation during fatigue

laboratory flexural fatigue testing. In the bedding- tests (Austroads, 2010)

in phase (pre-cracked phase), the flexural

modulus of the beam specimen decreases rapidly, Based on the flexural modulus variation during

however; it decreases at a slow, constant rate in fatigue tests, the fatigue life is defined as the

effective fatigue life phase. After this effective number of load cycles (N) applied to the beam

fatigue life phase, an accelerated rate in modulus specimen to reduce the flexural modulus to half of

reduction is observed and the specimen then fails the initial flexural modulus (Austroads, 2010).

2 CURRENT DESIGN PRACTICE convert the damage of any axle load to an

equivalent number of load repetitions of a standard

2.1 Fatigue criteria of cement stabilized materials axle. The following empirical relationship

(Equation 2) is used to convert the damage of any

The following empirical relationship (Equation 1)

axle load to an equivalent number of standard axle

is used in Australia to determine the fatigue life of

repetitions (Austroads, 2012).

cement stabilized pavement bases in service

(Austroads, 2012). However, this empirical m

relationship was developed on the basis of L ij

SAR m

(2)

laboratory fatigue characteristics of cemented SLi

materials.

Where SAR is number of Standard Axle

113000

m Repetitions which causes the same amount of

191

0.804 damage as a single passage of axle configuration i

N RF E (1 ) with axle load Lij where the load damage exponent

is m, SLi is equivalent axle load for axle

configuration i (Table 1), Lij is the jth axle load

Where N is allowable number of repetitions of the magnitude on the axle configuration i and m is the

load, is load-induced tensile strain at base of load damage exponent for the damage type.

cement stabilized material (microstrain), E is Since fatigue is the damage in cement stabilized

cement stabilized material modulus (MPa), m is pavement bases under traffic loading, currently, it

load damage exponent (12 for cement stabilized is attempted to use the load damage exponent (m)

materials) and RF is the reliability factor for used in the fatigue relationship, m = 12 to

cement stabilized materials fatigue, which takes determine the Standard Axle Repetitions (SAR).

into account the uncertainty associated with

material input data. 2.3 Mechanistic design procedure

2.2 Design traffic Cement stabilized materials are considered

homogeneous, isotropic and elastic with a

2.2.1 Equivalence of axle loads Poissons ratio of around 0.2 in the design of

Table 1 shows the equivalent axle loads for pavements. The computer program CIRCLY

common axle configurations, which are considered (Mincad Systems, 2012) is commonly used in

to produce equivalent damage on the pavement as Australia for the mechanistic analysis and design

a standard axle. The standard axle is a single axle of flexible pavements. Pavement responses to axle

with dual tires (SADT), which transmit an axle loading are calculated using the linear elastic

load of 80kN to the pavement. These equivalent computer program CIRCLY. The critical locations

axle loads were empirically derived assuming of the strains within a flexible pavement structure

equal maximum surface deflection under an axle under standard axle loading are shown in Fig. 2.

configuration load causes equal damage The critical location within the pavement under

(Austroads, 2008a). standard axle loading could be either along vertical

axis directly below the inner wheel of the dual

Table 1. Equivalent axle loads (Austroads, 2012) wheel group or along the vertical axis located

Axle configuration Load (kN) symmetrically between a pair of dual wheels

Single axle with single 53 (Austroads, 2012). Shape of the tire footprint is

tires (SAST) assumed to be circular, and also the tire contact

Single axle with dual tires 80 stress is assumed to be uniform over the loaded

(SADT) area. Based on these assumptions, the standard

Tandem axle with single 90 axle loading (SADT) could be considered as four

tires (TAST) uniformly loaded circular areas of equal area and

Tandem axle with dual 135 for the purpose of design, tire contact stress is

tires (TADT) taken as 750 kPa (Austroads, 2012). The structural

Tri-axle with dual tires 181

(TRDT)

capacity of the candidate pavement is assessed

Quad-axle with dual tires 221 from the Cumulative Damage Factor (CDF)

(QADT) obtains in CIRCLY analysis. CDF is the ratio

between number of standard axle load repetitions

2.2.2 Standard Axle Repetitions (SAR) (design traffic) and allowable number of load

repetitions.

The pavement damage due to various axle loads is

calculated using appropriate equivalent axle loads

(Table 1). These equivalent axle loads are used to

Cement Treated Base (CTB) loaded with TAST

The half-tri axle with dual tires (TRDT), spaced at

1.3 m with a tire contact stress of 0.633 MPa

Fig. 2 Critical locations of the stains in a pavement (under equivalent axle load 181 kN) was also

structure under standard axle loading (SADT)

modeled. Fig. 5 and Fig. 6 show the interaction

between three axles clearly.

3 EFFECT OF AXLE CONFIGURATIONS ON

THE PAVEMENT RESPONSE

Pavement structure consisting of asphalt layer

(Elastic modulus = 2800 MPa and Poissons ratio

= 0.4), cement treated base (Elastic modulus =

2000 MPa Poissons ratio = 0.2) and subgrade

(CBR of 6) was modeled in CIRCLY. All layers

are treated as elastic layers. Asphalt layer

thicknesses of 30 mm and 175 mm and Cement

Treated Base (CTB) thicknesses of 150, 250 and Fig. 5 Shapes of maximum tensile strains at bottom of

350 mm were used in this analysis. The half- Cement Treated Base (CTB) loaded with TRDT

tandem axle with single tires (TAST), spaced at 1.3

The level of interaction increases with increasing

m with a tire contact stress of 0.844 MPa (under

CTB thickness and the lowest level of interaction

equivalent axle load 90 kN) was modeled. The

can be considered as three distinct loads (Fig. 5).

interaction between the two axles can be clearly

The level of interaction in the lowest thickness

seen in Fig. 3. The level of interaction increases

CTB (150 mm) decreases with increasing asphalt

with increasing CTB thickness and the lowest level

layer thickness, while it remains same in the other

of interaction can be considered as two distinct

two CTBs (Fig. 5 and Fig. 6). This is similar to the

loads (Fig. 3).

pavements loaded with TAST.

Fig. 3 Shapes of maximum tensile strains at bottom of Fig. 6 Shapes of maximum tensile strains at bottom of

Cement Treated Base (CTB) loaded with TAST Cement Treated Base (CTB) loaded with TRDT

The level of interaction between the two axles in In the current design approach, the amount of

the lowest thickness CTB (150 mm) decreases with damage created by these axle configurations are

increasing asphalt layer thickness, while it remains assumed to be same and a single passage of these

same in the other two CTBs (Fig. 3 and Fig. 4). axle configurations is taken as one Standard Axle

Repetition (SAR). This assumption is not

appropriate in thinner pavements design.

4 ISSUES IN THE CURRENT DESIGN damage of cement stabilized materials under

PRACTICE various test conditions including varying beam

thicknesses under the same geometry, a range of

Currently, it is attempted to directly use laboratory loading conditions and different curing ages. The

derived fatigue relationship to pavements in damage model can then be used in simulation of

service. However, the laboratory flexural beam test pavement behavior preferably after implementation

does not simulate the actual road pavement into a finite element program such as general

conditions such as three dimensional stress purpose software program ABAQUS.

conditions, difference in pavement thickness, axle With the application of the constitutive

load types, and other material factors including modelling and test data, new fatigue relationships

initial state, strength gain with time, and material could be developed catering to both laboratory

variability (laboratory-field shift factors). Besides, tests and field conditions.

a load damage exponent (m) of 12 is used in

fatigue relationship, but values in the range 6 to 26

were reported for different cement stabilized ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

pavement materials (Austroads, 2014). Since the

load damage exponent is a power in fatigue This research project (Cement Stabilized

relationship, its incorrect choice has major Pavements Linkage Project) is sponsored by the

implications for the service life and cost of the Australian Research Council (ARC), IPC Global

designed pavement. Pty Ltd, Queensland Department of Transport and

Australia being the only country to incorporate Main Roads (QDMR), Golder Associates Pty Ltd

modulus into the fatigue relationship (Yeo, 2012), and Hong Kong Road Research Laboratory

but the standard modulus test method used in (HKRRL). Their financial and in-kind supports are

Australia doesnt specify suitable loading gratefully acknowledged. The authors also wish to

conditions at which testing should be conducted. express their gratitude to Mr Kieran McGrane

Austroads (2011) reported that the flexural (Chief Executive Officer, IPC), Mr Jothi

modulus of the cement stabilized materials tested Ramanujam (Principal Pavement Engineer,

show lower modulus values with increasing load QDMR), Dr Doug McInnes (Principal

level. Incorrect choice of flexural modulus values Geotechnical Engineer, Golder Associates) and Mr

in pavement structural design could have a major Gordon LM Leung (Senior Lecturer, Department

impact on the performance of cement stabilized of Civil Engineering, Chu Hai College of Higher

pavement bases in service under heavy axle Education) for their supports.

loading.

As far as the design traffic calculation

REFERENCES

procedure is concerned, the load damage exponent

(m) used in the fatigue relationship, m = 12 is Austroads, (2008a). Technical basis of Austroads guide to

currently used to convert the damage of any axle pavement technology: part 2: pavement structural design.

load to an equivalent number of standard axle Austroads technical report, Austroads, Sydney, AP-T98-

repetitions. This approach is approximate and 08:35-37.

convenient, but requires more rigorous theoretical Austroads, (2010). Cost effective structural treatments for

and experimental investigation. rural highways: Cemented materials. Austroads technical

report, Austroads, Sydney, AP-T168-10:66-67.

Austroads, (2011). A laboratory study of the influence of

multiple axle loads on the performance of a cement treated

5 CONCLUSIONS material. Austroads interim report, Austroads, Sydney,

AP-T185-11:33-34.

Since the laboratory four-point bending flexural Austroads, (2012). Guide to pavement technology: part 2:

beam test does not simulate the actual pavement Pavement structural design. Austroads, Sydney, AGPT02-

12:62-65.

conditions, the development of a suitable material Austroads, (2014). Cemented materials characterization.

constitutive model using laboratory tests which can Austroads research report, Austroads, Sydney, AP-R462-

capture the damage evaluation of stabilized 14:40-41.

pavements under three dimensional repetitive Mincad Systems, (2012). CIRCLY 5: software reference

loadings could be useful in explaining the material manual. Mincad Systems Pty Ltd, Richmond South,

behavior and understanding associated shift factors Victoria, Australia.

when stress and boundary conditions change from Theyse, H.L., De Beer, M., and Rust, F.C. (1996). Overview

of South African mechanistic pavement design method.

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appropriate laboratory tests need to be carried out, and Transport Technology, South Africa, 1539: 6-17.

to develop a suitable damage model by Yeo, R. E. Y. (2012). The performance of cemented

characterizing the microstructure of fatigue pavement materials under heavy axle loading. PhD thesis,

Monash University, Clayton, Australia.

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