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Prince of Songkla University, Faculty of Engineering

Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand 90112

IN BACKCALCULATION PROCESS

Puttapon Thongindam1*

1

Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, Faculty of Engineering, Thailand

*Email: th.puttapon@gmail.com

Abstract: In order to deal with subgrade stiffenning with artificial bedrock should be inserted at the depth result to

depth and the stiff layer beneath pavment structure in deal with the above mentioned problems. To verify the

backcalculation process based on multi-layered elastic CSCM based on the field data, FWD-tests have been

theory, we need the appropriate pavement model. Since conducted on the selected highways in Chiang Rai

2009 an heuristic method for determining depth to Province, Thailand. The concept of the CSCM and the

artificial bedrock (DTAB) coined as the “consistent test procedure are briefly explained in the next sections.

slope changing method (CSCM)” has been proposed by

the author. To perform a field verification of the CSCM, 2. CONSISTENT SLOPE CHANGING METHOD

the road 1020 in Chiang Rai province was selected as (CSCM)

test sections. Deflection basins of the pavement surface Based on the classical pavement mechanistic theory

are collected by the falling weight deflectometer. The and the results from the related investigations, an

DTAB results are calculated using CSCM. Discussion is alternative method for determine DTAB has been

made on using these results for modelling pavement developed by Thongindam [2] in 2009. The main

sturcture. presumption is that the area above the nearly conical

stress zone is not affected by the acting load. Implying

Key Words: Consistent slope changing method, Pavement that the outer surface deflections are mostly originated

model, Backcalculation, Layer moduli from the subgrade soil under this stress zone. In other

words, the position of zero surface deflection should be

1. INTRODUCTION strongly related to the depth beneath the pavement at

The in situ layer elastic moduli are needed to be which no deflection occurs, i.e. an apparent stiff layer or

known for analyses of pavement rehabilitation projects. bedrock. Therefore, if the deflection basin is able to be

One of the most popular method to implement that extrapolated radially with respect to subgrade behavior

known as “bakcalculation” in which the modulus of till the point that surface deflection equal to zero, the

elasticity of pavement materials are determined by appropriate depth for inserting an artificial bedrock

working mulit-layered elastic theory (MLET) backward should be determined from that point.

using measured surface deflections and appropriate Since the stiffness of real subgrade materials is

pavement model parameters such as Poisson’s ratio and governed by many factors (soil type, stress state, water

layer thicknesses. Since the subgrade thickness is usually content, bedrock etc.), the effective character of these

unknown, this might be lead to at least two problems in materials should be somehow related to the change of

modeling of pavement structures. Firstly, since the slope of deflection curve especially at its outer part.

bottom layer in most of backcalculation schemes is Therefore, the slope changing rate of the extrapolated

assumed to be semi-infinite in depth with a constant deflection curve should be consistent with those of the

elastic modulus but in the real world an apparent stiff measured one, this procedure is for this reason named as

layer or “bedrock” can exist at any depth which may lead “Consistent Slope Changing Method” or “CSCM”. More

to a very high modulus value. Secondly, it is well-known in detail, the deflection curve should be extrapolated to

that most subgrade soils are “non-linear” in stiffness the next point which has a radial distance from the

behavior and the modulus in most subgrade materials former one equal to the average of in-use FWD sensors

often increases with depth [1]. Therefore, some attempts spacing by keeping slope changing rate consistent. This

have been done to deal with subgrade stiffening with concept can be implemented by using least square

depth in backcalculation analysis based on MLET by technique with all default slope values. The radial

adding artificial bedrock at some depth under the distance to the point where the deflection is zero presents

subgrade layer [3]. In 2009 the CSCM was purposed by the desired DTAB. This depth can be, therefore,

the author for determining DTAB from in situ surface determined by using the intercept of radial distance axis

deflection [2]. In setting up the pavment model, the in term of inverse value as shown in Figure 1.

Deflection vs Inverse offset distance

0.13

slope at some

measured and

extended curve

sections

Deflection [m m]

0.08

Measured

extended

0.03

Intercept yielded Inverse of DTB

-0.02

Inverse Distance [1/mm]

Fig. 1. Mesured and extrapolated deflection curve using Province

CSCM plotted against inverse offset [2]

2.2 Testing procedure

The process of extrapolation of the deflection curve During the tests, the following FWD important

has to be done until either the horizontal axis intercept is configurations are used: a 30 cm diameter load plate,

found, which can also be observed in the spread sheet with 50 kN weight set and the deflection sensors placed

data from the change of deflection value from positive to at radial distances of 0, 200, 300, 450, 600, 900, 1200,

negative, or the radial surface distance is greater than 1500 and 1800 mm. The air and asphalt temperature

14.0 m where the influence of bedrock on backcalculated were measured. Especially for the upper asphaltic course,

moduli can be considered as insignificant [2]. the temperature was measured at surface and at the

middle of its layer. As shown in figrue 3, the tests were

2. FIELD TESTING PROCEDURE conducted on both lanes of carriage way. The first testing

2.1 Description of test section point started at the distance of 50 m from the first station.

As mentioned above, an in-service two traffic-lanes The next and others locate at 100 m spacing distance (i.e.

highway 1020 in Chiang Rai province was selected as sta. 0+050, 0+150, 0+250, 0+350…end station). For

the test sections. It locates in northern region of another lane, backward testing, the testing was further

Thailand. The road surface is asphaltic concrete with the conducted at the middle point of the adjacent tested

carriage way dimension of 8.0 m width included 1 m of points of the forward testing (i.e. sta. 15+000, 14+900,

verge at both side. The detail of pavement structure at 14+800…end station). With this testing method, the

initial state is summarized in Table 1 and the history of testing points are well distributed on both carriage way.

surface overlaying with asphaltic concrete, which is The testing point at each station is always conducted at

usually conducted with thickness of 5 cm is also the outer wheel path.

registered. However, the real thickness of the uppper

layers are also explored using bore scope equipment.

0+250

0+000

0+050

0+150

0+350

Forward: 0+450

Table 1. Detail of pavement structure of the selected site Lane 1

No. Lane 2

0+500

0+000

0+100

0+200

0+300

0+400

150 mm Selected material

embankment Fig. 3. Testing outline at road with two traffic-lanes

*Overlaying History (5 cm) : Year 2004 at station

121+600 - 126+500 3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Using the program developed with MAPLE

language, the DTAB results are automatically

Figuer 2 shows the testing site highway 1020 and the determined at each test station from the FWD in-situ

operating of the FWD equipment. The type of FWD used deflection data as shown in figure 4. These results can be

in this study is Dynatest 8000 which is usually used in used to model the pavement structure in backcalculation

pavement survey projects of the department of highway process. Hence, the usual unknown thickness of subgrade

Thailand. The test section distance is approximately layer can be determined by deducting the total thickness

15.0 km, i.e. sta. 120+000 to 135+000. of the surface and base from the depth to the artificial

bedrock.

Moduli Using Genetic Algorithms”, Dissertation,

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University of Hannover,

Hannover, 2009.

[3] Ullidtz, P. “Modelling flexible Pavement Response

and Performance” Lungby: Polyteknisk Forl, 1998 –

ISBN 87-502-0805-5.

[4] DOH: Department of Highway Thailand, FWD

Testing Procedure, Personally Contact (Not

Published), Ministry of Transport, Thailand,

Bangkok.

not be found within the depth of 14.0 m beneath the

pavement surface, the value of 14.0 m is assigned

automatically to the DTAB result since it has been found

that adding the fictive stiff layer at this depth has very

little influences on backcalculated moduli [2].

Considering the results in the figure 4 regardless the

stations at which their DTABs are 14.0 m, the average of

3.54 m can be calculated. The more interesting is the

compatibility of the stations which have no bedrock (i.e.

bedrock presence is deeper than 14.0 m or the behavior

of subgrade stiffening with depth is inconsiderable) in

both traffic-lanes. This occurrence can be found between

the station 128+000 till the end station of this testing site.

This congruity of the results at both traffic-lanes should

be used to affirm the reliability of CSCM in application

with FWD deflection data in actual field case.

5. CONCLUSIONS

There has been a report that inserting a fictive

bedrock at suitable depth could be deal with subgrade

stiffening with depth and real bedrock beneath the

pavment structure. This study focused on verifying the

method, CSCM, using FWD maximum deflection data.

The DTAB results from test section have illustrated the

congruity of DTAB on both testing traffic-lanes. This

compatibility should be used to affirm the reliability of

CSCM to apply with FWD deflection data. Hence,

inserting an artificial bedrock at the depth results

calculated from CSCM should be considered as an

alternative for modeling pavement structure for

backcalculation process. The usual unknown thickness of

subgrade layer can be determined by deducting the total

thickness of the surface and base from the depth to the

artificial bedrock.

6. REFERENCES

[1] Rohde, G.T.; Smith, R.E. “Determining Depth to

Apparent Stiff Layer from FWD Data” Texas

Department of Transportation, Report No.

FHAW/TX-91-1159-1, Texas, 1991

[2] Thongindam, P. “Enhancement of Backcalculation

Technique for Assessing Flexible Pavement Layer

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