Normalizing behavior of unsaturated granular pavement materials

AC Heath, JM Pestana, MO Bejerano, JT Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (SciVal)
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One of the important components of a flexible pavement structure is granular material layers. Unsaturated granular pavement materials (UGPMs) in these layers influence stresses and strains throughout the pavement structure, and have a large effect on asphalt concrete fatigue and pavement rutting (two of the primary failure mechanisms for flexible pavements). The behavior of UGPMs is dependent on water content, but this effect has been traditionally difficult to quantify using either empirical or mechanistic methods. This paper presents a practical mechanistic framework for determining the behavior of UGPMs within the range of water contents, densities, and stress states likely to be encountered under field conditions. Both soil suction and generated pore pressures are determined and compared to confinement under typical field loading conditions. The framework utilizes a simple soil suction model that has three density-independent parameters, and can be determined using conventional triaxial equipment that is available in many pavement engineering laboratories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-904
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


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