Unsaturated soil mechanics in the design and performance of pavements

H. Sahin*, F. Gu, Y. Tong, R. Luo, R. L. Lytton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference publication

Abstract

Pavements are designed using assumed moduli of the layers and permanent deformation properties of the base course in order to account for the effects of traffic and the weather on the long term performance of the pavement. Performance includes the rate of development of roughness, rutting, and various forms of cracking. However, when the pavement is constructed, acceptance of the project rarely includes verifying that the as-built pavement has the properties that were assumed when it was designed. This paper shows how the use of the principles of unsaturated soil mechanics brings us closer to being able to both design and verify the design assumptions as part of the construction quality control and quality assurance process. The Soil Water Characteristic Curve (SWCC) and a new characteristic, the Soil Dielectric Characteristic Curve (SDCC) are of central importance to these processes and can be easily constructed using simple laboratory equipment that is robust enough to take into the field and on to a construction site. The importance of suction in controlling the important performance related properties of pavement layers is illustrated with several examples relating to different forms of pavement distress in which suction plays an important role.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Unsaturated Soils - Proceedings of the 1st Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils, PanAmUNSAT 2013
Pages87-99
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013
Event1st Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils, PanAmUNSAT 2013 - Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Duration: 20 Feb 201322 Feb 2013

Conference

Conference1st Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils, PanAmUNSAT 2013
CountryColombia
CityCartagena de Indias
Period20/02/1322/02/13

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  • Cite this

    Sahin, H., Gu, F., Tong, Y., Luo, R., & Lytton, R. L. (2013). Unsaturated soil mechanics in the design and performance of pavements. In Advances in Unsaturated Soils - Proceedings of the 1st Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils, PanAmUNSAT 2013 (pp. 87-99)