Resilient modulus prediction of soft low-plasticity Piedmont residual soil using dynamic cone penetrometer

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Dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) has been used for decades to estimate the shear strength and stiffness properties of the subgrade soils. There are several empirical correlations in the literature to predict the resilient modulus values at only a specific stress state from DCP data, corresponding to the predefined thicknesses of pavement layers (a 50 mm asphalt wearing course, a 100 mm asphalt binder course and a 200 mm aggregate base course). In this study, field-measured DCP data were utilized to estimate the resilient modulus of low-plasticity subgrade Piedmont residual soil. Piedmont residual soils are in-place weathered soils from igneous and metamorphic rocks, as opposed to transported or compacted soils. Hence the existing empirical correlations might not be applicable for these soils. An experimental program was conducted incorporating field DCP and laboratory resilient modulus tests on “undisturbed” soil specimens. The DCP tests were carried out at various locations in four test sections to evaluate subgrade stiffness variation laterally and with depth. Laboratory resilient modulus test results were analyzed in the context of the mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG) recommended universal constitutive model. A new approach for predicting the resilient modulus from DCP by estimating MEPDG constitutive model coefficients (k 1 , k 2 and k 3 ) was developed through statistical analyses. The new model is capable of not only taking into account the in situ soil condition on the basis of field measurements, but also representing the resilient modulus at any stress state which addresses a limitation with existing empirical DCP models and its applicability for a specific case. Validation of the model is demonstrated by using data that were not used for model development, as well as data reported in the literature.




Hamed Mousavi, S., Gabr, M. A., & Borden, R. H. (2018). Resilient modulus prediction of soft low-plasticity Piedmont residual soil using dynamic cone penetrometer. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 10(2), 323–332.

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