Implementation of Centrifuge Testing for Swelling Properties of Highly Plastic Clays

A novel centrifuge-testing device was developed for characterization of expansive soils, which are the source of major pavement design and maintenance problems across the state. Specifically, testing protocols were developed for use of a small centrifuge device to provide direct measurement of the vertical swelling of clays. In this test, soil samples are subjected to water infiltration during a comparatively short testing period. The centrifuge approach is well suited for pavement design because it provides not only one data point for a single normal stress but the entire relationship between vertical strains and vertical stresses. This feature represents a significant advantage over conventional swelling tests, which are prohibitively long; in addition, each conventional test provides the vertical strain for one vertical stress. Consequently, this approach is particularly well suited for use with the Potential Vertical Raise (PVR) approach. The objective of this project is to quantify the benefits and implement the new centrifuge technology for characterization of expansive clays in Texas. This research team will achieve this objective by implementing the laboratory procedure developed as part of Research Project 0-6048 using multiple clay sources, developing a spreadsheet with swelling curves (vertical strain versus normal stress) for relevant high-plasticity clays in Texas, incorporating the use of swelling curves obtained using centrifuge technology into the PVR methodology, and developing training material that includes examples of practical problems for calculation of the PVR using actual swelling curves and actual subgrade profiles.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Technical Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 89p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01488180
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/TX-13/5-6048-01-1, 5-6048-01-1
  • Contract Numbers: 5-6048-01
  • Created Date: Jul 24 2013 12:16PM