Most existing pavement subgrade criteria are based on the AASHO Road Test, where only one material was tested and for only one climatic condition. To study the validity of this criteria and to refine the criteria a cooperative research program entitled the "International Pavement Subgrade Performance Study" was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with American, Finnish and Danish partners. This paper describes the first test series which was carried out in the Danish Road Testing Machine (RTM). The first step in this program is a full scale test on an instrumented pavement in the Danish Road Testing Machine. Pressure gauges and strain cells were installed in the upper part of the subgrade, for measuring stresses and strains in all three directions. During and after construction Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) testing was carried out to evaluate the elastic parameters of the materials. These parameters were then used with the theory of elasticity to calculate the stresses and strains at the position of the gauges and to compare these values to the stresses and strains recorded under the rolling wheel load. Plastic strains resulting from 50,000 applications of each of two load levels (20 kN and 40 kN) were recorded, as well as the permanent deformation of the pavement surface. A simple model describing the plastic strain has been developed. The test showed that currently used subgrade strain criteria are conservative if used with the measured strains in the subgrade. If used with strains calculated from FWD tests using linear elastic theory, however, the strain criteria seem to give a reasonably good prediction of the bearing capacity of the pavement. The differences between measured and theoretical values appear to be due to inhomogeneities in the pavement, to the nonlinear elastic subgrade modulus, and to a modulus gradient in the subgrade.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This conference was arranged by the International Society for Asphalt Pavements. The ninth conference will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in August 2002.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Washington, Seattle

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, P.O. Box 352700
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700
  • Authors:
    • Larsen, HJE
    • Ullidtz, P
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1997


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 843-857

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00764696
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Volume I
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 11 1999 12:00AM