Research Reports

Small Strain and Resilient Modulus Testing of Granular Soils

Principal Investigator:

Peter Davich, Joseph F Labuz, Bojan Guzina, Andrew Drescher

August 2004

Report no. MnDOT 2004-39

Projects: Resilient Modulus Testing of Six Granular Soils

Topics: Pavement design for cold climates

Resilient modulus, shear strength, dielectric permittivity, and shear and compressional wave speed values were determined for 36 soil specimens created from the six soil samples. These values show that the soils had larger stiffnesses at low moisture contents. It was also noted during testing that some non-uniformity was present within the axial displacement measurements; larger levels of non-uniformity were associated with low moisture contents, possibly due to more heterogeneous moisture distributions within these specimens. Lastly, the data collected during this study was used to recommend a relationship between granular materials' small strain modulus and their resilient modulus. This relationship was given in the form of a hyperbolic model that accurately represents the strain-dependent modulus reduction of the base and subgrade materials. This model will enable field instruments that test at small strains to estimate the resilient modulus of soil layers placed during construction.

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