ICAR Technical Reports

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    Role of Aggregate Characteristics to Load in SMA
    (2006-08) Gatchalian, Dennis; Masad, Eyad; Chowdhury, Arif; Little, Dallas N.
    Stone matrix asphalt (SMA) mixtures rely on stone-on-stone contacts among particles to resist applied forces and permanent deformation. Aggregates in SMA should resist degradation (fracture and abrasion) under high stresses at the contact points. This study utilizes conventional techniques as well as advanced imaging techniques to evaluate aggregate characteristics and their resistance to degradation. Aggregates from different sources and types with various shape characteristics were used in this study. The Micro-Deval test was used to measure aggregate resistance to abrasion. The aggregate imaging system (AIMS) was then used to examine the changes in aggregate characteristics caused by abrasion forces in the Micro-Deval. The resistance of aggregates to degradation in SMA was evaluated through the analysis of aggregate gradation before and after compaction using conventional mechanical sieve analysis and nondestructive X-ray computed tomography (CT). The findings of this study led to the development of an approach for the evaluation of aggregate resistance to degradation in SMA. This approach measures aggregate degradation in terms of abrasion, breakage, and loss of texture.
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    Rapid Test to Establish Grading of Unbound Aggregate Products: Automation of Aggregate Characterization Using Laser Profiling and Digital Image Analysis
    (2002-06) Haas, Carl T. (Carl Thomas); Rauch, Alan F.; Kim, Hyoungkwan; Browne, Craig
    This final project report describes the development of a laser scanning device for measuring the gradation and other morphological characteristics of unbound construction aggregates. The device is called the LASS, for "Laser-based Aggregate Scanning System." The method of characterizing aggregate particles from three-dimensional (3D) laser profiling required the development of particle segmentation algorithms, particle measurement algorithms, and generalized particle descriptions. With the LASS, true 3D data of aggregate particles are obtained by laser profiling. This data is first transformed into digital images. Second, segmentation and particle measurement algorithms separate the particles and process each particle data individually with the aid of various digital image technologies. Finally, in order to provide a generalized, quantitative, and representative way to characterize aggregate particles, 3D particle descriptors were developed using the multi-resolution analysis feature of wavelet transforms. Verification tests show that this approach can characterize various aggregate properties in a fast, accurate, and reliable way. When implemented, this ability to automatically analyze multiple characteristics of an aggregate sample will lead to reduced labor costs in the laboratory, but more importantly, to better control of the quality of aggregate products. ICAT Project 503 was undertaken to study rapid, automated methods of determining the grain size distribution of unbound aggregate products. Automatic measurement of particle size and shape properties has the potential to overcome problems with manual measurements such as subjectivity, labor intensity, and slow speed. Testing machines that rely on 2D digital image analysis were evaluated as described earlier in Report ICAR 503-2.
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    Rapid Test to Establish Grading of Unbound Aggregate Products: An Evaluation of Automated Devices to Replace and Augment Manual Sieve Analyses in Determining Aggregation Gradation
    (2002-02) Rauch, Alan F.; Haas, Carl T. (Carl Thomas); Browne, Craig; Kim, Hyoungkwan
    Several automated devices are commercially available for measuring the gradation of unbound stone aggregates. These computerized machines, which provide a rapid alternative to manual sieving, capture and process two-dimensional digital images of aggregate particles to determine grain size distribution. Five of these automated gradation devices were evaluated for accuracy and performance. Fifteen aggregate test samples, with different size, shape, and mineral characteristics, were used in these tests. To quantify how well the machine results compare with data from standard sieve analyses, the CANWE statistic was developed and used. While the machine data did not match the sieve data exactly, the evaluated devices were found to provide good measures of particle gradation for most samples. These tests also indicate that some machines will give more repeatable results in multiple tests of a given material, while others yield better results when testing different materials. The methodology used in this study is suitable for objectively evaluating the accuracy of other rapid gradation machines for various applications. ICAR Project 503 was undertaken to study rapid, automated methods of determining the grain size distribution of unbound aggregate products. Two technologies were studied in detail: digital image analysis and laser profiling. This report summarizes the evaluation of digital imaging devices, while the second part of the final project report describes the development of a laser scanning device for grading aggregates.
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    Rapid Test to Establish Grading of Unbound Aggregate Products: Evaluation of Potential Aggregate Grading Technologies
    (2000-02) Rauch, Alan F.; Haas, Carl T. (Carl Thomas); Kim, Hyoungkwan; Browne, Craig
    A research study is underway to develop automated methods for rapidly grading aggregates on the production line in a typical aggregate separation or mixing facility. This interim report serves to document preliminary work on this project and presents: (1) A discussion of typical plant layouts, to identify potential sampling locations. The best sampling locations appear to be just after final screening, where sorted material is sent to stockpiles, and just before mixing the final product, where aggregates are fed from either stockpiles or charge bins. (2) A thorough examination of six potential technologies that could be used to rapidly determine particle size. After a critical review and a formal decision analysis, both digital image analysis and laser profiling appear to be equally promising and worthy of additional study. (3) A discussion of our current thinking on how to configure scanning equipment of this kind. By considering innovative methods for presenting aggregate particles to the scanning sensor, the opportunity exists for advancing this technology. An outline of project work planned for the immediate future. Continuing our study of both digital image analysis and laser profiling, we plan to: 1. Conduct a limited, independent evaluation of three commercial particle-sizing machines, which all use digital image analysis. 2. Perform preliminary tests using a laser profiler. 3. Construct a laboratory test bed that can be used to test and evaluate various scanning sensors.
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    Characterization of Unbound Granular Layers in Flexible Pavements
    (2001-12) Adu-Osei, Alex
    The mathematical characterization of unbound granular materials should ideally be based on the behavior of the individual constituent elements and their interaction. Until particulate mechanics are developed to a level where it can easily be applied to characterize unbound granular materials, a nonlinear and cross-anisotropic model must be used to characterize the behavior of granular materials in pavements. Existing pavement design and analysis methods have generally taken a very conservative view of the relative strength properties of granular materials used as base and subbase layers in conventional flexible pavements. The mechanical properties of unbound granular layers in flexible pavements are important to the overall structural integrity of the pavement structure. Linear elastic analysis can be used with reasonable confidence for pavements with full depth asphalt layers, but it is inappropriate for unsurfaced or thinly surfaced flexible pavements unless the nonlinear behavior of unbound granular materials are properly taken into account. Work done by several researchers suggest that incorporating a cross-anisotropic elastic model significantly improves isotropic models and drastically reduces the tensile stresses computed within granular layers. This is due to the fact that the behavior of granular materials depends on particle arrangement. The laboratory determination of cross-anisotropic properties of granular materials has been a difficult task for researchers. In this study, a new laboratory testing protocol has been developed based on the theories of elasticity to determine cross-anisotropic properties of granular materials. The testing protocol is efficient and precise. The test is also an excellent tool for comparative analysis of compacted materials. The behavior of four unbound granular materials was studied. The resilient responses of the materials obey the Uzan type nonlinear model. It was observed that under low stress levels accumulation of permanent strain could stabilize in granular layers. However, at high stress levels, permanent strain will continuously accumulate. A finite element program was modified to incorporate the cross-anisotropic material model. Pavement sections were analyzed with the finite element program. It was observed that cross-anisotropic modeling eliminates the presence of tension zones predicted by isotropic resilient models. Deflection bowls predicted by nonlinear resilient models agree with field deflection bowls.
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    Field Validation of the Cross-Anisotropic Behavior of Unbound Aggregate Bases
    (2001-03) Tutumluer, Erol; Adu-Osei, Alex; Little, Dallas N.; Lytton, Robert L.
    The ICAR Research Project 502 has focused on determining structural considerations of unbound aggregate pavement layers for a proper representation in the new AASHTO Pavement Design Guide 2002. The research team developed models for the resilient and permanent deformation behavior from the results of triaxial tests conducted at the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and at the University of Illinois. The studies have mainly indicated that the unbound aggregate base (UAB) material should be modeled as nonlinear and cross-anisotropic to account for stress sensitivity and the significant differences between vertical and horizontal moduli and Poisson's ratios. UABs were constructed at the TTI Riverside research facility and tested for response and performance using the one-third scale model of the Texas Mobile Loading Simulator. The resilient responses of the test sections were modeled. The nonlinear cross-anisotropic material models used in the base layer predicted vertical deflections that are close to field deflections in the analyzed TTI pavements. Field validation data were also collected from a full-scale pavement test study conducted at Georgia Tech. The test sections had extensive instrumentation and the pavement response variables, such as stresses, strains, and deformations, were measured in all pavement layers including the UABs. The validation of the anisotropic modeling approach was accomplished by analyzing these test sections using GT-PAVE finite element program, predicting UAB responses, and comparing them to the measured ones. Laboratory testing of the aggregate samples was conducted at the University of Illinois and the characterization models were developed for the stress sensitive, cross-anisotropic aggregate behavior. With nonlinear anisotropic modeling of the UAB, the resilient behavior of pavement test sections was successfully predicted at the same time for a number of response variables. In addition, the stress sensitive, cross-anisotropic representation of the base was shown to greatly reduce the horizontal tension computed in the granular base when compared to a linear isotropic representation.
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    Structural Characteristics of Unbound Aggregate Bases to Meet AASHTO 2002 Design Requirements: Interim Report
    (2001-07) Adu-Osei, Alex; Little, Dallas N.; Lytton, Robert L.
    This report gives the results of a study of the properties of unbound aggregate base materials using both laboratory testing data from full scale field tests in Illinois, Georgia, and Texas, and a model of cross-anisotropic elastic materials to characterize the behavior of the base materials under traffic loads. Using the cross-anisotropic model, the stress distribution in a base course is more realistic than that developed when the aggregate base is considered to be linear and isotropic. The stress distribution based on cross-anisotropic analysis is not only more correct, but it is also more favorable to the unbound aggregate in that significant tensile stresses are found not to occur. The analogy is presented in this report that the response of the aggregate base to the load is as if the stress distribution directly under the wheel load due to anisotropy acts as a moving column under the wheel in which the aggregate essentially produces its own confinement and does not enter into tension. Other findings in this report include the following: 1) The unbound aggregate base material should be modeled as non-linear and cross-anisotropic to account for stress-sensitivity and the significant differences between vertical and horizontal moduli and Poisson’s ratios. 2) The ICAR laboratory testing protocol is efficient and precise and should be considered as a candidate to model the unbound aggregate base. The protocol uses three stress regimes and ten stress levels within each regime to determine stress sensitivity and cross-anisotropy. A system identification method is used to select the five material properties based on the tests results necessary to properly characterize the aggregate base and to satisfy the requirements of elastic work potential theory. 3) The Fast Industrial Process Controls cell is efficient and should be used to characterize unbound aggregate bases. The ratio of the diameter to the specimen height is 1:1. While testing of such sample sizes is discouraged in the literature, improvements made to the IPC cell minimize frictional development between the sample and loading platens resulting in minimal constraint at the sample ends. This is verified in the report based on comparative triaxial testing and finite element analysis. 4) The ICAR testing protocol is an excellent tool for both unbound aggregate characterization and comparative analysis of materials. A compaction study on two very different aggregates (uncrushed river gravel and crushed limestone) was performed in which the aggregates were subjected to impact, kneading gyratory compaction. The difference in the tendency of the compaction techniques to produce varying levels of particle orientation (which affects anisotropy) was evident in the degree of anisotropy measured.
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    Increased Single-Lift Thicknesses for Unbound Aggregate Base Courses
    (1998-10) Allen, John J.; Bueno, Jaime L.; Kalinski, Michael E.; Myers, Michael L.; Stokoe, Kenneth H.
    A study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of compacting unbound aggregate base courses in thicker lifts than currently permitted by state departments of transportation (DOTs). At present, the majority of states allow a maximum lift thickness of 8 inches or less. This project constructed and tested full-scale test sections using a variety of material types. Two test pads were constructed in an aggregate quarry in Texas utilizing crushed limestone. Three crushed granite test sections were built as part of a road widening project in Georgia, and two test pads were constructed of uncrushed and partially crushed gravel with loess fines at a gravel production facility near Memphis, Tennessee. Single-lift thicknesses varied from 6 inches to 21 inches. Moisture contents and densities were evaluated using the Nuclear Density Gauge (NDG). Nondestructive seismic testing, using the Spectral-Analysis-of-Surface-Waves (SASW) technique, was used to evaluate stiffness profiles within the compacted lifts. Cyclic plate load tests were accomplished by means of the Rolling Dynamic Deflectometer (RDD), modified for this static application. Results showed that compaction targets could be attained for lifts up to 21 inches thick. Density and stiffness results for 13-inch thick lifts in the Georgia tests were equal to, or better than, the results for the base placed in two lifts, a 7-inch lift followed by a 6-inch lift. Higher moisture contents during compaction yielded lower shear wave velocity and Young’s modulus values. Seismic results show that the upper 3 inches of the final test pads had lower stiffness values, presumably from lower effective stresses near the surface and possibly from some disturbance caused by the compaction equipment. This zone of lower stiffness and slightly less compaction is less evident in the density measurements.
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    Prediction of Working Load Displacements Under Plate Loading Tests from Seismic Stiffness Measurements
    (1998-10) Myers, Michael L.; Stokoe, Kenneth H.; Allen, John J.
    A study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of compacting unbound base courses in thicker lifts than currently permitted by state departments of transportation (DOTs). At present, the majority of states allow a maximum lift thickness of 8 inches or less. This project constructed and tested full-scale test section using a variety of material types. Two test pads were constructed in an aggregate quarry in Texas utilizing crushed limestone. Three crushed granite test sections were built as part of a road widening project in Georgia, and two test pads were constructed of uncrushed and partially crushed gravel with loess fines at a gravel production facility near Memphis, Tennessee. Single-lift thicknesses varied from 6 inches to 21 inches. Moisture contents and densities were evaluated using the Nuclear Density Gauge (NDG). Nondestructive seismic testing, using the Spectral-Analysis-of Surface-Waves (SASW) technique, was used to evaluate stiffness profiles within the compacted lifts. Plate load tests were conducted on the surface of the crushed limestone test pads by means of the Rolling Dynamic Deflectometer specially modified for this fixed site application. Low frequency cyclic loads were applied to determine axial stiffness under transient working loads of varying magnitude. The base courses were tested at to moisture contents. The results were evaluated and compared with small strain seismic tests result. Strain amplitudes in the plate load tests led to a 5% to 25% reduction in measured stiffness as compared to the seismic results.
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    A Study on the Feasibility of Compacting Unbound Graded Aggregate Base Courses in Thicker Lifts Than Presently Allowed by State Departments of Transportation
    (1998-10) Bueno, Jaime Luis; Stokoe, Kenneth H.; Allen, John J.
    A study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of compacting unbound aggregates base courses in thicker lifts than currently permitted by state departments of transportation (DOTs). At present, the majority of states allow a maximum lift thickness of 8 inches or less. This project constructed and tested full-scale test sections using a variety of materials types. Two test pads were constructed in an aggregate quarry in Texas utilizing crushed limestone, and three crushed granite test sections were built as part of a road widening project in Georgia. Single-lift thickness varied from 6 inches to 21 inches. Moisture contents and densities were evaluated using the Nuclear Density Gauge (NDG). Nondestructive seismic testing, using the Spectral-Analysis-of Surface-Waves (SASW) techniques, was used to evaluate stiffness profiles within the compacted lifts. Results showed that compaction targets could be attained for lifts up to 21 inches thick. Density and stiffness results for 13-inch thick lifts in the Georgia tests were equal to, or better than, the results for the base placed in two lifts, a 7-inch lift followed by a 6-inch lift. Higher moisture contents during compaction yielded lower shear wave velocity and Young’s modulus values. Seismic results show that the upper 3 inches of the final test pads had lower stiffness values, presumably from lower effective stresses near the surface and possibly from some disturbance caused by the compaction equipment. This zone of lower stiffness and slightly less compaction is less evident in the density measurements.