Membrane Encapsulated Soil Layers

by James P. Sale, (M.ASCE), Engr., Chf. of Soils and Pavements Lab.; U.S. Army Engr. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MI,
Frazier Parker, Jr., (A.M.ASCE), Engr.; Pavement Design Div., Soils and Pavements Lab., U.S. Army Engr. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MI,
Walter R. Barker, (M.ASCE), Engr.; Pavement Design Div., Soils and Pavements Lab., U.S. Army Engr. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MI,


Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 12, Pg. 1077-1090


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: As a result of the development of durable inexpensive membrane, membrane encapsulated soil layers (MESL) construction is now economically competitive with conventional pavement construction. Tests have shown that soil layers can be effectively protected against intrusion of moisture with available materials and existing construction techniques. Comparison of computed deflections with measured deflections for MESL test sections loaded with simulated aircraft landing gears, and comparison of computed stresses with measured subgrade and encapsulated soil strength parameters for the same test sections indicate that neither an elastic layered model or a slab on a Winkler foundation model is adequate for describing the response of a MESL pavement system. It was concluded that the effects of residual stresses induced during construction and the densification of the encapsulated material during traffic resulted in a stiffer system, which was more effective in distributing the load, than was predicted by either model using soil parameters obtained from the as-construction conditions.

Subject Headings: Layered soils | Construction materials | Model tests | Membranes | Soil tests | Pavement deflection | Load tests | Construction management

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