American Society of Civil Engineers

Resilient Properties of Unbound Road Materials during Seasonal Frost Conditions

by Erik Simonsen, (Nynas Bitumen, 149 82 Nynashamn, Sweden. E-mail:, Vincent C. Janoo, M.ASCE, (Res. Civ. Engr., Cold Regions Res. and Engrg. Lab., Hanover, NH 03755. E-mail:, and Ulf Isacsson, (Prof., Div. of Highway Engrg., Royal Inst. of Technol., SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail:

Journal of Cold Regions Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 1, March 2002, pp. 28-50, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: During recent decades, a considerable amount of research has been devoted to the resilient properties of unbound road materials. However, the severe effects of cold region climates on resilient behavior have been less exhaustibly investigated. In this study, the results from extensive resilient modulus laboratory tests during full freeze-thaw cycling are presented. Various coarse and fine-grained subgrade soils were tested at selected temperatures from room temperature down to -10°C and back to room temperature. The soils are frozen and thawed inside a triaxial cell, thus eliminating external distrubances due to handling. The results indicate that all the soils exhibited a substantially reduced resilient modulus after the freeze-thaw cycle. A significant hysteresis for the clay soil in warming and cooling was also observed. This paper presents equations for different conditions. The equations may be used for selecting the appropriate resilient modulus value in current and future evaluation and design methods.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Cold regions
Freeze and thaw
Triaxial tests