American Society of Civil Engineers

Limit-State Curve of Base-Course Material and Its Relevance for Resilient Modulus Testing

by J. M. Konrad, (Prof. of Civ. Engrg., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. Laval, Quebec City PQ, Canada, G1K 7P4) and O. Juneau, (André Simard et Ass., Quebec City PQ, Canada, G2C 1X1)

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 132, No. 2, February 2006, pp. 173-182, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The limit state characteristics of base-course granular materials were obtained using a typical triaxial testing equipment devoted to the measurement of resilient modulus. Accurate monitoring of axial strain during isotropic and anisotropic compression was used to determine the stress conditions where significant irrecoverable strains occur for samples prepared by static compression, Proctor rammer, and vibratory compaction. The limit state curve is highly anisotropic, centered about the q/p=1 line. It is sensitive to sample preparation technique and fines content. The Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) procedure corresponds to stress paths during conditioning and repeated loading that remain within the limit state curve of the control base course material containing 3.5% fines. The resilient modulus values reflect henceforth the behaviour of the same material with its original particle contact distribution. The Laboratoires des Ponts et Chaussées (LCPC) procedure is characterized by stress paths that cross the original limit state curve of the Proctor compacted samples. Particle contact distribution changes thus continuously as the limit state curve expands in response to the various stress paths used in this procedure. The resilient modulus values correspond to samples with different fabrics. A simple procedure based on isotropic loading has been proposed for the determination of a simplified limit state curve of base course materials with the intent of specifying the testing conditions for obtaining adequate resilient modulus values.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Base course
Granular media
Limit states
Triaxial tests