Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2754

Full Length Research Paper

Prediction of subgrade resilient modulus for flexible pavement design

Mehmet Ridvan Ozel1* and Abbas Mohajerani2      
1Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering and Architecture, Gediz University, Izmir, Turkey. 2School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.  
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 August 2011
  •  Published: 30 September 2011


Resilient modulus of subgrade soils is an important input in mechanistic pavement design. The primary objective of this work is to investigate the resilient modulus of four typical Victorian fine-grained subgrade soils under traffic-like repeated loading and to suggest empirical predictive models incorporating physical properties and/or strength of the soils along with the stress state. A repeated load triaxial testing procedure was developed, which is capable of collecting resilient and permanent deformation data from the same specimen.  Stress levels for testing were defined as percentages of the confined and/or unconfined soil static strengths. Stress dependency of resilient modulus was studied through the models (such as bilinear model, power model, deviatoris stress model and octahedral stress model) found in the literature and other possible combinations of deviator, confining and octahedral stresses. A semi-logarithmic model was proposed for the prediction of resilient modulus of the fine-grained subgrade soils. Calibration of model constants by soil properties was investigated.  An altervative prediction model was also developed based on unconfined compressive strength and deviator stress. Resilient modulus values were back calculated using both the semi-logarithmic model and the model based on unconfined compressive strength and deviator stress. Predicted values were compared with the measured values. Predictive capability of the proposed models were proven for use in flexible pavement design.


Key words: Resilient modulus, fine-grained subgrade soils, repeated loading, flexible pavement design.