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Subgrade Improvement

for Paved and Unpaved Surfaces


Using Geogrids By Stephen Archer, P.E.
October 2008
Enter #xxx at gostructural.com/infodirect
Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc. PDH 3
T
he use of geogrid reinforce-
ment is a common practice
for engineers, owners, and
contractors for building
structures over soft soil conditions.
First introduced in the United States
in the early 1980s, the unique char-
acteristics and mechanisms specific
to geogrids offer significant benefits
compared with the following conven-
tional construction practices:
excavation and replacement with
select fill material,
thick structural (pavement) sections
to account for weak subgrade soil
conditions,
chemical stabilization or modifica-
tion with calcium-based materials
(i.e., cement, lime, fly ash), and
stabilization with woven or non-
woven geotextiles.
A geogrid is defined as a geosyn-
thetic material consisting of
connected parallel sets of tensile
ribs with apertures of sufficient size
to allow strike-through of surround-
ing soil, stone, or other geotechnical
material (Koerner, 1998; see Figure 1
on page PDH 4). Commercial geogrid
products marketed and sold today
include extruded punched-and-
drawn geogrids, woven and coated
geogrids, welded geogrids, and
geogrid composites. Structural biax-
ial geogrids can be used to reinforce
earth fill over soft ground and provide
a stable subgrade under flexible and
rigid pavements, unpaved roads,
railroad track beds, industrial yards,
equipment work platforms, parking
areas, and building foundations.
Many small and full-scale stud-
ies have been performed to better
understand how geosynthetics inter-
act with fill materials to contrast their
performance with unreinforced condi-
tions in a variety of civil engineering
applications. This historical empirical
data is the basis for development of a
number of design methods to quan-
tify the fill thickness required over a
geosynthetic reinforcement element
to achieve a minimum level of service-
ability. As the use of geosynthetics in
soft soil conditions has evolved during
the last three decades, so has the
number of design methodologies and
criteria by which geosynthetics are
evaluated. This article addresses the
following two current design meth-
ods commonly used by engineers
within the United States and abroad:
The Giroud-Han Design Method
(2004) and The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers Design Method (2003).
Geogrid reinforcement
mechanisms
A subgrade soil beneath a paved or
unpaved surface can fail under load
in two ways: localized shear failure
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Learning Objectives
Understand the primary mechanisms by which geogrids
reinforce granular fill over soft soils and how these
features translate to quantifiable fill savings relative to
conventional practice.
Develop an understanding of two design methods
endorsed by the American Society of Civil Engineers
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for designing
geogrid-reinforced unpaved surfaces over soft soils.
Translate the granular fill savings to cost benefits that
can be realized relative to a geotextile solution and an
unreinforced solution.
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Professional Development Series
Subgrade Improvement for Paved and Unpaved Surfaces Using Geogrids
By Stephen Archer, P.E.
4 PDH Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc.
Subgrade Improvement for Paved and Unpaved Surfaces Using Geogrids
and deeper-seated
bearing capacity fail-
ure. Localized shear
failure, or base punch-
ing, typically occurs in the form of
severe deformation or rutting in soft
saturated subgrades when loading
exceeds the subgrade shear strength.
The subgrade beneath an unrein-
forced fill will fail in localized shear
failure at about half of the stress level
than the ultimate bearing capacity
of the subgrade. Premature failure of
a paved or unpaved surface due to
weak subgrades leads to costly full-
depth repairs that can be avoided
with good engineering judgment
at the time the section is designed.
Geogrids offer protection over weak
foundation soils because of the ability
of the material to act as a snowshoe
over soft, rut-prone conditions.
Geogrid reinforcement of granu-
lar fills over soft ground can prevent
localized shear failure of the subgrade
and therefore significantly increase
the effective bearing capacity of
the subgrade. In addition, geogrids
reinforce the granular fill through
confinement of the particles, stiffen-
ing the base layer for improved load
distribution.
The net effect of these mechanisms
is a reduction in the fill thickness
required to provide stable foundation
support for a paving operation or for
the immediate trafficking of unpaved
structures such as haul roads or work-
ing platforms (see Figure 2).
In 2003, the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers (Corps) identified and
defined the primary applications
for biaxial geogrid reinforcement
for paved and unpaved structures:
mechanical subgrade stabilization and
base reinforcement. In an engineer-
ing technical letter (ETL), the Corps
referenced three primary mechanisms
as being relevant to the interaction of
geogrid reinforcement and pavement
materials: lateral restraint, improved
bearing capacity, and tensioned
membrane effect (Perkins and Ismeik,
1997a; see Figure 3). The following
is summarized from the Corps ETL
1110-1-189 (page 3).
Lateral restraint Considered
the primary reinforcement mecha-
nism by the Corps document, lateral
restraint describes the ability of the
aperture geometry of a grid to confine
aggregate particles within the plane
of the material. This feature yields
a stiffening effect to the reinforced
granular material, both above and
below the geogrid (in the case of the
material being installed at the mid-
point of a granular fill), that results
in an increase in modulus of the rein-
forced layer.
Improved bearing capacity
Typically associated with geogrid use
over soft subgrades, improved bear-
ing capacity describes a change in
the potential failure mechanism of
the subgrade from a localized shear
generally characterized as a deep
rutting failure to a general bear-
Figure 1: Biaxial geogrid and aggregate Figure 2: Granular fill thickness reduction achieved through a biaxial geogrid layer
Figure 3: Geogrid reinforcement mecha-
nisms of lateral restraint (top), improved
bearing capacity (center), and tensioned
membrane effect (bottom).
Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc. PDH 5
ing capacity failure. The result is an
improved effective bearing capacity of
the subgrade resulting from pressure
dissipation at the geogrid-subgrade
interface.
Tensioned membrane effect
Initial research suggested that
the tensioned membrane effect was
the primary mechanism of geogrid
over soft ground. Subsequent stud-
ies have proven that geogrid offers
discernable structural enhancement
without significant rutting of the
subgrade layer. This is a key distinc-
tion of geogrids when compared with
geotextiles as it relates strain accumu-
lation within each layer of a paved or
unpaved structure. As punched and
drawn geogrids are manufactured by
pre-straining the polymer, yielding
an effective stress transfer of vertical
and horizontal stress, both woven and
non-woven geotextiles require the
strain be induced after the product is
installed, leading to rut accumulation
in the aggregate layer and subgrade
layer. The result is a structure that
may require frequent rehabilitation or
premature replacement, depending
on serviceability requirements and life
cycle cost valuation of the structure.
These mechanisms, unique to
geogrid reinforcement, collectively
contribute to the interaction of gran-
ular fill with the open structure of
the geosynthetic. Research and thou-
sands of full-scale applications during
the last 30 years have yielded two
reliable design methods that now
give guidance for the use of geogrids,
as well as geotextiles, for constructing
unpaved surfaces over soft soils.
Giroud-Han Method (2004)
Recognizing a need to advance
geosynthetic design for unpaved
surfaces, J.P. Giroud, Ph.D., and
Jie Han, Ph.D., published a design
method in the August 2004 edition of
the American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE) Journal of Geotechnical and
Geoenvironmental Engineering. Their
approach combines bearing capac-
ity theory with empirical data from
full-scale test sections and monitored
unpaved roads. Some distinctions
of the Giroud-Han method relative
to conventional geosynthetic road
design practice include the following:
consideration of the effects of varia-
tion in base course strength,
consideration of the number and
size of load cycles (axle passes) and
the desired roadway performance,
consideration of how the load distri-
bution angle within the base course
changes with time,
recognition that geotextiles and
geogrids perform differently in
roads,
recognition that not all geogrids
perform the same, and
calibration and validation of the
theoretical results with laboratory
and full-scale test data.
The method accounts for, in addi-
tion to the factors considered by the
Giroud and Noiray (1981) methods
developed for the then U.S. Forest
Service, the strength/modulus of the
base material, the variations of the
stress distribution angles through the
base course, and the aperture stability
modulus strength property of the
geogrid. The theoretical model that
was initially developed was calibrated
using data from large-scale, cyclic plate
load tests directed by Mohammed
Gabr, Ph.D., at North Carolina State
University. These tests
were run for both rein-
forced and unreinforced
conditions with 6- and
10-inch-thick base courses placed on
a soft subgrade. Two reinforcement
geogrids were used for the testing
Tensar BX1100 and BX1200.
The tests yielded data for pressures
on the subgrade and deformations
at the surface as functions of the
number of load cycles for the various
combinations of reinforcement and
base thickness. The pressure data was
used to estimate the load distribu-
tion angle and to quantify the effects
of base reinforcement and thickness
on both the initial angle and on the
changes in the angle with continued
applications of load. Layer elastic
theory was used to assess the effect
of the base course modulus on the
stress distribution angle. The newly
available test data made it possible
to develop this more comprehensive
and statistically accurate unpaved
road design method.
Giroud and Han (2004a) summa-
rized the significance of this cali-
bration effort: The design method
presented in this paper and the
companion paper is theoretically
based and experimentally calibrated.
Therefore, it more accurately predicts
performance for both geogrid- and
o

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o.o o. 1.o 1. z.o z. .o . .o .
A
g
g
r
e
g
a
t
e

F
l
l
l

T
h
l
c
k
n
e
s
s

(
l
n
.
)
Subgrade C8k (%)
unrelnfcrced
Cecgrld
Cectextlle
o

o
Subgrade
Ccnslstency:
scft
medlum
stlff
Figure 4: Aggregate thickness values using the Giroud-Han method for 2-inch rut depth,
80-psi tire pressure, 20-kip axle, and 1,000-axle-pass loading criteria
6 PDH Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc.
Subgrade Improvement for Paved and Unpaved Surfaces Using Geogrids
geotextile-reinforced
unpaved roads and for
unreinforced, unpaved
roads than do earlier meth-
ods developed by Giroud and Noiray
(1981) and Giroud et al. (1985). As
such, the method presented herein
supersedes these previous methods.
In consideration of these principles
and the conventional practice of
load distribution theory, the follow-
ing equation was derived to predict
the required thickness of fill (h) to
provide the prescribed serviceability
for the given loading conditions and
soil subgrade support. In using this
equation, the designer is required to
solve iteratively for fill thickness (h):
where:
h = required base course thickness
(m)
J = geogrid aperture stability modu-
lus (m-N/degree)
N = number of axle passes
P = wheel load (kN)
r = radius of the equivalent tire
contact area (m)
CBR
sg
= California bearing ratio (CBR)
of the subgrade soil
CBR
bc
= CBR of the base course
s = allowable rut depth (mm)
f
s
= factor equal to 75 mm
f
c
= factor equal to 30 kPa
N
c
= bearing capacity factor, in which
N
c
= 3.14 and J = 0 for unrein-
forced base course; N
c
= 5.14 and
J = 0 for geotextile-reinforced
base course; N
c
= 5.71 and J =
0.32 m-N/degree for Tensar
BX1100-reinforced base course;
and N
c
= 5.71 and J = 0.65
m-N/degree for Tensar BX1200-
reinforced base course.
The Giroud-Han Method is unique
in its approach of combining standard
bearing capacity theory and observed
practical performance. As such, it
presents the design engineer with the
most reliable method currently avail-
able for the design of unpaved roads.
The method was developed, cali-
brated, and validated with data from
full-scale, field and laboratory tests
considering different geogrids. The
formulation can be refined further
to consider new geogrid products
and new research data as it becomes
available.
The Giroud-Han Method can be
expected, and it can be shown, to
give the most accurate predictions of
field performance for similar loading
conditions, base and subgrade prop-
erties, and for the specific geogrids
used in the various test programs.
Figure 4 demonstrates a specific
example comparing the output of a
design for an unreinforced section and
sections reinforced with a geogrid and
a geotextile. Once output has been
calculated for the available options,
a cost-benefit analysis can then be
undertaken given the in-place costs
for both the aggregate fill and the
geosynthetic(s).
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Method (2003)
In February 2003, the Corps
published a design method consider-
ing the use of geogrids and geotex-
tiles for paved and unpaved roads.
Its approach for unpaved surfaces,
based on the methodology originally
developed by the U.S. Forest Service,
distinguishes the performance of
geotextiles and geogrids as rein-
forcement components in subgrade
improvement applications.
The design charts developed by
the Corps are based on empirical data
obtained from full-scale test sections
undertaken at the Corps Research and
Development Center in Vicksburg,
Miss. This data was combined with the
old bearing-capacity design methodol-
ogy developed by Steward, et al., for
the U.S. Forest Service (1977). Based
upon the Corps independent, full-
scale testing (Webster, 1992), a mate-
rial specification was developed for
geotextile and geogrid products. The
geogrid specification recommended in
this document is shown in Table 1 on
page PDH 7.
Geogrid-reinforced aggregate
surface design using the Corps
method requires the design engi-
neer to select an appropriate Bearing
Capacity Factor, N
c
, for the geosyn-
thetic type being considered. The
Corps recommended the following
N
c
values:
N
c
= 2.8 without a geosynthetic,
N
c
= 3.6 with a geotextile for conser-
vative designs, and
N
c
= 5.8 with a geogrid.
The next step in determining an
appropriate granular fill thickness
is to determine the subgrade shear
strength, C (psi). This may be deter-
mined through conventional shear
testing in situ (shear vane, torvane,
pocket penetrometer, et cetera), or by
laboratory tests on extruded, undis-
turbed samples. The shear strength
of the soil can also be correlated from
alternative tests (field CBR, dynamic
cone penetrometer, et cetera). The
relationship recommended by the
Corps between the cone index, CBR,
and shear strength is presented in
Figure 5 on page PDH 7.
The subgrade bearing capacity
used to calculate the required aggre-
gate thickness is determined in accor-
dance with Equation 2:
Subgrade Bearing Capacity =
C * N
c
(psi) (Equation 2)
Once the subgrade bearing capac-
ity has been determined, the designer
can reference one of the three relevant
design charts (single wheel, dual wheel,
(Equation 1)
Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc. PDH 7
and tandem gear wheel weight) in the
ETL document to calculate the required
aggregate thickness. An example chart
for a single wheel load condition is
presented in Figure 6 on page PDH 8.
Resulting thickness savings with
the geosynthetic relative to the unre-
inforced sections are substantial. A
minimum aggregate thickness of 6
inches is recommended by the Corps
for aggregate-surfaced pavements. To
facilitate a comparison of the design
methods described in
this article, an analy-
sis has been performed
using the same design
criteria used in the earlier example
describing the Giroud-Han method.
The results for the Corps method are
presented in Figure 7 on page PDH 8.
Design method comparison
A comparison of the Giroud-Han
and the Corps design input and output
reveal both similarities and differences
between the two methods (see Table
2 on page PDH 8). A similar sensi-
tivity study of the Giroud-Han and
the Corps methods was performed to
compare the predicted fill thickness
outputs for given conditions (Tingle
and Jersey, 2007). Figures 4 and 7
plot sample output such that each
method for the two types of geosyn-
thetic (geogrid and geotextile) can
be compared. A direct comparison of
required aggregate fill thickness using
each method reveals the following:
Generally, the Giroud-Han method
yields thicker aggregate required for
both the unreinforced and geotex-
tile-reinforced relative to the Corps
method.
Except for extremely soft subgrade
conditions (CBR 0.5), the
Giroud-Han method yields thinner
aggregate required for the geogrid-
reinforced relative to the Corps
method.
Figure 5: Relationship between cone index, CBR, and shear strength, C (TM 5-518-8)
Table 1: Minimum biaxial geogrid specification requirements per the Corps method (2003)
8 PDH Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc.
The minimum thick-
ness allowed for traffick-
ing allowed by the Corps
method is 6 inches, while
the Giroud-Han method allows for a
minimum of 4 inches of granular fill.
Both methods suggest that geogrid
reinforcement requires less aggre-
gate fill when compared with
a geotextile for the same level of
serviceability and design criteria
Of the two methods reviewed, only
the Giroud-Han method addresses
the difference in index properties of
geogrids. Engineers, owners, and
contractors routinely compare the index
properties of commercially available
geosynthetics to determine the proper
selection of a product for a given appli-
cation. However, research has shown
that index properties alone do not
correlate to in-ground performance.
Accordingly, designers are encouraged
to seek manufacturer-specific, full-scale
empirical evidence that proves that the
performance predicted by each of the
methods reviewed in this article indeed
correlate to the geosynthetic manufac-
turer brand in question.
Cost-benefit analysis
Essential to any design analy-
sis is the need for the in-place cost
of an alternative solution relative to
conventional practice. The primary
benefit that owners, engineers, and
contractors seek in using geosynthet-
ics is the potential for front-end cost
savings associated with raw material
Figure 7: Aggregate thickness values using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers method for
2-inch rut depth, 80-psi tire pressure, 10,000-pound wheel load, and 1,000-axle-pass
loading criteria
o

1o
1
zo
z
o.o o. 1.o 1. z.o z. .o . .o .
A
g
g
r
e
g
a
t
e

T
h
l
c
k
n
e
s
s

(
l
n
.
)
Subgrade C8k
unrelnfcrced
Cecgrld
Cectextlle
Subgrade
Ccnslstency:
scft
medlum
stlff
Figure 6: Aggregate-surfaced pavement design curves for single-wheel loads
Subgrade Improvement for Paved and Unpaved Surfaces Using Geogrids
8 PDH Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc.
Table 2: Comparison of required aggregate thickness: Giroud-Han (G-H) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) methods for
2-inch rut depth, 80-psi tire pressure, 20-kip axle, and 1,000-axle-pass loading criteria
Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc. PDH 9
use. In the case of aggregate-surfaced
roads, the raw material in question
is the aggregate itself. To realize the
value of the geosynthetic, a designer
is encouraged to explore the in-place
cost of both the geosynthetic and the
aggregate fill required to provide the
designed service life of the structure
in question.
This relatively simple analysis can
be performed through weighted
average price data that is available
from most state departments of
transportation and other public enti-
ties that publish this information on
a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
The steps involved for such an analy-
sis include the following:
1) Determine the in-place cost of
aggregate per square yard-inch of
depth (see Figure 8).
2) Determine the in-place cost of the
geosynthetic of choice (geogrid or
geotextile).
3) Determine the required aggregate
fill thickness for an unreinforced
case for the given loading and
serviceability using either method
reviewed above.
4) Determine the required aggre-
gate fill thickness for a reinforced
case for the same loading and
serviceability using geogrid and/
or geotextile.
5) Subtract the required reinforced
thickness from the required unre-
inforced thickness to determine
aggregate fill thickness savings for
each reinforced section.
6) Calculate the cost savings by multi-
plying the aggregate fill thickness
savings in inches (obtained in step
5) by the in-place aggregate cost
per square yard-inch of depth, and
then subtract the in-place cost of
the geosynthetic per square yard.
The output from the Giroud-Han
method shown in Figure 4 demon-
strates the potential cost savings
that can be realized using a layer of
geogrid reinforcement over soft soil.
For example, if a haul road is to be
constructed over a subgrade CBR
equal to 1.5 for a 2-inch rut depth,
20-kip axle load, and 80-psi tire infla-
tion, the required aggregate thickness
necessary is represented below:
unreinforced = 20 inches,
geotextile-reinforced = 14 inches,
and
geogrid-reinforced = 7 inches
If aggregate costs $20/ton in-place,
the savings realized for the geosyn-
thetic solutions equate to:
Geotextile-reinforced = (20
inches 14 inches) = 6 inches x ($1/
square yard-inch) = $6/square yard
minus geotextile cost
Geogrid-reinforced = (20 inches
7 inches) = 13 inches x ($1/square
yard-inch) = $13/square yard minus
geogrid cost
Summary
Given present day challenges asso-
ciated with increasing raw material
pricing and dwin-
dling project fund-
ing, geosynthetics offer
owners and engineers a
proven, cost-effective alternative to
conventional building practice for
constructing unpaved haul roads and
working surfaces over soft subgrade
soil conditions. Significant initial cost
and construction time savings can
be realized through the inclusion
of a geogrid layer. Much empirical
evidence, along with full-scale and
small-scale research, has yielded reli-
able design methods for quantifying
the benefits of geosynthetics relative
to expensive alternates such as under-
cut-and-replace and chemical stabili-
zation or modification.
Current methods developed by
Giroud-Han and the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers offer guidance in deter-
mining both the proper selection of
the geosynthetic type and the neces-
sary granular fill thickness to provide
Figure 8: Aggregate in-place cost conversion chart (unit weight = 133 pounds/cubic foot)
10 PDH Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc.
Subgrade Improvement for Paved and Unpaved Surfaces Using Geogrids
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2003, Use of Geogrids in Pavement Construction, ETL
1110-1-189.
Giroud, J.P., and L. Noiray, 1981, Geotextiles-Reinforced Unpaved Road Design,
Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 107, No. 9, pages 1233-1253, ASCE.
Giroud, J.P., and Han, J., 2004a, Design Method for Geosynthetic-Reinforced
Unpaved Roads: Part I Development of Design Method, Journal of Geotechnical
and Geoenvironmental Engineering, in press, ASCE.
Koerner, Robert M., 1998, Designing With Geosynthetics, Fourth Edition, Prentice
Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J.
Perkins, S. W., and Ismeik, M., 1997a, A Synthesis and Evaluation of Geosynthetic
Reinforced Base Layers in Flexible Pavements: Part I, Geosynthetics International, Vol.
4, No. 6, pages 605-621.
Tingle, Jeb S., and Jersey, Sarah R., 2007, Empirical Design Methods for Geosynthetic-
Reinforced Low-Volume Roads, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the
Transportation Research Board, No. 1989, Vol. 2, Washington D.C., pages 91-101.
Webster, S.L., 1992, Geogrid Reinforced Base Course for Flexible Pavements for
Light Aircraft: Test Section Construction, Laboratory Tests and Design Criteria, U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers Report No. DOT/FAA/RD-92-25
References
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Article Title: Subgrade Improvement for Paved and Unpaved Surfaces Using Geogrids
Publication Date: October 2008 Valid for credit until: October 2010
Sponsors: CONTECH Construction Products Inc., Tensar International Corporation
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mation. Fax this Reporting Form to 513-645-7993. (You do not need to send the Quiz; only this Reporting Form is necessary to be
submitted.)
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Stephen Archer, P.E., roadway
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International Corporation, has more
than 15 years of experience in the
geosynthetics industry and geotechni-
cal engineering. He can be contacted at
sarcher@tensarcorp.com
optimal performance.
Given these methods,
the cost benefits of each
method and geosynthetic
solution may be realized.
Participants are encouraged to
download the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers method reviewed within this
article, available online at www.usace.
army.mil/publications/eng-tech-ltrs/
etl1110-1-189/entire.pdf.
Professional Development Advertising Section CONTECH Construction Products Inc. PDH 11
Professional Development Series Quiz
1. Of the reinforcement mechanisms described in the Corps'
ETL, which is considered to be the primary reinforcement
mechanism in unpaved structures?
a) Tensile membrane effect b) Lateral restraint
c) Improved bearing capacity d) Separation
2. Which of the following are true statements?
a) The Giroud-Han method considers how the load distribution
angle within the base course changes with time.
b) The Giroud-Han method considers the number and size of load
cycles (axle passes) and the desired roadway performance.
c) The Giroud-Han method recognizes that not all geogrids perform
the same.
d) The Giroud-Han method recognizes that geotextiles and
geogrids perform differently in roads.
e) All of the above statements are true.
3. According to the Giroud-Han method, what is the key index
property used to model the strength characteristic of the
geogrid element within the design equation?
a) Tensile strength at 5 percent strain
b) Tensile strength at ultimate strain
c) Junction strength
d) Aperture stability modulus
4. The Giroud-Han method is considered to have superseded
which of the following methods for designing unpaved
roads over soft ground conditions?
a) Giroud and Noiray (1981)
b) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2003)
c) Giroud et al. (1985)
d) Both a and c
e) All of the above
5. What are the key parameters needed to run a cost-benefit
analysis comparing an unreinforced design section with a
section reinforced with geogrid?
a) The in-place cost of the geogrid
b) The in-place unit cost of the granular fill ($/ton)
c) The unit weight of the granular fill
d) The thickness savings yielded for a geogrid-reinforced design section
e) All of the above
6. Which of the following statements is false?
a) Both the Giroud-Han method and the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers method recognize that geogrids and geotextiles
perform differently in unpaved roads.
b) Both design methods demonstrate that aggregate fill thickness
required for geogrid is less than for geotextiles.
c) Both methods account for subgrade strength, wheel load, tire
pressure, and the geogrid aperture stability modulus.
d) The Giroud-Han method was calibrated and validated around
full-scale testing.
7. Dynamic cone penetration tests reveal
a soft subgrade soil strength, CBR = 1.5.
Using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
method, determine the required aggregate
thickness (round up to the nearest inch) of an
unreinforced, geotextile-reinforced, and geogrid-
reinforced unpaved road section for a single-wheel load
weighing 10,000 pounds.
a) 15 inches (unreinforced); 13 inches (geotextile); and 9 inches
(geogrid)
b) 18 inches (unreinforced); 16 inches (geotextile); and 12 inches
(geogrid)
c) 12 inches (unreinforced); 10 inches (geotextile) and 6 inches
(geogrid)
d) 16 inches (unreinforced), 10 inches (geotextile) and 9 inches
(geogrid)
8. An analysis using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers method
reveals a design for an unpaved road requires 14, 12, and
8 inches of aggregate for unreinforced, geotextile, and
geogrid reinforced roads, respectively. What would be the
potential cost savings (per square yard) for a geogrid section
relative to an unreinforced design, given an in-place cost for
aggregate fill of $22/ton?
a) $5.50/square yard minus the in-place cost of the geogrid
b) $6.60/square yard minus the in-place cost of the geogrid
c) $7.70/square yard minus the in-place cost of the geogrid
d) $8.80/square yard minus the in-place cost of the geogrid
9. Dynamic cone penetration tests reveal a soft subgrade
soil strength, CBR = 1.0. Using the Giroud-Han method,
determine the required aggregate thickness (round up to
the nearest inch) of an unreinforced, geotextile-reinforced,
and geogrid-reinforced unpaved road section for an axle
load weighing 20,000 pounds, 80-psi tire pressure, 2-inch
limiting rut depth, and 1,000 axle passes.
a) 21 inches (unreinforced); 14 inches (geotextile); and 10 inches
(geogrid)
b) 14 inches (unreinforced); 20 inches (geotextile); and 7 inches
(geogrid)
c) 23 inches (unreinforced); 17 inches (geotextile); and 9 inches
(geogrid)
d) 26 inches (unreinforced); 19 inches (geotextile); and 11 inches
(geogrid)
10. An analysis using the Giroud-Han method reveals a
design for an unpaved road requires 23, 14, and 9 inches
of aggregate for unreinforced, geotextile, and geogrid
reinforced, respectively. Assuming an installed cost
for geotextile of $1.25/square yard, what would be the
potential cost savings (per square yard) for a geogrid
section relative to a geotextile design given an in-place cost
for aggregate fill of $23.50/ton?
a) $7.12/square yard minus the in-place cost of geogrid
b) $9.33/square yard minus the in-place cost of geogrid
c) $4.63/square yard minus the in-place cost of geogrid
d) $5.88/square yard minus the in-place cost of geogrid
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