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ABSTRACT NO.

PERFORMANCE TESTING OF BITUMINOUS MIXES


USING FALLING WEIGHT DEFLECTOMETER

Prof Praveen Kumar

Dr G D Ransinchung

Lt. Col. Mayank Mehta

Nikhil Saboo

IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee

Key Words: Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD), Non Destructive Testing (NDT), Pavement, Structural
Adequacy, Failures
ABSTRACT
A Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) is a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Device
used by civil
engineers to evaluate the physical properties of pavement. The main objective of this study is to carry out a
study on performance of bituminous
mixes using Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD). In doing so,
emphasis is laid on structural evaluation of flexible pavements to include Strength evaluation of layers of the
flexible pavements with different bituminous layers by determining the corresponding E- values of the layers. In
the top layer, PC, SDBC, BC and recycled material has been tried. In Second Layer BM and DGBM has been
used. The Base course is of WMM and the Sub-base course consists of GSB. Effect of various parameters on E
values have been found in this study.
1. Introduction
A Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) is a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)
Device used by civil
engineers to evaluate the physical properties of pavement. It is
designed to impart a load pulse to the
pavement surface which simulates the load produced by a rolling vehicle wheel. FWD is a tool used to achieve
rapid and repeatable in-situ characterization of the pavement layer stiffness and to evaluate pavement structural
condition. It is being widely used in pavement engineering as it
plays a crucial role in selecting optimum
pavement maintenance and rehabilitation strategies.
FWD data is most often used to calculate stiffness-related parameters of a pavement structure. The
process of calculating the elastic moduli of individual layers in a multi-layer system (e.g. asphalt concrete on top
of a base course on top of the subgrade) based on surface deflections is known as "back calculation". Instead,
initial moduli are assumed, surface deflections calculated, and then the moduli are adjusted in an iterative
fashion to converge on the measured deflections.
2. About FWD
Some of the commercially available FWD models are explained below:
2.1

Dynatest FWD
It is available in two models - 8000 and 8081 which are used for evaluation of road
and
airport pavements respectively. The system supports from 7 to 15 deflection sensors. Both the models are
trailer-mounted and have the capability to apply loads in the ranges of 7 to 120 KN and 30 to 320 KN
respectively. ELMOD software is used for backcalculation of pavement layer moduli.

Fig 1 Dynatest FWD


2.2 KUAB 2m-FWD
The KUAB 2m-FWD can be towed by any suitable towing vehicle. KUAB 50, KUAB 150
& KUAB 600 SP are the three most widely used which vary primarily in terms of their loading capacity. The
KUAB 50 model is a light and versatile testing system suitable for a broad range of highway, street and
parking lot pavements, with a loading range of 12 to 50 kN. The KUAB 2m-FWD Model 150, is capable
of generating dynamic load of 12 to 150 kN.

Fig 2 KUAB FWD


2.3.

JILS FWD
JILS-20-FWD is mounted in a two-axle trailer that can be towed by a van or pick-up. The
loading capability ranges from 9 kN to 120 kN. The loading plate used is a 300 mm diameter rigid steel disc
with an 8 mm thick heavy duty, neoprene pad attached to it for uniform distribution of the applied loading.
Up to ten deflection sensors are supported.

Fig 3 JILS FWD

2.4. Carl Bro FWD


The Carl Bro trailer-mounted FWD is the PRI 2100. The FWD is mounted to the tow vehicle
by a double-axle trailer. It is modular in design, i.e., the loading capability and sensor configuration can be
varied as per requirement. The mass mechanism generates force magnitudes up to 250 kN. It supports nine
deflection sensors, The equipment is available as trailer and vehicle built-in models.

Fig 4 Carl Bro FWD


2.5 IITKGP FWD
It was the first indigenous FWD model in India by the Transportation Engineering Section
of the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.
This model is mounted in a trailer, which can be towed with the help of a jeep. With
this
model, it is possible to apply a load of magnitude ranging from 20 kN to 65 kN with a loading time of
about 20 to 30 milli-seconds. This loading time is similar to that produced by a vehicle moving at 50 to 60
km/h. Rubber pads of suitable stiffness were used as spring system to obtain these loading times. Six
surface deflections can be measured at radial distances of 0, 300, 600, 900, 1200 and 1500mm with the help
of geophones. A chain and pulley arrangement is used for lifting and lowering the mass whereas a chuck
arrangement is made for holding the mass at any desired height. One load cell and six geophones are used to
measure the magnitudes of load and deflections respectively. The load and deflection signals are recorded in
the computer with the help of a data acquisition system.

Fig 5 IITKGP FWD


2.6 Geotran FWD
It has been indigenously developed at Roorkee. Geotran Falling Weight Deflectometer model
GTFWD-V is a Vehicle Mounted Falling Weight Deflectometer. It is mounted on a self- toeing Tata 207
vehicle. It supports six deflection sensors.

Fig 6 Geotran FWD


3. Experimental Work
3.1
Construction of Test Tracks
The methodology adopted was to construct Test Pavements using different bituminous mixes
as per the methods prescribed in MORT&H (2013) & IRC 37 (2001 & 2012) in order to study performance of
bituminous mixes by carrying out structural evaluation of these pavements using the deflection data obtained
by testing them by FWD.
To achieve the above, 4 ft x 8 ft Test Pavement was constructed near the pavement testing lab
at Deptt of Civil Engg, IITR. This size was carefully chosen so as to provide realistic test surface for
accommodating all the seven FWD sensors and at the same time to be economical in terms of time and effort.
For the purpose of the study, the subgrade, sub base and the base layers have been kept same whereas
bituminous layers above them have been varied. 200 mm GSB was constructed over the subgrade as a sub base
layer. A second layer of 250 mm WMM (laid in two parts 150 & 100 mm thick) was laid as base layer over the
GSB. Thereafter, five cases were considered for surface layers using different bituminous mixes. These are as
under:(i)

Case 1 : 40 mm BC (Gd 2) + 50 mm DBM (Gd 2)

(ii)

Case 2 : 25 mm SDBC (Gd 2) + 50 mm DBM (Gd 2)

(iii)

Case 3 : 20 mm PC + 50 mm DBM (Gd 2)

(iv)

Case 4 : 25 mm SDBC (Gd 2) + 50 mm BM (Gd 2)

(v)

Case 5 : 20 mm PC + 50 mm BM (Gd 2)

FWD testing was done the next day (5 sets of readings) on the completed layers and E-Values were obtained.

Fig 7 FWD Testing of Finished SDBC + DBM Layers

Table 1 Results of FWD testing on Test Pavements

4.

Case
No

Layers

T
(mm)

CD
(g/cc)

E-value
(Bitumen Layer)

BC (Gd 2)
+
DBM (Gd 2)

90

2.32

2219.0

SDBC (Gd 2)
+
DBM (Gd 2)

75

2.10

2193.6

PC
+
DBM (Gd 2)

70

1.824

2115.7

SDBC (Gd 2)
+
BM (Gd 2)

75

2.06

2180.8

PC
+
BM (Gd 2)

70

1.815

2004.4

Analysis of Data Collected Using Fwd

The analysis of performance of bituminous mixes involves the assessment of the structural
condition of the pavement. Assessment of the remaining life is one such method. This can be done by either of
the methods as under:
(i)
By estimating the traffic loads which the pavement was initially designed for
and
subtracting traffic loads already been carried.
(ii)
Directly from critical stress or strain levels in the present condition without
taking into account the volume of traffic already carried.
(iii)
By comparing the moduli of the present layers with those which they actually
expected to have initially.
The layer moduli obtained from different bituminous layers on the Test Pavement
backcalculated from FWD deflection data were used to analyse the pavement for critical strains which are
indicators of pavement performance in terms of rutting and fatigue cracking. The guidelines as given in IRC :
37, 2012 were used for this purpose.
Fatigue model used for 90 % reliability as given in IRC : 37, 2012 is as under:Nf = 0.711 x 10-04 x [1/t]3.89 x [1/MR]0.854
where,
Nf = Fatigue life in standard axle load repetitions;
t

= Max tensile strain at the bottom of bituminous layer;

MR = Resilient modulus of bituminous mix, MPa.

(1)

Rutting model used for 90 % reliability as given in IRC : 37, 2012 is as under:N = 1.41 x 10-8 x [1/v]4.5337

(2)

where,
N = No of cumulative standard axles;
v = Vertical compressive strain.
The method adopted is as under;
(i)
Measurement of surface deflections using FWD and obtaining the calculated
E-Values for different pavement layers.
(ii)
Backcalculations are done considering pavement to be a three layered system. All bituminous
layers to be considered as combined together. Similarly, granular base & sub base layers to be combined (IRC :
115 , 2014).
(iii)
Analysis of Test Pavement using linear elastic theory with backcalculated moduli and layer
thicknesses. This includes computation of critical Horizontal Tensile Strain at the bottom fiber of bituminous
layer (t ) and Vertical Compressive Strain on top of subgrade (v). IITPAVE software was used for the same.
(iv)
If desired, estimation of remaining life of the pavement using the fatigue in bituminous layer
and subgrade rutting performance criteria adopted in IRC : 37, 2012 given by equations 4.3 & 4.4.
t & v values obtained using IITPAVE software

4.1

Table.2: t & v values calculated for Test Pavements using IITPAVE

(IITPAVE)

(IITPAVE)

Acceptable
(Yes/No)

BC (Gd 2)
+
DBM (Gd 2)

124.7 x 10-6

198.1 x 10-6

Yes

SDBC (Gd 2)
+
DBM (Gd 2)

130.2 x 10-6

214.8 x 10-6

-do-

PC
+
DBM (Gd 2)

136.0 x 10-6

227.5 x 10-6

-do-

Case
No

Layers

SDBC (Gd 2)
+
BM (Gd 2)

132.4 x 10-6

220.1 x 10-6

-do-

PC
+
BM (Gd 2)

139.2 x 10-6

235.4 x 10-6

-do-

5. Conclusions
Having conducted laboratory tests on materials and having extensively tested the Test Pavements and various
other existing pavements, following conclusions can be drawn:(i)

The E-values obtained from FWD testing of Test Pavements of BC & DBM, SDBC & DBM, PC
& DBM, SDBC & BM, PC & BM are 2219.0, 2193.6, 2115.7, 2180.8 and 2004.4 respectively.

(ii)

The comparison of FWD obtained E-Values with those calculated from meth-ods as given in IRC :
37 (2012), validates the results obtained through GEOTRAN FWD.

(iii)

The Test Pavements were found to have t & v values (calculated using E-values
testing) less than the allowable critical strain values.

(iv)

It was observed that the E- values increased with the bitumen content of the bituminous layers
till the OBC was reached and thereafter reduced with further increase in bitumen content.

(v)

It was observed that E-values were directly affected by the degree of compaction of the bituminous
layer. There was a considerable decrease in the E-values for poorly compacted bituminous layers.

(vi)

It was found that E-value for bituminous layer increased with increase in its thickness.

from

FWD

REFERENCES
(1)

IRC: 37 2012, Tentative Guidelines For Design of Flexible Pavements.

(2)

Kumar R.S., Kumar S., Das A., Reddy K.S., Mazumdar M. and Pandey B.B. (2001)., Development of
an Impact Apparatus for Evaluation of Elastic Modulus of Pavement Layers. Indian Geotechnical
Society Journal, Vol.31, No.3, IGS, New Delhi, pp. 273-284

(3)

Mehta Mayank (2014), Study on Performance of Bituminous Mixes using FWD, M Tech. Thesis, IIT
Roorkee

(4)

Reddy M.A., Reddy K.S. and Pandey B.B. (2002). Evaluation of Pavement LayerModuli using
Genetic Algorithms. International Journal on Pavement Engineering and Asphalt Technology, pp. 6-19.

(5)

SHRP. (1993), SHRPs Layer Moduli Backcalculation Procedure. Report No.SHRP-P-655, Strategic
Highway Research Program, National Research Council, Washington, DC.