Rapid Field Detection of Moisture Content for Base and Subgrade

Water content in pavement materials plays a critical role both in construction and performance. During the construction phase, the water content influences compaction; in performance, water content significantly influences strength, modulus, and permanent deformation characteristics. While efforts exist to link design and construction by accepting compacted materials based on modulus, these efforts historically have been hindered due to the dependence of modulus on water content. For modulus-based acceptance to be implementable, companion water content measurements are necessary at the time of acceptance testing. Although the nuclear gauge can provide water content measurements in the field, restrictions and licensing requirements make the use of that gauge somewhat burdensome to agencies; test procedures are needed using rapid, accurate, non-nuclear moisture-measurement methods. To make the possibility of modulus-based acceptance an implementable reality by including nonnuclear moisture measurement, this project will: (1) Evaluate and rank non-nuclear techniques for measuring water content in soils and bases used in pavement construction. (2) Develop test procedures in the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) format for measuring water content with non-nuclear methods. (3) Produce a training workshop and training materials. (4) Produce a training DVD.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $241929.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Si, Zhiming

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sebesta, Stephen

  • Start Date: 20110901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 30002

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01568914
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC06, 0-6676
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2015 1:02AM