Assess Deflection-Based Field Testing for Project Acceptance

Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT’s) current practice for field compaction quality control and acceptance for base, subbase, and soil layers is to determine the compacted density and sometimes moisture content by nuclear density gauge (NDG). TxDOT has also considered several stiffness-based devices to replace the NDG because stiffness parameters are more relevant to pavement design. Since spot tests cannot represent the uniformity of the compaction in a continuous manner, less stiff areas can be easily missed. For design-build projects, an additional challenging step is the design verification. The current process based on laboratory resilient modulus tests is tedious and marginally representative of the in situ properties. Even though modulus-based nondestructive testing (e.g., with falling weight deflectometer (FWD), lightweight deflectometer (LWD), or dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP)) can be conceptually considered as a straightforward solution to this problem, a recent National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study has shown the level of detail that needs to be considered for obtaining meaningful values from the modulus-based devices. One cannot simply extrapolate the use of the FWD on existing roads to the design verification using FWD or other devices. The project's primary goal is to improve the process of design verification of compacted materials to ensure quality, performance, and durability using a combination of proof rolling (with or without intelligent compaction) and modulus-based devices. In close collaboration with our TxDOT partners, the researchers shall utilize their expertise gained from several recent and ongoing intelligent compaction projects and their involvement in an NCHRP project on the effective use of the modulus-based devices to develop practical test protocols and specifications to improve the design verification during construction.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $323,500
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Glancy, Chris

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas, El Paso

    El Paso, TX  United States  79968
  • Principal Investigators:

    Nazarian, Soheil

  • Start Date: 20160116
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01618963
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6903
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 20 2016 12:30PM