CyGS Lecture: Geosynthetics in Transportation

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Austrian Canadian Cultural Center

3112 11 Street Northeast

Calgary, AB T2E 7J1

Canada

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Generously sponsored by TenCate Geosynthetics


Geosynthetics in Transportation – Subgrade Stabilization Research
Eli Cuelho – Senior Engineer

Road managers routinely use geogrids and geotextiles for subgrade stabilization applications.
Typical subgrade stabilization applications are temporary haul roads or unpaved low-volume
roads, but can also include paved roads built on poorer foundation materials. Full-scale test
sections were constructed, trafficked and monitored to compare the relative operational
performance of geosynthetics used as subgrade stabilization as well as determine which material
properties are most related to performance. Seventeen 15-meter long test sections were
constructed – fourteen containing geosynthetic reinforcement and three without. A subgrade
material was prepared and constructed to an average CBR strength of approximately 1.8% and
an average base course thickness of about 28 cm, with the exception of several controls where
subgrade strength and base thickness were intentionally varied to evaluate the effect of these
properties on performance. Even though the geotextile materials used during this study showed
good performance as subgrade stabilization, material properties associated with their
performance was difficult to establish due to the limited number of test sections and lack of
relevant tests to properly characterize these types of materials for this application. Using
longitudinal rut as the primary indicator of performance, it was determined that the strength and
stiffness of the geogrid junctions and tensile strength properties in the cross-machine direction
correlated well with performance. Using this knowledge, the design equation associated with the
Giroud-Han method was calibrated to make geogrid junction stiffness in the cross-machine
direction the primary property of the geosynthetic, thereby replacing geogrid aperture stability
modulus.

Date and Time

Location

Austrian Canadian Cultural Center

3112 11 Street Northeast

Calgary, AB T2E 7J1

Canada

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