Development of Improved Test Rolling Methods for Roadway Embankment Construction


J Hambleton, Andrew Drescher

February 2008

Report no. Mn/DOT 2008-08

Test rolling is a quality assurance test in which penetration of the wheels of a heavy vehicle into subgrade soils is used as a measure of the adequacy of compaction. Current criteria for acceptable test roller penetration are empirical. Two theoretical approaches for modeling test rolling are developed. One is analytic and the other is numerical, based on the finite element code ABAQUS. Both approaches relate wheel penetration to wheel geometry, wheel load, and soil strength parameters (friction angle and cohesion). Elastic soil properties are included in the numerical simulations but play a secondary role. The models accommodate both rigid and flexible wheels. Homogeneous and layered soil structures are considered. Scaled laboratory tests support the theoretical predictions, although full validation requires execution of extensive full scale field testing. The models developed can be used to enhance interpretation of test rolling data and assess the effects of test roller modifications.

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