Structural Evaluation of Asphalt Pavements with Full-Depth Reclaimed Base


Shuling Tang, Yuejian Cao, Joseph Labuz

December 2012

Report no. MnDOT 2012-36

Currently, MnDOT pavement design recommends granular equivalency, GE = 1.0 for non-stabilized full-depth reclamation (FDR) material, which is equivalent to class 5 material. For stabilized full-depth reclamation (SFDR), there was no guideline for GE at the time this project was initiated (2009). Some local engineers believe that GE of FDR material should be greater than 1.0 (Class 5), especially for SFDR. In addition, very little information is available on seasonal effects on FDR base, especially on SFDR base. Because it is known from laboratory studies that SFDR contains less moisture and has higher stiffness (modulus) than aggregate base, it is assumed that SFDR should be less susceptible to springtime thawing. Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) tests were performed on seven selected test sections on county roads in Minnesota over a period of three years. During spring thaw of each year, FWD testing was conducted daily during the first week of thawing in an attempt to capture spring thaw weakening of the aggregate base. After the spring thaw period, FWD testing was conducted monthly to study base recovery and stiffness changes through the seasons. GE of SFDR was estimated using a method established by MnDOT using FWD deflections, and the GE of SFDR is about 1.5. The value varies from project to project as construction and material varies from project to project. All the materials tested showed seasonal effects on stiffness. In general, the stiffness is weaker in spring than that in summer and fall.

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